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.
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