Review

Song Review: E’Last U – The Beginning of Spring

E'Last U - Beginning of SpringIt’s always an odd choice to debut a sub-unit before the main group has yet to establish themselves. E’Last debuted last year, and quickly developed a dramatic sound that hearkened back to previous K-pop generations. They could do with another group comeback. Instead, four of its members have formed E’Last U and dropped The Beginning of Spring (right in the… middle of spring).

Sub-units can be a lot of fun, especially when they forge their own path and opt for a drastically different sound. The Beginning of Spring (봄의 시작) is different than E’Last’s singles, but not in a good way. The song gets major side-eye from me right from the start, as the instrumental hinges on two of my least favorite K-pop elements. First, we’ve got that plonky, xylophone-esque synth, which tends to land with a resounding thud every time it’s present in a track. Then, we have those lurching future bass synths, which melt like runny watercolors, draining all life from the production.

The Beginning of Spring would be salvageable with a great melody, but the song goes nowhere. The verses are pretty, and occasionally remind me of Infinite’s more experimental, symphonic work (Feel So Bad, anyone?). But, there’s barely a chorus to be found. Instead, the producers retreat to additional instrumental noodling, placing a lackluster refrain over a bed of distorted synths. Some of these textures are compelling on their own, but without a strong song draped over the top, Spring never gets off the ground. It’s like a car struggling to start, and the engine just won’t turn over.

 Hooks 7
 Production 6
 Longevity 7
 Bias 6
 RATING 6.5

42 thoughts on “Song Review: E’Last U – The Beginning of Spring

  1. Whoever thought that lurching instrumental would be musical needs to reconsider. There might be a good song buried under all that, but to get to it one would have to scrap the instrumental and re-record the vocals, and a few other things.

    I mean, the song is in 6/8’s time, I should like immediately. … I do not.

    The boys do well enough to hit the staccato marks set by the producer, and keep up that pace for almost 4 minutes. Meanwhile, onto, oh look, Ko WooRim bias wrecker autoplays some chestnut again, yippee, yessiree.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Opinion: Producers should try a little more of non 4/4’s time. But whenever they do that, they go straight to 6/8 or 3/4. I’d like to see more wacky tempos. Schoenberg did a few, but he was classical. I remember an old Bollywood song (which’s name I forgot) was in 5/4, and so was Mission Impossible’s theme. Maybe some more of that?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I second, third, fifth, and seventh this.

        My favorite 7/8 song of all time Vienna Teng “Level Up”
        ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4n_8R5lKnw
        She does a lot of mixed meters and skipped beats in other songs.

        Like

      • This! While I don’t often explore a lot musically, when I come across songs with odd time signatures, I just instantly gravitate just because I love how unusual it is.

        Most often though, these songs are instrumental, since it’s probably harder to write lyrics that don’t adhere to 4/4.

        Like

  2. Semi-related, and since it will be a slow day. I started the list and correctly guessed that “lurching” and “that xylophone synth” would show up in this review.

    List of things that trigger Nick:
    Infinite “The Chaser” = all good
    Janet Jackson = all good
    New Jack Swing = good
    Propulsive = good
    Savage Garden = good
    Teddy then = good
    YYJ then = good
    High be be da loca = inspired
    High-pitched helium Aegyo = depends
    YYJ now = depends
    Future Bass = depends
    SuJu making interesting song choices = meh
    City Pop / 80’s revival = meh
    Teasers that have nothing to do with the song = meh
    OST’s, ballads, coffee house and spring songs = meh
    Drop choruses = ugh
    Cheerleader chants = ugh
    That bamboo / xylo synth fingers dropping on keys sound = ugh
    “Moon” as top ten song of All Time = ugh
    Teddy now = bad
    Unnecessary trap = bad
    Lurching = bad
    Myma going on again about Vince Clarke, Depeche Mode, SuJu, and Forestella = depends

    Add yours.

    (I am also making a short list of favorite adjectives.)

    Liked by 4 people

    • City Pop / 80’s revival = meh –> Did I wrongly perceive this then? I thought the whole city pop and 80s synth trend was pretty well received here?

      Loving this list though. It’s funny how we can see patterns forming over the years (“propulsive” was always a great one – though I haven’t seen that word used as much in the reviews now).

      Like

      • Nick’s biases, as perceived by we regulars. Not our own biases, although as the author of the list I may interject one or two of my own (ahem).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you all for your comments. I shall close today’s session with the current list of “Nick’s Bias Triggers” Until next time, as always, its been a pleasure.

      Infinite “The Chaser” = all good
      Janet Jackson = all good
      Sweetune then = all good
      New Jack Swing = all good
      Rhythmic funky titles= all good
      Nimble synths=good
      Propulsive = good
      Savage Garden = good
      Teddy then = good
      YYJ then = good
      80’s revival = good
      More cowbell = good
      Sung chorus with a nice melody = good
      SHINee back catalog = good
      Bright boys theme done well = inspired
      High be be da loca = inspired
      Orange Caramel = inspired
      Trance = usually inspired
      IGAB = inspired
      Songs that try to be like IGAB = depends
      High-pitched helium = depends
      Sweetune now = depends
      YYJ now = depends
      Future Bass = depends
      SuJu making “interesting” song choices = depends
      CF’s = meh
      City Pop = meh
      Dark theme = meh
      Teasers that have nothing to do with the song = meh
      OST’s, ballads, coffee house and spring songs = meh
      Second verse rap = *sigh*
      Rap triplets = *sigh*
      Shouting not singing = *sigh*
      Bratty girls theme = *sigh*, and dropping
      Drop choruses = ugh
      Cheerleader chants = ugh
      Half-time breakdown = ugh
      Fake deep voices = ugh
      That bamboo / xylo synth fingers dropping on keys sound = ugh
      “Moon” as top ten song of All Time = ugh
      Moody or languid = Nope
      Aegyo = Nope
      Boys styled in pastel colors and sailor suits = oh good lord no
      Obvious, metallic autotune = usually bad
      Teddy now = bad
      Unnecessary trap = bad
      Lurching = bad
      Myma going on again about Vince Clarke, Depeche Mode, SuJu, and Forestella = depends

      Liked by 3 people

      • Aegyo bad? But I remember seeing your comments about enjoying FUN! by fromis_9 and JUICY by Rocket Punch? Those songs fall under aegyo don’t you think? (Also I swear I’m not a stalker. It’s just your comments are always the most memorable)

        Also yes, dark theme is meh unless it’s done right, which is kind of a rarity nowadays

        Like

        • Per my comment above: Nick’s biases, as perceived by we regulars. Not our own biases, although as the author or, more properly, the compiler of the list I interjected one or two of my own (ahem, what this list needs is more cowbell).

          Liked by 1 person

      • You are all wonderful, and have inspired a new page: FAQ & Best of The Bias List

        FAQ & Best of The Bias List

        Please let me know if you have any questions you’d like answered or “golden comments” you’d like to nominate for inclusion on this very special page. Myma, your breakdown has the honor of being first up!

        Liked by 1 person

        • This One JHYB comment:
          “All jokes aside, the question “how would The Chaser sound if it were written in 2019?” gives me severe anxiety. Like – imagine a world in which The Chaser has a trap breakdown instead of the iconic rap break we have today. And not just The Chaser – like, bear with me: imagine Back, but all of the downtempo sections are actually future R&B. Picture in your mind’s eye – if you will – Monster by Big Bang, but instead of the bridge it’s hard Autotuned GD shouting skrrrt skrrrrrrt over a trap beat. Suffice it to say that shivers go down my spine. A certain ennui begins to disperse itself across the plane of our collective existence. My grip on reality loosens as I shift deeper into melancholia and pain…. what undiluted existential horror!”
          https://thebiaslist.com/2019/10/06/eight-lessons-that-2019-era-k-pop-could-learn-from-infinites-the-chaser/

          Best.Comment.Ever.

          Liked by 1 person

            • While it’s not a comment, your Still Nirvana review is still hilarious to this day. You’ve rated others songs lower than that song, but I think this is the only song that has broken you.

              Like

            • Nick, for golden comments, I think there is one more that needs to be added. And that is Sargun (Metric System)’s a legendary spoof of the trolls you got in 2020.

              “Wow, really wow, what kind of review is this?!?! As a longitme reader of your blog I’m deeply disappointed. I’ve been reading your reviews since 2026 and I’m just so frustrated that you can’t see that Dashing Kanadian Boxers only put out bops. Like this song is so good, and did you know they came from a small agency? Their career has been so hard and everyone is giving them online hate. I’m sorry Nick but this is honestly soty material. Even before I even listened to the song I even knew it was even soty material. You know what else is soty material, all of Blackpinks and Twices songs, their songs still weeks way but I know my queens will revolutionize the music industry. Your faves could never. DKB are revolutionary and did you hear about their deep lyrics. They talk about really sad moments in everyones life and it gets so deep. The part that made me cry was when they talked about when you feel like you’re going to sneeze but nothing happens. Ugh they are just so revolutionary DKB world domination! EVEN EVEN EVEN EVEN EVEN EVEN EVEN EVEN EVEN EVEN EVEN EVEN EVEN EVEN STREAM GUYS WE HAVE TO GET TO 10K BEFORE BTS EVEN IF YOU DONT LIKE THE SONG PLEASE STREAM IF U TRU FAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

              https://thebiaslist.com/2020/05/25/song-review-dkb-still/

              Also, love the new page!

              Liked by 1 person

        • Aw shucks, thank you all.
          With minor tweaks since the last posting, here is the latest

          Kpop Lyrics in English ranking, in descending order, best to worst:
          Intelligible English good lyrics that rhyme
          Intelligible English good lyrics
          Unintelligible English of any quality lyrics
          Double entendres
          Mispronounced but decent lyrics
          A single lyric line that is so craptastic it is great
          Cringey but campy lyrics
          Cringey cringetastic lyrics
          Single entendres
          Oh so bland lyrics
          Really, what does that mean lyrics
          But, um, I don’t think you know what that means lyrics
          A single word said over over like that will make it mean something lyric
          Well-pronounced lousy lyrics

          Also note that:
          Any song that starts with a “yeah” or inarticulate grunt = technical foul, automatic one point deduction

          Like

        • A few more suggestions, because I currently am just going on and on about this feature.

          This exchange between Nick and a troll.

          Leejon: you’re definitely a girl with the most basic taste out there and you’re biased too so you should consider stop reviewing songs for real

          Nick: Ugh, you got me. I guess I’ll pack it up and stop reviewing. In fact, maybe I’ll stop listening to music altogether. Do you want the password so you can take over the site?

          Nuff said.

          Liked by 2 people

        • There’s this last line of this comment by magrittes (?) in next level,

          Yeahh….so SM got me unreasonably excited for this one after the 10 minute teaser film that actually made the initially freakish AI concept come off as really cool and interesting. I don’t care for this song; it’s just boring to me. The funny thing is that if you put it on 1.25 speed it sounds a lot better to me, like it was meant to be sung and rapped at this speed rather than the grinding pace of the original. Perhaps it’s just my internet induced gen z short attention span. Also kind of bummed about how the entire song is filled with these SMCU tie in words–naevis, kwangya, cosmo, going to this place or that–even as someone interested in the ‘lore’ I wonder why they couldn’t just release a normal song with normal, more universal sounding lyrics and just keep the fancy SMCU elements to the music video and teaser films. (Although the one mention of popping in the lyrics and the implication that jopping apparently has an in universe significance and wasn’t just some SM songwriter’s 3am fever dream is a little brain breaking for me.)

          3am fever dream? Yes, exactly how I feel when I realize what the lyrics of superm songs are.

          Like

  3. I’m a sucker for Future Bass, so when I read the review I thought I might like the song. I don’t like all of the genre, some of it can be too generic, but I do love the sounds of synths just kind of entering in and out.

    That said, this song’s not there. The synths aren’t clear enough for me to really feel it, and the chorus melody sucks. It’s like they took a generic ballad and added noisy synths behind it to hide the fact it was.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I feel like there’s a better song hidden underneath. The song is in a different time signature and that is assuring by itself. Even though this is a style done a million times, this song feels fresh and symphonic.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I might like this more than the consensus here…it’s kinda like a flat future r&b “My Favorite Things” melodically and harmonically. I like the vocal performance!

    There are interesting elements to this instrumental but it is not a great instrumental…unfortunately feels a bit low budg, flat, undynamic and -yes – lurching.

    Like

  6. The music made me feel on edge and my brain feel itchy. It seemed to work against the very pretty vocals. I don’t know what they were aiming for but it left me uneasy.

    Like

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