The dissolution of B1A4 didn’t seem to send shockwaves through the K-pop industry last year, but it was a personal blow. At their peak, B1A4 were one of my top three bias groups, and offered a specific pop sound that no current act is tackling. Though they may still exist as a trio, the B1A4 style will never be the same. Without their primary composer and leader, Jinyoung, their future feels uncertain. Arriving shortly after member CNU’s military enlistment, this new solo track by main vocal Sandeul is the first B1A4-related comeback since early last year. But as much as I love the guy (and his incredible voice), One Fine Day (날씨좋은날) is a horribly boring ballad.
Clocking in at five and a half minutes, Day is exceedingly long for a K-pop title track. Most promoted material veers closer to the three minute mark, rarely exceeding four. To Day’s credit, the song doesn’t feel as long as it is. It has a strong enough sense of movement to keep it relatively engaging. But, there just aren’t many new tricks you can bring to a ballad of this style.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard stronger ballads from acts like ONEWE and Kim Jaehwan. Sandeul has a stirring voice, capable of elevating anything it touches. But, One Fine Day is nostalgic to a fault. It colors exactly in the lines, incapable of surprise. As the strings swell and wholesome background vocals buoy the song’s second half, Day feels better suited to a 1950’s variety show than our current K-pop climate. You can almost picture the backing singers emerging behind Sandeul, draped in modest evening gowns as the camera pans to an audience of half-asleep senior citizens. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but Day’s overwrought melody isn’t strong enough to hearken back to the classics of its desired era.