E’Last’s Dark Dream has become quite a sleeper hit for me. I’ve always wanted to love the group’s music as much as I appreciate their concept, and Dream is as close as I’ve come since their 2020 debut. Back when the single album was released, I nearly wrote a “buried treasure” review for To.Lie. Luckily, I don’t have to regret any decisions because the song now has a music video with further promotions on the way.
This track is a hard swerve from E’Last’s usual symphonic style. To.Lie is an upbeat bubblegum boy group bop, very reminiscent of early-2010’s K-pop. You know an old grump like me is going to love anything that hearkens back to past trends, but that doesn’t give To.Lie a free pass. It’s not an outstanding or unique piece of music, but I’m definitely digging the nostalgia.
I’m not sure if it was intentional, but the song’s techniques recall some of that era’s most omnipresent producers. The chorus echoes Brave Brothers’ work for Teen Top, while that post-chorus swirl is pure Sweetune. Together, these influences create a fizzy headrush of light dance pop. The song is so fluffy and ephemeral that it tends to fade from memory shortly after its ended, but for three and a half minutes it’s hard not to have a good time. With that said, I can certainly see why the agency opted for Dark Dream as the title track. This feels very much like a fun fan song, not to be taken too seriously. If anything, it showcases E’Last’s versatility – a skill that’s become even more important in today’s K-pop marketplace.