Review

Song Review: April – LALALILALA

2020’s girl group slate has given us Dun Duns and Nun Nu Nan Nas, ASSAs and Dumhdurums. So, it only makes sense that this onomatopoeia train would wind up at its logical destination: a big, honking LALALILALA. This is the all-caps exclamation with which April have finally put a cap on their seemingly endless hiatus. Last time we heard from them, groups like ATEEZ, TXT, ITZY, Everglow and AB6IX hadn’t even debuted. In the rapidly-moving K-pop industry, nineteen months is a generational shift, requiring a throw-down-the-gauntlet return for a group to regain their standing.

LALALILALA isn’t perfect, but it’s got a lot of life and urgency in it. I’ve heard some compare the track to the classic Kara sound of days past, and I’d agree that the mammoth chorus harnesses some of that same appeal. Though the song hinges on its titular refrain, the repetitiveness of the hook is fleshed out nicely by a surging, synth-fueled instrumental that heightens the drama. However, Kara (or more specifically, Sweetune) would have kept this energy going during the verses. I’ll never understand dance tracks that slow down in between choruses. Just from a practical standpoint, how exactly are you supposed to move your body when a song like this comes on? There’s a way to maintain a sense of dynamics while keeping the tempo high throughout an entire track.

This is a minor gripe, but prevents LALALILALA from true excellence – at least in my opinion. Still, there’s plenty to love here. I appreciate the straightforward vocal performance, which never resorts to the kind of cheap chirpiness that often plagues songs of this nature. In many ways, LALALILALA mirrors Apink’s Dumdhurum from last week, but this track has more punch to it. I like the use of twinkling, icy synths during the pre-chorus and chorus. It’s a nice respite from the moodier samples we often hear, and gives LALALILALA a nostalgic wistfulness that blends well with the girls’ bright vocals. And then, there’s that sledgehammer hook. K-pop can always do with more take-no-prisoners choruses, and I’d love for this to become a calling card for April as their music continues to grow.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

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

17 thoughts on “Song Review: April – LALALILALA

  1. I didn’t like the song from the first listen. I tried listening to it second time and there wasn’t a change of heart.
    If I had to score it I would give it a score of 7 mainly bcoz of the longevity criteria.
    It was like I was waiting for something to happen to pick up or something but it just ended without satisfying my thirst.
    I do agree that vocals were nice but that lalalilala destroyed it.
    Much love.
    I had been reading your blog for so long but wasn’t able to comment because I was using android but now since I have purchased a laptop you are going to see me more frequently.
    Much love

    Like

  2. What I love the most about this song is the way it feels like a perfect middle point between something like Tinkerbell and Oh My Mistake.

    Maybe a more explosive final chorus (KARA style!) would have taken this to the classic category, but I think it’s my favourite k-pop song of 2020 so far.

    (No trap breakdowns! A double chorus! A really GREAT middle-8!)

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Well, 99 Luftballons is dance track that changes tempo between the verses and the musical interludes.

    This one doesn’t really “slow down” but changes in intensity. I agree, it would be better if the song didn’t swing so much in intensity but kept it up the whole time like a rave song, or like Kara “Step”. I would also like the song a lot better if the chorus were not ratcheted up to 11 with the verses down at 7. Mixing. My volume setting is either too soft or too loud in 45 sec increments.

    That said, its a good song and good performance.

    Like

    • Yep, I guess it’s more about intensity than tempo. I’ve gotten spoiled a bit lately from listening to so much J-pop. If there’s one thing that J-pop knows how to do well, it’s to be intense ALL! THE! WAY! THROUGH!

      Liked by 3 people

          • The past few weeks, I’ve really become addicted to Johnny’s groups like NEWS, Kat-Tun and Kis-my-ft2! I’ll list my 5 favourites from each of these groups below!

            NEWS
            1.World Quest (2012)
            2. EMMA (2017) – The song that started it all for me
            3. Blue (2018)
            4. Hadashi No Cinderella Boy (2006)
            5. Yonjuushi (2015)

            Kis-My-ft2
            1. Yes! I Scream (2016)
            2. Gravity (2016)
            3. Dream On (2017)
            4. FREEZE (2018)
            And a 3 way tie for number 5
            5. We Never Give Up, Break The Chains, Perfect World

            KAT-TUN (hardest one since I adore almost all their singles)
            1. Rescue (2009) – My favourite song ever next to INFINITE’s The Chaser
            2. Dead or Alive (2015)
            3. White (2012)
            4. Run For You (2012)
            And a 2 way tie for number 5
            5. Real Face, Ask Yourself

            Now for some other songs that are abit more accessible, in no particular order!

            Arashi
            – Natsu Hayate (夏疾風) (2018)
            – Mikan (2018)
            – A.RA.SHI (1999)
            – Daylight (2016)
            – Sakura (2015)

            AKB48
            – Sentimental Train (2018)

            Nogizaka46
            – kaerimichi wa toomawari shitaku (2018)
            – Synchronicity (2018)

            M!lk
            – Kasukani Kimidatta (2019)
            – Winding Road (2020)
            – ERA (2019)

            Nissy
            – HOCUS POCUS 2 ( The entire album, it might be my favourite ever)

            The Rampage for EXILE TRIBE
            – Swag & Pride (2019)
            – Fullmetal Trigger (2019)
            – Invisible love (2020)

            Miyavi
            – Holy Nights Album (2020)

            I’ve got a tonne more, but that should suffice!

            Like

            • Well, you’ve got incredible taste! Looking at this, I’m kind of convinced we’re the same person.

              Just to add on to a few of these with live videos:

              M!LK: I just watched this concert from earlier this year and was very impressed by how much energy and playfulness they were able to bring to the stage. I’d never seen them live before, and they definitely exceeded expectations. This concert was a transition for them, as two members graduated and they became a 5-piece again. So… lots of waterworks toward the end.
              Also, Over The Storm is one of their absolute classics.
              Unfortunately, the interlacing on this video is bad, leaving all sorts of irritating distortion. Eventually I just had to rip the thing and re-encode it.
              https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV12E411g7sb

              NISSY: Whenever I want to convince someone of just how good he is, I show them a segment from this concert. The whole thing’s an incredible feat of showmanship, but the ballad/midtempo suite from 19:08-38:28 is just something else. The staging, the performance, the vocals. It’s probably one of my all-time favorite concert segments, even if I usually prefer more upbeat performances.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Wow I’ve never seen Nissy perform live, so this was an incredibly experience! I also really like Over the storm, but I think it’s just a little to frantic for my tastes ahah.

                Also right after posting that, I realised that I had forgotten one of my all time favourite Jpop songs, Masaki Suda’s Sayonara Elegy! It’s an excellent guitar driven pop song with a great hook. As for 2020, I’ve been really in love with Leo Leiri’s Answer, which melds together elements of synth wave and modern pop into one amazing package. Actually, I think you’ll like it alot Nick!

                Like

  4. It’s great! I adore the chorus, but I wish the verse were abit more powerful/ impactful. Pretty much agree with ur rating and description to a tee. If they decide to keep going down this route, I see a bright future ahead for them.

    Like

  5. All tea, all shade, this is miles better than Apink’s latest offering. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Dumhdurum but LALALILALA has such a fantastic chorus and the hook is incredibly catchy. Like other people have said, I get a Pandora vibe from it, even more so when I watch the video! This is also my first time posting on this site, although I’ve been a reader for years haha

    Like

  6. This will definitely have longevity. I can see it ending up in my top 10 songs of the year list, even if it’s a little early to tell. It just amazes me with every listen. Great music video as well.

    Like

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