Most of the time, a k-pop group’s title track is the best song on their album. But, sometimes b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.
April’s new mini album has a very strong Cosmic Girls feel, and that’s okay with me. This is one of my preferred girl group sounds of the moment, spearheaded by producers like e.one. And though title track LALALILALA remains the album’s undisputed peak, the e.one-composed Doll (인형) is its lively little sister.
For better or worse, this track is full-on Cosmic Girls, from the vocal phrasing to the airy, symphonic instrumental. Because of this, it’s hard to point to it as some kind of artistic breakthrough, but it’s a very good match for April’s charms. After all, they’ve been playing in the e.one sandbox even before Cosmic Girls made their debut. Doll feels like a more matured sequel to 2016’s Tinkerbell, driven by fluffy pop hooks but given a more sophisticated vibe.
The song is also a great partner to the album’s other e.one-produced track, YOU.zip. YOU is slightly more uneven, though its chorus is a total highlight. In contrast, Doll maintains an addictive energy across both its verses and chorus. A generous dose of strings runs throughout the entire track, giving it a consistently ornate appeal. But, the track never feels bogged down by unnecessary musical clutter. It remains light as a feather, buoyed by a melody that forgoes hard-hitting hookiness for a more lilting series of refrains that flutter into your ear like a cool spring breeze.
Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!