Brand New Days is the rare example of a kpop group recording a jpop song that could easily function as one of its actual Korean comebacks. It doesn’t opt for a radical departure in sound, but instead builds on the successes of the group’s discography. Apink has been riding the cutesy concept since their inception, and true to form, the music video for Brand New Days features them all cosplaying as some sort of innocent meadow fairy.
Thankfully, the actual song has more bite to it. The warped, fizzy synth accents that open the track caught me off guard initially. It’s not that anything about the production is especially hard hitting under normal circumstances, but when compared to Apink’s recent material, the surging synth and propulsive beat feels like them throwing caution to the wind and truly embracing a dance-pop sound. Frankly, it’s about time.
Brand New Days‘ eminently singable chorus is their best since 2014’s Mr. Chu. It feels like the fulfillment of the sound they hinted at with last year’s more hesitant Remember. And importantly, the song doesn’t pander to the Japanese market. Apart from the aegyo-infused exclamations underpinning a good portion of the track, the vocals are restrained, even as the melody soars, and the general vibe is one that could be successful in any culture that appreciates a good beat and catchy hook. This is the upbeat style I would love to see the group fully embrace next time they make a Korean comeback.
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