Song Review: Lucy – Play

Lucy - PlayIn 2020, Lucy emerged as one of K-pop’s most exciting and endearing bands. Last summer’s Gatcha! mini album felt like a crystallization of that potential – an all killer, no filler collection of songs that pushed their sound forward without losing the quirks unique to their musical perspective. Ever since then, I’ve become a bit worried. December’s Rolling Rolling was a sturdy piece of feel-good pop, but the album itself felt a little subdued. I’ve yet to dive into their new 15-track opus Childhood and I’m hoping for the best despite an uncharacteristically sleepy highlight medley.

New title track Play (놀이) isn’t hitting me like Lucy’s best work. Again, it feels like they’ve tempered their ambition in favor of easy-listening, sentimental fare. These descriptors don’t have to be negative. Play is one killer melody away from greatness. But as it stands, the song spins its wheels far more than I would like. Part of this is my own fault. Songs like Play are most resonant because of their lyrics, and as someone who doesn’t speak the language I can’t really benefit from that aspect unless I print out a translation and carry it around with me while listening!

Instead, I have to focus on the feeling imbued within the music itself. Play swells to a suitable climax. Vocalist Choi Sangyeop sounds as bold and commanding as ever. The chorus is alright, if a bit forgettable. But the inventive elements I’ve come to expect from Lucy are either buried in the mix or missing completely. There’s not nearly enough violin, for example. Their trademark “ambient sounds” pop up here and there, but even this is a minimal element. Overall, Play feels like a solid OST track – far from the highs of past masterworks like Flare, Snooze and Buddy.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.75

7 thoughts on “Song Review: Lucy – Play

  1. Pleasant and soothing to the listener’s ears. Solid adult contemporary fare, overall. So bad that Lucy’s trademark elements like violin are gone here!
    Rating is about right.


  2. I really liked this one but was surprised it lacked a solid violin piece! Would have been nice if they had a solo slot for that somewhere. Other than that, it was a pleasant listen.

    I really liked the MV though! Like…. I don’t know… I don’t understand the language either and I rarely looks at the lyrics, but some songs you can just feel the sentiment. And I felt it here.

    It was a really creative MV with the whole minimalistic props and the theme being played out! And special mention to that little kid who rocked in that MV! 😀


  3. I think I am going to explode. If any of you have been quietly stalking my comment activity for the past five years and think you may live within a few hundred miles of me, I would advise you to get out of Dodge while you still can.

    I’ll get my thoughts on this specific track out first. While I was first listening to it, I felt like I’d completely understand if it was someone’s least favorite Lucy offering (as it somewhat seems to be here), but I also would not understand at all. I won’t attempt to qualify it as better or worse than any other title tracks of theirs, as I’ve finally realized that’s not something that’s possible for me. I will say, though, that this one proves to me that Lucy have childhood whimsy and its resulting nostalgia down to a SCIENCE. That chorus makes me want to cry.

    When the highlight medley came out, I decided that half of Childhood’s songs landing with me would be a truly admirable feat. Lo and behold, not one of these didn’t(!) get decisively added to my coveted Likes list. At least three or four of these songs I was certain I’d be disappointed in. Any other band doing this genre would absolutely not work for me. I feel like I’m going insane. These guys should start a cult. Does anyone want to help me help them start a cult?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve yet to meet a Lucy song that I don’t like. I thought the mv did a great job of conveying the meaning of the song, no lyrics required. It was poignant, and now hearing the song makes my heart ache a bit and wish that I could recapture some of the playfulness of childhood.


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