JYP Entertainment’s halfhearted management of Jimin Park the Recording Artist has resulted in her becoming better known as Jimin Park the After School Club Host. It’s understandable for the agency to shift focus to guaranteed money-makers like Twice and GOT7, but Jimin has a talent that really should be nurtured. She’s a dynamite r&b vocalist, capable of tackling genres not currently covered by other JYP artists.
April Fools (0401) leans heavily on this r&b side of her vocals, leaving plenty of space for her to play around with phrasing. Vocal riffs and ornamentation abound, bringing a spark of individuality to a relatively straightforward melody. What begins as a loose, almost conversational verse soon spikes into a powerful chorus. This contrast is the song’s strongest asset, even if the hooks themselves feel a bit repetitive. What thrills the first time through loses a bit of steam as the song goes on.
When it comes to production, the song’s instrumental creeps forward on crisp percussion and atmospheric synths, joined by an interesting — almost middle eastern — riff during the chorus. This hints at an even more compelling arrangement that remains just out of reach. But make no mistake, Jimin’s assured vocals are the star of the show, taking hold of the instrumental as her performance ratchets up. More than ever, April Fools gives me the sense of the artist Jimin is meant to become. This obvious star quality begs for the kind of blockbuster song that would really get people talking.