With less than a week to go until spring, it’s the time of year when Korea unleashes a torrent of light, acoustic pop in keeping with the season. It’s hard for me to write about songs in this k-pop sub-genre without bias coming in to play. It’s not that I can’t appreciate a laid-back, guitar-strumming time. But it’s not the sound I tend to gravitate toward when seeking out new music. I much prefer songs that grab me by the collar and yank me into their world.
Rather than a yank, Spring Again (왜 또 봄이야) is a gentle pat on the head. The song pairs vocalists Cao Lu (from Fiestar) and Yerin (from GFriend) with solo rapper Kisum. It’s a mix of three excellent performers, all of which have made a strong mark on k-pop in their own way. Given this incredible potential, it’s a shame that Spring Again ends up being so bland. Its melody is so unassuming and light that it practically floats away as you listen to it — perfect for coffee-shops and quiet walks by the river, but not particularly engaging on its own. Ditto for the acoustic production, which does a nice job creating a spring-like atmosphere at the expense of going anywhere interesting.
As much as I love both Cao Lu and Yerin, their tones feel remarkably similar on this track. They almost cancel each other out, seemingly interchangeable in what they can bring to the song. And these are strong personalities we’re talking about, here. I wish both had been given a better chance to spotlight what makes them unique. Kisum stands out by virtue of being the only rapper in the trio, but her verses don’t really gibe with the airy refrains surrounding them. In the end, all the ingredients were there for a satisfying meal, but Spring Again ends up as more of a charming little trifle instead.