[Mini-Album] April – Prelude

Prelude is the third mini-album released by April. April Story was used as the promotional song.

prelude

Released: January 2, 2017
1. April Story (봄의 나라 이야기)
2. As It Is Now (지금 모습 이대로)
3. Stop Time (시간아 멈춰라)
4. WOW
5. Fine Thank You
6. Dream Candy (Special ver.) (꿈사탕)
7. Muah! (Special ver.)
8. Snowman (Special ver.)
9. April Story (instrumental)

The mini opens with the promo track, April Story and this is one of their best songs. It’s far more dramatic and mature than the more innocent songs they had done before and this change pays off. The song has a great beat, a wicked guitar and a beautiful touch of strings and synths. The melody doesn’t quite rely on repetition, but it still has a way of inching its way into your head. It’s quite beautiful and works wonderfully with the music.

As It Is Now is definitely more on the synthpop side of things and I love it. It’s something more upbeat and faster, but it doesn’t lose any quality. The beat is powerful and the girls singing in unison really works well here before it pushes the melody forward. It has an intensity to it that hasn’t really been heard from the group before. I do wish the melody was a bit catchier though.

Stop Time is another solid tune although this time we get something brighter and cuter. The strings and the bouncy beat really give it a more positive feeling and the girls change their vocals a bit to suit the song. It’s really catchy and I quite like the energy that the song brings. I do wish it pushed a little harder at times, but it’s still a good track.

Continuing the bright pop sound, WOW comes rolling in. It isn’t as energetic as the last song, but I do think the chorus is much stronger. The melody is fun and it is quite catchy. The music has some pop/rock elements and a bit of funk that help it to stand out a little more from the last song.

The last of the new songs is a ballad. Fine Thank You is definitely more on the gentle side of things, but it’s unfortunately the album’s weakest song. The music is mostly consisting of sparkling synths with very little solid foundation while the melody isn’t really that interesting either. It’s quite boring, which is unfortunate considering the rest of the mini is quite strong.

The last three songs are basically special versions of their promo tracks. There really isn’t much difference from the originals besides the updated line-up singing and a few instruments being changed around. Dream Candy is still amazing, Muah! is still catchy and Snowman is still cute.


Overall: This is a great mini album. The majority of the newer tracks are upbeat and catchy and there is some variety to help keep things from getting boring. The promo track is especially great and one of the group’s best songs. I did like the idea of having the updated versions of their older songs on here as well.

A

Advertisements

[Mini-Album] April – Spring

Spring is the second mini-album released by April. Tinkerbell was used as the promotional song.

spring
Released: April 27, 2016
1. Wake Up
2. Tinkerbell (팅커벨)
3. M.F.B.F (내 미래의 남자친구에게)
4. Open Your Eyes (눈을 뜨면)
5. Jelly
6. Tinkerbell (Instrumental)

Wake Up opens the album on a blissful pop note and reminds me of the material from the group’s first mini, specifically Dreaming Candy. It’s a pretty great song and I felt like it has potential to be the promotional song. The verses start pretty bare but gain more instruments and power as things go on. The chorus isn’t explosive, but the melody is catchy and has a nice combination of being melodic while including repetitive hooks. It’s a solid starter.

Tinkerbell was used as the promo song and it isn’t difficult to see why considering it has way more energy than the last song. I love the excitement of the music and the pre-chorus really helps to build this feeling up for the chorus. The chorus isn’t as a melodic as the last song, but it is certainly catchy. I also love the use of strings to emphasize the melody. Another strong tune.

M.F.B.F, which is an acronym for My Future Boyfriend, is a little slower, but keeps up that brighter pop sound. This song isn’t as memorable for me just because the melody isn’t as catchy nor is the music as interesting. It reminds me a bit of something KARA would do (there are parts of the melody that remind me of the group’s Pretty Girl song). Not horrible, but just an average song.

I was expecting Open Your Eyes to be a ballad, but instead we are given another upbeat tune. This time, the song has a really heavy beat that stays throughout its entirety, but I don’t think it really fits in this instance. Also, the transition into the chorus is a bit jarring and doesn’t really lend itself in helping the song. The chorus itself isn’t particularly memorable either, but I do quite like the gentler section that follows it.

Jelly is a bit of a change because it doesn’t follow that innocent pop sound, but instead does something a bit similar to f(x) or Red Velvet with its crazier music. It’s a great example of showing that the group can branch outside of their usual material and deliver. This song is so catchy and one of the group’s more memorable tunes. The chorus is a bit repetitive, but there are some stellar moments. Great!


Overall: This was a pretty good mini and a stronger offering than their first one. There were three really strong songs. They aren’t songs I have totally fell in love with, but they are definitely ones I would repeat over. I do like that the mini has a pretty consistent sound until Jelly, although I do wish there was a ballad to balance things a bit as Open Your Eyes felt a bit unneeded in the sense that it followed a similar formula to other songs and wasn’t as strong.

A

[Single] April – Snowman

Snowman is the second single released by April. It is a special single that was released for the holiday season.

snowman
Released: December 21, 2015
1. Snowman
2. Snowman (Instrumental)

Snowman is what you would expect from a Christmas-themed single. However, I do feel like it is a bit stronger than your average holiday tune. It follows the bubblegum pop route of Muah, although it does slow things down just a tad. The music is nicely mixed with the twinkling synths and rapid beat. Although I like it, I do find the chorus to be the weakest part of the song because it’s a bit generic in its sound. The pre-chorus is actually the best part and I love the build-up with its more dramatic sound. I wish the chorus played this up a bit more.


Overall: This isn’t a bad song by any means. It’s your generic Christmas song, but it is a solid delivery and there are some pretty interesting parts to it. The girls do this bright pop sound really well.

B

[Single] April – BOING BOING

BOING BOING was the first single by April. It was their first release since Somin left the group. Muah! was used as the promo song.

muah
Released: November 25, 2015
1. Glass Castle (유리성)
2. Muah!
3. Muah! (inst.)

Glass Castle is a cute bubblegum pop tune. The melody is a bit slower than I would have expected, but it does get a bit faster by the chorus. I’m not sure if I’m really into this song though. The song isn’t particularly memorable and the melody really lacks a strong hook. Also, the girls just don’t have the chance to show off their voices. There are some nice features to it like the nice bridge, but the delivery of the rest of the song is pretty flat.

Luckily, Muah! is so much better. This is definitely a great tune that keeps the youthful image of their debut, while providing something a bit more upbeat. It definitely has more energy than their other songs. The verses aren’t particularly strong, but the chorus makes up for everything. It’s really catchy and the Muah! hook is a really fun addition. The music also has a lot of power with its flashing synths and strong beat. It’s really fun!


Overall: This single was saved by Muah! being so strong. Glass Castle was just forgettable and is one of the group’s weaker B-sides. Luckily, the A-side was exciting and had a lot of energy while keeping up with the youthful image of the group.

B+

[Mini-Album] April – Dreaming

April is DSP’s first girl group in six years after the debut of Rainbow. Sporting a much more innocent concept due to their age, the girl group has steadily started to gain more fans despite a few member changes. Dreaming is the group’s debut mini-album and is their only release to feature former member Somin (who later went to KARD). Dream Candy was used as the promotional track.

dreaming
Released: August 24, 2015
1. Dream Candy (꿈사탕) [MV]
2. Hurry Hurry
3. Knock Knock
4. Feeling (느낌)
5. Luv Me x3
6. Thriller (스릴러)

Opening with the promo track, Dream Candy is a blissful pop song. Despite it being more focused towards the innocent concept, the song isn’t particularly aegyo-filled in terms of vocals. The music is filled with sparkling synths, a steady beat, touches of guitar and an interesting bell sound. I really like how the song builds up to the chorus because the music seems to gain a bit of steam. The chorus itself is quite colourful and I think the melody is nice mixture of more melodic and repetitive hooks. It’s a great start!

Hurry Hurry is definitely a nice laidback pop/R&B song, but it’s a stellar track in general. I love how exciting and interesting the music is as there are odd little quirks that pop up from time to time like a twisting wrench sound. The melody is definitely more on the repetitive side, but it is done in a way that flows well with the music. I do find the vocals a bit too saccharine at times for this type of song, but it is a good follow-up.

Knock Knock keeps up the lighthearted sound, but with something a bit more pop with a touch of jazz. I love the bouncy piano tied with the touches of brass in the background. I don’t think the melody is as intoxicating as the last two songs, but it’s still works nicely with the music. It’s not bad.

Feeling is definitely more on the cuter side of things with its more upbeat sound. However, I’m not particularly into this one as much. I do find the music interesting, but it just does not work well with the melody. The melody seems like it is going too fast and doesn’t blend well together. I think it is just a bundle of different hooks that comes off a bit lacking.

Luv Me x3 keeps up the upbeat pop sound and while I do think this one is catchier than the last song, I’m still not particularly impressed. The verses are pretty decent, but the chorus is where it loses me. The music and the melody just do not mesh that well and everything sounds rushed. This time the repetition just doesn’t come off as clean. The middle eight is really nice though.

Thriller is the wild card of the album as it sounds like it ditches the more lighthearted sound for something more aggressive. Luckily, things are pulled off much better here than the last two upbeat tunes. The blast of synths combined with the heavy beat really get things moving. I do wish the melody was catchier, but the melody doesn’t sound so messy and rushed. It’s a nice change.


Overall: This was a decent debut. There were some really great songs and there were some that were more forgettable and messy. I do like the fact that DSP tried to play around with the sound instead of keeping the group with just the more innocent style (although Dream Candy is wonderful). I do think a one or two songs could have been left off, but there were songs that made up for it.

B