Love Sign is the first mini-album released by LABOUM. “Shooting Love” was released as the mini’s promotional song.
Released: August 23, 2016
1. Shooting Star (intro)
2. Shooting Love (푱푱)
3. Ding Dong (딩동)
4. Sweetly (달콤하게)
5. Like U Love U
6. Shooting Love (instrumental)
Shooting Star (intro) opens with some sparkling synths. It’s not anything particularly special, but I do think it is quite cute and helps build things up for the next song.
The promo track, Shooting Love, is a great follow-up to their last song just because it is another high quality track. It’s not the most unique song and has some similarities to the styles from f(x) or Red Velvet, but there is a great punch to it that is just so infectious. The chorus is especially fun and I love how the hooks are integrated nicely throughout the song instead of just a smack dump of it. I would say my favourite parts are when Soyeon sings because her voice just propels this song.
I would say Ding Dong is a bit of a weird twist, but I like that it follows the same energy as the last song with its retro pop/rock vibe. However, it isn’t as infectious as the last song. I feel like the verses are pretty powerful, but the melody sort of loses is effectiveness as it goes on and it gets overshadowed by the heavy guitar. It’s an average kind of song that definitely had potential for more.
Once again, we get another upbeat pop tune that follows the retro route. I feel that Sweetly follows its name quite well because the vocal arrangement is definitely on the sweeter and cuter side of things. The chorus has more punch than the last song, but I once again feel like it’s lacking in the hooks to really dig into me.
Soyeon has a solo song with Yun from Lunafly. I’m pleasantly surprised that Like U Love U is the fourth upbeat song in a row and this is probably the strongest song since “Shooting Love”. It has a touch of funk in the verses, which is a nice change. The chorus is a bit more on the bright pop side of things, but it is still pretty catchy and I like that both of their voices fit together nicely.
Overall: This is a pretty average mini. I was actually hoping for more considering the group has such strong title tracks. The promoted track here is exciting and fun, but the rest of the tracks just fall in the middle. They aren’t terrible, but nothing particularly outstanding to listen to.
Fresh Adventure is the fourth single released by LABOUM. Journey to Atlantis was used as the promotional song.
Released: April 6, 2016
2. Journey to Atlantis (상상더하기)
3. 3 Strike Out
5. Journey to Atlantis (instrumental)
The intro starts off sweet and fluttering before bringing some huge blaring synths in. It’s a nice way to transition into Journey to Atlantis. While the song continues the group’s brighter pop sound, they switch the retro sound for something more summery and straightlaced. Actually, at this point, it is one of the group’s best songs. It took some time for it to sink in, but I love the feeling the song brings. It is a really positive song and while the chorus gets a bit repetitive, there are some great hooks to keep the energy up. My favourite part of the song is from the bridge onward as it really amps up this positive energy. A bit generic, but absolutely great.
3 Strike Out continues the bright pop sound. It is a decent follow-up to the last song as it does bring a similar kind of style. It isn’t as strong, but it does have some really fun parts. I quite enjoy the bounciness of the verses, but it’s the catchy chorus that really brings the needed punch. The melody works great with the blasting music. It’s another generic kind of song, especially the music, but it all works together nicely.
With a name like Caterpillar, I was expecting another bright tune, but we are given a gentle piano ballad instead. I’m pretty sure this is the group’s first ballad and it is a nice change to hear. The only problem is that it is just too slow and doesn’t quite bring anything that stands out. The music is beautiful, but the melody isn’t particularly strong and it gets a bit lost in the power of the music. The girls do sound nice, but their voices are a bit weak for this kind of song.
Overall: This is a pretty solid single. The promoted track is amazing and among the group’s best, while the second song was a really catchy pop tune. The ballad was a bit disappointing, especially considering it is the group’s first, but it does have a few charms to it.
Aalow Aalow is the third single released by LABOUM. The title track was used as the promoted song.
Released: December 6, 2015
2. Aalow Aalow (아로아로)
4. Aalow Aalow (Instrumental)
5. Tasty (Instrumental)
Blasting right into the Intro, this is a nice way to open the single as it is pretty bright, innocent and has a great beat. There are snippets of the hook from the title track used here.
Speaking of the title track, Aalow Aalow continues the retro sound that the girls were bringing with Sugar Sugar. The beat is nice, but its that 80’s synth backdrop that drives the song. With that said, the rest of the song is pretty much standard pop flair. It’s a cute song, but I feel like it doesn’t push things further. It isn’t particular catchy, but does have a charm to it. I think the melody would have benefited more from the dreamy synths of the intro.
Tasty is more on the side of that dreamy pop sound that I was looking for. The overall delivery of this song is definitely more generic, but it has a really catchy chorus. The hooks are much stronger and I think this would have been a much stronger promoted song. It is like a more intense version of KARA’s ‘Honey’, which is another song I love. This is one of LABOUM’s stronger b-sides.
Overall: The title track is a bit lackluster, especially compared to the B-side, but this single is still a solid release. Both tracks have their quirks and they bring different sounds. With that said, I do believe that Tasty is the stronger of the two tracks and should have been made the promoted song.
Sugar Sugar is the second single released by LABOUM. The title track was used as the promo song.
Released: March 27, 2015
1. Sugar Sugar
2. Happy Joke (장난햅)
4. Sugar Sugar (INST.)
5. Happy Joke (INST.)
6. Fantasy (INST.)
Sugar Sugar keeps up the bright pop sound that the group had with their debut, but it brings something on the retro side of things. That bouncy piano and clap-like beat keeps the song’s energy up and the music reminds me of something that Secret would have done before. It’s a catchy tune, although I wish the chorus was a bit more infectious. The hooks don’t particularly stand out and the song goes a bit too slow. It’s better than their last two promo tracks though.
Happy Joke keeps up the retro sound by bringing some 50’s rock. It’s a really fun kind of song with its fast-paced guitar, playful piano and steady beat. Unfortunately, I think the song would be better if the chorus was more memorable. The melody is just really forgetful and has few hooks that stick. It’s an interesting change, but not one that hits the spot.
Fantasy doesn’t continue that retro sound, but is instead something that would have been found on the group’s debut release with its electropop sound. This is a surprisingly interesting tune and I quite like the music with its powerful beat and flying synths. The melody is definitely more memorable than the last song, although I wish there were some stronger parts to it. The rap intertwined with the song is a nice surprise though. Easily the best song on the single.
Overall: This single was stronger than the group’s debut as the songs were definitely better. My main problem with it though was that the melodies just were not that strong. While Fantasy wasn’t too bad, it also suffered from a lack of infectious melody that would make me want to come back and listen more.
[PETIT MACARON] DATA PACK is the repackaged edition of the group’s first single, PETIT MACARON. It gets rid of two songs and replaces it with one new song and MV and behind-the-scenes footage from two music videos. What Should We Do? was changed into the promo song for this single.
Released: November 3, 2014
1. What Should We Do? (어떡할래)
2. Winter Party
3. What Should We Do? (Inst.)
4. Winter Party (Inst.)
What Should We Do? was already released on the original edition of the single and was the strongest song off of it. I’m glad they did the stronger of the two B-sides to use as the promo song since this song has some older Brown Eyed Girls’ electropop vibes to it. It would’ve been nice to hear a new song, but this is still a decent tune to bring forward.
Winter Party is the only other song and is a new one. It is what you would expect from the name, a winter-flavoured pop tune. It’s cute, but is just a really forgettable tune. It’s not horrible, but the hooks are weak and the music isn’t particularly interesting. It just sort of falls flat. Also, the music doesn’t do much to cover the vocal weaknesses that are more evident here.
Overall: I don’t really see the point of having this release since the promo song is already an old tune and the B-side is a generic pop tune. I am glad that they are giving What Should We Do? the push since it should have been the promo song on the original single in the first place, but they could have added some more incentive to the single.
LABOUM is a girl group that debuted under a joint project between NH Media and Nega Network. The girl group has yet to get their breakthrough despite a slew of high quality songs, although a scandal earlier this year caused quite a stir. PETIT MACARON is the girl group’s debut single with Pit-a-Pat being the promotional song.
Released: August 29, 2014
1. Pit-a-Pat (두근두근)
2. La li:Lalala (주문을 풀어)
3. What About You (어떡할래)
4. Pit-a-Pat (inst.)
5. La li:Lalala (inst.)
6. What About You (inst.)
Pit-a-Pat is an interesting debut. While it is a fun song, I feel like it’s missing something. It’s a cute song and has an exciting musical arrangement with its heavy beat and explosive synths. However, I feel like the melody doesn’t have as strong of hooks that match up with the music. That and the use of autotune on the vocals is just so odd and a bit outdated. I feel like it takes a lot away from the song and it’s a prime example of where autotune just should not have been used. It’s a decent tune, but more B-side material.
La li:Lalala continues the more saccharine pop feel, but in a more laid back form. It has a nice bouncy beat, but the melody is definitely much slower. I’m not quite sure if I like this song all that much. I feel like the chorus should create more of a contrast to help give the song some energy cause it just goes on in a monotone way. The girls do sound good and I like the rap, but it just doesn’t have much an impact.
What About You is probably the strongest song on the album. It has a more electropop sound, but with a really fast-paced and exciting feel. I do feel like the music doesn’t totally mesh with the melody, but everything is definitely more interesting with this song. The hooks are much catchier and the chorus brings enough contrast that it helps keep up the energy. I sort of reminds me of 2008 Brown Eyed Girls. A bit outdated, but a fun song.
Overall: I’m not totally sure how I feel about this single. I think the title track should have been more impactful since it is the group’s debut. While the song has grown on me, I feel like there were some unnecessary parts that dragged it down. One of the B-sides was decent, while had potential but was bogged down by its slow tempo.