Though I try to remain relatively objective when writing about music on this site, if I were to pick one specific sub-genre of k-pop as my least favorite, it would be the mid-tempo, acoustic coffeehouse sound that seems so pervasive this time of year in Korea. The fact that the solo career of Apink‘s Eunji seems entirely devoted to this style makes it hard to judge just how successful a song like The Spring (너란 봄) is. If Eunji didn’t exude so much warmth as person, I might not write about the song at all. I have an incredible soft spot for her, even if her solo career doesn’t really interest me.
Last year’s Hopefully Sky was an enormous commercial success, and The Spring attempts to replicate its sound by collaborating with singer-songwriter Hareem once more. Listeners who enjoyed Sky will likely react to Spring just the same. The two are nearly interchangeable. The Spring maintains the dulcet, soothing melody of its predecessor, coming across as the aural equivalent of comfort food. There’s little chance that the song’s amiable chorus will turn anyone off. Whether it will actually engage is another question, and will likely depend on listeners’ predispositions towards this genre.
Spring‘s true standout is actually the accordion that backdrops most of the track. This isn’t an instrument used very often in k-pop, and it gives the song a unique tone that helps to distinguish it from the rest of Eunji’s solo work. Even so, the overall energy level is a bit dreary, better matched to the rainy days of April than the burgeoning sunshine many of us are looking forward to.