Is there a point where “cutesy” becomes “too cutesy”? That’s the question that April’s Tinkerbell has me asking. This particular sound has been in vogue for girl groups of late, and generally I’m on board because it usually puts a focus on sticky bubblegum melodies and bright, energetic production. Tinkerbell certainly has both of those, but I fear we may be facing too much of a good thing.
Tinkerbell does have a lot going for it. Right off the bat, the song launches forward with a lively beat supported by ample rhythm guitar. Compared to other tracks in the genre, it almost feels double tempo. I love that it’s not only the chorus that supplies the energy, but the verses as well. There’s no dead space in Tinkerbell. Electronic builds are used brilliantly throughout, not as a focal point but instead as a backing element. This itself is unique, but almost goes unnoticed among every other instrumental flourish competing for space.
So after this praise, why am I not more in love with the track? I think it really comes down to exhaustion with this particular sound. Despite its interesting instrumental flourishes, the end result is a light trifle of a pop song, easily replaced by new tracks from Laboum or Cosmic Girls or many others. It’s not that it isn’t a solid entry in the genre, it’s just that it offers nothing new. The “innocent” concept works best when the track has some heft to it — electric guitars and strings for GFriend, stately syncopated synths for I.O.I. Tinkerbell is fun, and actually quite interesting at times, but ultimately whisks away as quickly as its titular fairy when all is said and done.