Some fans may know Adora as an in-house writer for Big Hit/HYBE, but she made her solo debut late last year. I haven’t always featured her music on The Bias List, mostly because she skirts that thin line between idol act and artist and this blog is mainly dedicated to the former. But, she’s developed a passionate fanbase and the theatricality of new single Magical Symphony feels like her boldest release yet.
I’m a sucker for anything that nods toward whimsical fantasy. After all, what is pop music if not a gateway to a magical, intangible world? IU reaped plenty of classics from this approach, and Adora seems to reference those dramatic arrangements. Magical Symphony is no Good Day or You & I. It’s too overstuffed and scattershot for that. But while the track doesn’t always take flight, its verve and ambition are quite charming.
Rather than rely on swoops of strings, this symphony tethers Adora’s performance to a drum line. We’ve got commanding percussion, plenty of brass and a hearty blend of instrumental flourishes that give the track a larger-than-life appeal. Magical Symphony collapses here and there (that second verse is a huge missed opportunity), but when it swells to its full potential it really sings. I’m especially fond of the melody in the pre-chorus, which repeats later as a satisfying bridge. The chorus is less impactful but endears itself after a few listens. Overall, I hope this is the start of a trajectory that sees Adora pushing herself to go even bigger and bolder.
I have mixed thoughts on this. I adore big theatrical-style songs. I like some girl group kpop. This one sounds like a basic bright theme girl group song with instrumental bells and whistles and horns added around it to make it sound theatrical when it isn’t actually theatrical in nature or structure. In the end, it winds up sounding like it accomplishes neither well but just fine for the stans.
It should be a 7 for me. The quiet little key changes add a point. But the fake horns minus half a point. BBBD! So mid-7 for me.
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I really like it. Just wish those awesome background/harmony vox were cranked up more in some spots.
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The song left me a little confused but it’s definitely endearing, and I’m sure it will grow on me more than any other song I’ve claimed from the start that I liked it. I felt like it wanted to be Gain’s Carnival at times, though Adora’s sugary performance is more reminiscent of IU. I especially liked how bold the song is, its space on this blog is well deserved.