Nov 19, 2014

Woollim's First Girl Group Lovelyz Make Their Awaited Debut

Lovelyz - Girls’ Invasion

There has been talk of the "Woollim Girls" for a very long time now, and many people were eagerly awaiting the female version of Infinite. I personally didn't anticipate it all too much but I wasn't dreading it either. I was quite neutral, you could say. However, now that Lovelyz has finally arrived, my feelings are certainly mixed.

Lovelyz - Girls’ InvasionFirst of all, the scandal of member Jisoo has really been the only thing on the agenda when it comes to their debut, meaning the actual music have had to take a step back. I wrote about this previously and not too much has changed since then, apart from a few accounts proven to be false. My wishes are of course for the rumors and accusations to be false, but even if that turns out to be the case I still think it's too late. This will haunt both Jisoo and the group forever and will give them a bad reputation before they've even got to do anything yet. If the rumors are false, then I feel terrible for her but I still believe it would be best for everyone if she left anyway. I guess we just have to wait and see, but for now Lovelyz are promoting with one member short.

Pre-release track "Goodnight Like Yesterday" dropped on November 9, and people who thought this was their title track were really shocked that they debuted with a ballad. As it turned out though, this was just a simple glimpse of one of the sides of this group, the emotionally, vocally focused one. I personally thought the song itself was really well done, and the vocals and delivery of the members impressed me right off the bat. Sure, it's not the most memorable track but I found it very appealing as a peak into what this group has to offer.

The video is quite simple, and reminded a majority of viewers of Lee Hi's "Rose" with the flower themes, white backgrounds and thorny bushes. Infinite member Sunggyu also makes an appearance, mostly fading in and out of the background as a dramatic effect. The lyrics of the song are very sad and also very relatable for anyone going through a breakup, and I think the members do a good job conveying the emotions in the video. However, that brick stone wall seems awfully familiar, don't you think?

5 days later, their actual title track video was released: "Candy Jelly Love". I didn't know what kind of song they could possibly debut with, but this song wasn't quite it. Like the former song mentioned, it has a electronic sound and style, much like what Infinite uses in their songs. But this is so sugary and sweet that I think I might start to develop diabetes if I watch it too much. The song doesn't have much of strong impact either, and lacks that energy that I think would have made this entire comeback much more memorable.

Also, one can't discuss this song without talking about the obvious J-pop influences. I don't watch a lot of Japanese groups and singers, but I can still hear and see the similarities between what's usually popular in Japan and Lovelyz debut concept. Even "Goodnight Like Yesterday" had some shared traits with a few J-pop videos I've watched, and the song sounded like it could fit too. I don't have a problem with this at all, in fact I think it's interesting and exciting because it's something new. While comparisons to A Pink have flooded the comments, I think the two groups are very different. A Pink is still very Korean, whatever that means, and they're still selling the sexy although disguising it as cute and innocent. Lovelyz, however sound and appear as pretty and lively high school students, with no obvious sexual intentions in mind. Refreshing, isn't it?

The video on the other hand is so strange. Lyrically the song is about likening a first love to sweet candies, which is far-fetched but acceptable, but this video makes no sense to me. Seeing as the concept is school-inspired, it's fittingly taken place in a school. The girls wander in the corridors, dance in the gym and play games in the classroom. Also, they eat a lot of candies. Like, that's what the entire video is about. The thing is that it gets weirder and weirder as the video progresses, as there are so many random moments that I don't know how to interpret.

The video is very cute too, and it's certainly bright and colorful to fit the group's concept, but it doesn't really go anywhere for me. It's frankly a bit boring, and that's not because I don't fully understand it since there are plenty of strange videos that I do like, but this isn't one of them. I mean, it's not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but not what I hoped Woollim would give these girls, who by the way all look very pretty. If there's anything I can give them, it's their looks and vocals. I do like the choreography too though, and that if anything certainly gives off some J-pop vibes. There are lots of hand and leg movement, spins and jumps and it's all perfectly synchronized, as one would expect. Still I wish there was something more energetic and powerful, but I guess they had to fit the mood of the song so it is what it is.

Lovelyz - Girls’ Invasion

In the end it seems I've remained my neutral state of mind, because I haven't been let down nor blown away. It's sweet and fresh, but slightly underwhelming in some areas. They seem like they have a good group of vocalists, move in perfect harmony and great visuals to boot. I don't know what will come next but I hope they can do something more exciting, without loosing their original touch of course.

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