Random Shuffle Review: Lovelyz – Candy Jelly Love

With over 2,600 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the “Random Shuffle Review” feature.

The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!

Year Released: 2014

Back in 2014, Woollim Entertainment was Infinite, and Infinite only. Yes, the agency was home to alt-rock band Nell and under-the-radar acts like Tasty and Joo, but when it came to idols the general public really only knew Woollim for the success they’d had with Infinite over the past four years. It was a big step, then, for the agency to debut a new group. Lovelyz’ roll out wasn’t without its (ridiculous) controversy, but Woollim nailed things musically with the bubbly, synth-kissed Candy Jelly Love.

As addictive as its title, Candy gave Lovelyz a signature sound right off the bat. It’s sweet to the point of saccharine, but held aloft by the wispy talents of the girls themselves. Produced by OnePiece — who would go on to craft much of the group’s discography — the song bounds out of the gate with an enchanting electronic arpeggio, providing a slow-burn backdrop for a verse that grows methodically toward a rousing chorus. I love how the melody here feels almost dream-like in its listlessness.

Looking back, Candy Jelly Love’s sprightly hook acts as a template for their brilliant Ah-Choo, which would come a year later. Things are a bit more restrained here, but that works to the song’s advantage. There’s an undeniable cuteness to the whole affair, which is usually not my thing. But, this isn’t the hyper-caffeinated, high-pitched aegyo that K-pop often relies on now. Candy Jelly Love is more ethereal in its own, off-kilter way.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 10
 Bias 9
 RATING 9.25

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!



8 thoughts on “Random Shuffle Review: Lovelyz – Candy Jelly Love

  1. OnePiece are so good at arranging music; it kills me. I get sad that they don’t really write as a group for Lovelyz anymore, despite making some of the best girl group songs of the past few years!

    While I maintain that “Ah-Choo” remains the decisive masterpiece, “Candy Jelly Love” is great as well. You don’t get this kind of saccharine ennui(?) anymore. With CJL in particular, I’ve always admired the contrast between the bubbly texture and the actual harmonic/melodic content, which is much more melancholic than it lets on. Later Lovelyz/OnePiece songs kind of just go full surrealism in their aesthetic, but “Candy Jelly Love” walks that line more finely, to great success.

    P.S. I was digging around MelOn for more of OnePiece’s songwriting credits, and apparently they released an album as a group? The title track is called “Alone” and you should check it out; quite similar to SpaceCowboy’s solo EDM music, in a good way. There’s also some older stuff composed by Yoon Sang/1Piece that are Lovelyz-adjacent in style, like IU’s “Sleeping Prince of the Woods” from her Last Fantasy 2 album, and a song called “No!Mantic” from a group called Coolyote, which is actually really good? Dropping these here for posterity, I guess!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love SpaceCowboy’s solo releases; especially “It’s Over” and “Falling”, but wasn’t aware he was part of OnePiece until (after reading your comment) I went digging around the net for more info on him and discovered he’s in the production team with Yoon Sang, Davink, and wan9u. So.. ..thanks. 😀


  2. This was one of those debut songs that after one listen, I forgot about. I remember thinking, “It’s Lovely-ZZZzzz…”. It’s not that it’s a bad song, it just wasn’t what I was looking for at that moment.

    Then “Ah-Choo” dropped a year later and I was roped in. I then went back and gave “Candy Jelly Love” the respect it deserved by listening to it more diligently. In truth, the song is awesome so it was my loss for not going into the first listen with a more open-minded approach.

    I have a hesitancy with adopting new groups as I feel like I’m already juggling eleventy billion of them and who knows if a particular debut is going to be just another one(or two)-hit wonder (I’m looking at YOU.. ..Skarf, N*White, Two-X, Bob Girls, The Ark, Wings, et al!). I don’t like getting invested then disheartened when the group washes ashore belly up.

    Still, I’ve since tried to be more accepting of debuts, but I can still miss the mark on occasion.


  3. Quirkly kpop girl group songs have mastered the strange art of having the verses and the chorus be entirely separate keys – a la Apink’s Mr. Chu and Red Velvet’s Ice Cream Cake. Usually a key change modulating up a step, like the one in CJL would be something used for dramatic effect in the final chorus, but here it’s light and ephemeral and understated, and it works like a charm.

    Side note: This song always has the effect of making me crave candy. Something about it just tastes like gummy bears to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I know we have a lot of Lovelyz stans on this site. This one is not for me.

    The instrumental track is a nice synth pop, very bubbly. The instrumental is the best part of the song. But about half the vocals I simply can not stand. In the second verse, the girls sound like they are twelve years old in junior high talent show. The worst is the lead into the chorus, the baby voice “Candy Jelly Love”. The even more worst than that is the two lines in the beginning of the bridge “You the best ever come in my life” in a super baby voice, like they recorded a four year old.

    Frankly, I would rather listen to Kidz Bop which fortunately my kids have outgrown.


  5. It may not be their absolute best or most popular, but this is my all-time favorite Lovelyz title track. Everything about it just ticks all of the right boxes for me—the melancholy ’80s synthpop goodness, their sweet and bright vocals, the somewhat surreal music video, and even the lyrics! They’re very poetic and have lots of pretty metaphors, and I just love that.

    Lovelyz didn’t mess around with the one-two punch that was this and Good Night Like Yesterday, honestly. Girls’ Invasion in its entirety is superb, and Goodbye Chapter 1 and Getaway are just so, so good. I was anticipating Infinite’s little sisters for so long, and my expectations were absolutely met with this album!


  6. Pingback: Buried Treasure: Lovelyz – Dream In A Dream | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  7. Pingback: Every LOVELYZ Single Ranked: From Worst to Best | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

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