LOVELYZ – 'ONCE UPON A TIME'
1. Once Upon a Time
2. Beautiful Days
3. Close To You
4. Sweet Luv
5. Secret Story
6. LOVE GAME
Lovelyz has just come back, and just in time for summer. The new release is called 'Once Upon a Time,' and it's their 6th mini-album. This one has 6 new tracks, including the title track, "Beautiful Days."
"Once Upon a Time" is the intro track, short and sweet. It starts out soft, presaging the dominant sound on the EP. But in the end, the tempo shifts way up, mirroring the chorus. It sounds, as it should, most like the title track. "Beautiful Days" is a bright and happy tune. It's probably one of the best ways to start an EP like this. It's got pounding beats and has a simply beautiful chorus. The pretty "Close To You" starts out quietly, but it quickly gains steam. The chorus on this song is even better than "Beautiful Days," the vocals are clearer and more distinct. This is the real club-banger on here. And I love it all the more for it. It sounds like some of the better Shinsadong Tiger tunes (though he didn't write this one).
"Sweet Luv" is their stab at R&B, and they manage to strike a balance between their natural sweetness and the sultriness inherent in R&B. And it's a fusion that works quite well. I don't think I've heard a Lovelyz song like this before. I like it. As you might guess from the title, "Secret Story" is a saccharine ballad. I've always really liked the ballads this band cranks out, and this song is no exception. It's light, airy, and tender, and hits all the sweet spots. "LOVE GAME" is the final track on here, starting with 8-bit video game sounds. You know it's going to be playful just from that intro alone. It develops into a nice banger, with a pounding beat, and a cute chorus set against very soft whispery lyrics during the main verses.
Now that they've matured, their voices have done the same, and they've become purveyors of pacifying pop. Every song on here is a bop, and that's a good thing. There's nearly no filler here, and every song seems to have earned its place on this EP. The album is very soothing in spots and quite adorable in others. I can wholeheartedly recommend this to any Lovelinus.
Lovelyz enjoys "Beautiful Days" in their newest MV.
Or at least a beautiful day, but who's keeping track?
Now here's a video with very little effects to speak of. If there are any, you don't really see them. The MV itself relies on well-done shots, soft light, and just shots of the girls enjoying themselves. Watering plants, checking out the shots on a roll of film, drinking tea, or just taking in the last rays of light as the sun sets.
And of course, there are shots of them dancing, and a few more of those than you might expect. A lot of MVs nowadays rely on gimmicks to carry their stories to a conclusion, and maybe a narrative is snuck in there somewhere. This relies on the girls and their natural charisma, enhanced by a cinematographer's knowledge of what makes them look good in the first place.
And they do look good as they throw arms out, gesture, lean and fall with the choreography. One of the things I like about this is how they use the girls, some of them on bended knee to reveal the girls behind them, moving in sync (if not always in unison). The dancing is purposeful, and it creates an effect, not unlike the passing of the seasons.
Of course, as the video progresses, you notice the girls are alone a lot, and it starts to wear on them. And so when they attend a party together or engage in a pillow fight with feathers fluttering down around them, it feels good to see the grins on their faces. So if you're wondering whether I like this, the answer is yes, yes I do.
MV SCORE: 8.6
ALBUM SCORE: 8.3