Cube has had a busy first quarter of the year, with three of their groups making comebacks following one another. First we had Btob, who made a slight return to their earlier, playful days, and then we have 4Minute, who stuck with their new found formula of success. A Pink is technically signed to A Cube, a subsidiary company to Cube Entertainment, but I think you can still call them label-mates as they do frequent collaborations in CF's and are still under United Cube and performed together at those concerts.
For this comeback, A Pink has done the same thing as 4Minute. They took what made them popular last year ( the glorious No No No) and made another version of it in the form of Mr Chu.
I'm not going to lie, I love this group. They're my guilty pleasure and I like practically everything they put even though I know from an objective standpoint that it's nothing special. I write this now to excuse my biased writing which I know will follow, but I can't help it. I'm stuck.
Both the song and video feel like a mix of other releases, but it's very A Pink and does not even try a little bit to explore anything new or different. The song is very similar to most of their previous material, and it has that cute, bubbly, poppy sound that they pull off so well. I hear a bit of Bubibu in there, and the execution, structure and line distribution is like most of their other songs too. If I weren't a fan of this group, I would find this a bit boring, but I am indeed a fan so I obviously like it a lot. No No No was a lot more interesting and a lot more catchy, I know that, but this is so sweet and adorable that it's hard to not find it endearing.
The lyrics are not at all innovative and even feel a bit childish at times, something you also could expect from a group that leans more on the cute side, and are simple and sweet about a crush that just grows and grows.
The video reminds me of two other particular girl group videos, namely Orange Caramel's Lipstick and Ladies' Code's Pretty Pretty. There's the tennis related scenes that instantly made me think about the table tennis in "Lipstick", and the simple, colorful and monotone sets reminded me of those in "Pretty Pretty". However, I don't think that it's a blatant copy of any of them, because it still has its own flair, but you can see the similarities.
The plot, too, draws some comparisons to the "Lipstick" video, but I found the plot a lot harder to make out. In the beginning we see a pair of men's tennis shoes (or at least I think so) and a hand picking up a tennis ball from the court, so it's fair to assume he's the love interest of this video, but we never get to see a close-up of his face. Anyway, all the girls are holding small packages, gifts, that they wish to give to this man, and they try to find different ways to give him the presents. Most of this takes place in front of his locker, where they put their gifts and try to squeeze themselves in at the same time, and at the tennis court, where they either watch the him playing or sit around waiting. Once you figure it out, it's easy to grasp and fits the happy, lovable theme of the song.
The visual theme, in terms of color, lights and staging, are also typical for this group. They have carved themselves a niche, a path belonging only to them and know how to make the most out of it. There are many happy, bright, vibrant colors and backgrounds, contrasting with the white outfits (and the other way around) and giving it an almost animated-like feeling. Kind of like a pop art painting, with the neon pink, blue and yellow sets and props.
I also love, love, love the styling for this video. A Pink rarely look anything less than flawless, but they just keep getting more and more beautiful. What makes them so unique is the balance they have between their innocent, youthful side and their mature, grown-up style. With many "cute" groups, it's usually very extreme on one side, but not for these lovely ladies. I can't speak for everyone, but I don't think of them as sweet, harmless girls but as beautiful, young women who doesn't have to rely on either excessive aegyo or hyper-sexualized dance moves to have an impact. They are right there in the middle, and I think that's why people love them so much (including myself).
As a conclusion, this is another solid comeback for this ever-growing girl group. They stick to what they know will work and so far I'm not tired of it, but I hope they can try something a bit different sometime in the future too. The song is a definite grower, and the video has a lot more good points than bad ones, so I'll consider it a successful return for them. Once again I do have to mention though, that I am very biased for this review, and I know a lot of people will find it bland and boring, and I guess I can sort of understand why. There's really nothing in here that we haven't seen before, but it's still a good song and video so I can't really complain about it too much. Also, Eunji looks amazing.