The holiday season is in full swing, as more and more festive, winter-inspired songs start to come out of Korea. Up next is girl group Laboum, who have been an incredibly consistent purveyor of quality material. They’re just waiting for that one big hit to break them into the mainstream. Winter Story (겨울동화) is unlikely to do that, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a fun track in its own right.
Other than the orchestral background, Winter Story doesn’t sound all that different from the songs the girls have given us thus far. While it lacks the bite and energy of their best material, its uplifting melody and breezy tempo goes down easy. The song kicks off with a symphonic flourish and the obligatory holiday sleighbells. This orchestral influence remains a constant throughout Winter Story‘s entire running time, providing a sense of warmth and drama that helps the song rise above its otherwise generic structure. There’s a segment just after the first chorus when the beat drops out and the track gives over almost entirely to a more symphonic sense of production. This doesn’t last nearly as long as it could have, but it’s a welcome change in pace nonetheless.
What would have really made Winter Story soar is a more unique melody. What we have instead is essentially the quintessential cutesy girl group sound. We know it’s going to work, and it does so without ever lifting a finger. But there’s something more interesting lurking just below the surface. I can’t help but wonder what Winter Story could have been had this element been allowed to come more fully into play.