Many kpop acts have ridiculous names, but few make me giggle as much as Berry Good. It’s just so horribly punny and painfully uncool. It’s memorable, yes, but doesn’t exactly make me itch to hear their music. And that’s a shame, because I fear that most casual listeners will miss out on the surprisingly excellent Angel.
Expecting nothing going in, Angel floored me on first listen. It’s not that there’s anything particularly new about its cutesy, girl-pop sound, but the track manages to take the familiar and twist it into something very grand, and very special. Much of this is due to the song’s commanding orchestral background, which supplies every second with a warm, weighty sense of dynamism. Like Oh My Girl’s Closer last year, the verses are largely a slowed, beat-less affair, but the effect is a dreamy, momentum-building surge towards the chorus.
And what a chorus! Few hooks this year have been as indelible from the very first listen as Angel‘s central refrain. Yes, it could do with an extra melodic turn tacked on to the end, but what’s there works spectacularly. Even more important than the melody, though, is the song’s incredible production. From the staccato rhythm to the immense climax, it’s a gusty, go-for-broke concoction that absolutely explodes during the song’s final moments. The sky-high vocals add to the mix, resounding though the dense backing track. It’s all very impressive, especially for a group of Berry Good’s status. Given the right spotlight and promotion, it feels like the type of song that should catapult them towards the a-list.