As I wrote about in detail a couple months ago, season two of Produce 101 has spawned a seemingly endless supply of groups, duos and soloists. At this point, its alumni may be even harder to keep track of than the various units of SM’s NCT! And like NCT, we’ve now come to the point where individual acts are being mixed and matched in the form of project groups. YDPP consists of Youngmin and Donghyun from MXM, soloist Jeong Sewoon and the yet-to-debut Lee Gwanghyun.
Project single Love It Live It feels as if it was constructed with my exact musical taste in mind, borrowing heavily from 80’s synth-pop to create a lighthearted, nostalgic confection. The song was composed by Oreo (a production team that includes Iggy of the famed Iggy/Youngbae duo), who mine a similar retro vibe to the one that drove their excellent Tonight for UP10TION. It’s a perfect match for this effervescent quartet of performers, whose unabashedly cheesy acronym stands for “Youth, Dream, Passion and Purity.” It doesn’t get any more squeaky clean than that.
Love It’s killing moment comes right at the beginning, as the track opens with a wonderfully authentic 80’s synth riff. Shades of Snuper’s Platonic Love are everywhere, though the melody isn’t as strong this time around. Rather than go for the pop jugular, the breezy chorus feels more subdued than expected. This results in a song without any real peaks until its very last seconds, where the instrumental revs up to a climax before fading out. Yet, this is a case of aesthetic and vibe carrying a song’s weaker moments. It’s also a chance for me to play my bias card, because I absolutely live for inane little pop trifles like this.