[Single] Happy Pledis – HAPPY PLEDIS 2012 ‘LOVE LETTER’

HAPPY PLEDIS 2012 ‘LOVE LETTER’ is the second of the Happy Pledis charity singles. Unlike the first which only included After School, this one includes Son Dambi as well as a few members from Hello Venus and NU’EST on the promotional single. LOVE LETTER was used as the promotional song.

Released: December 01, 2011
1. LOVE LETTER (feat. Ara, Hyelim, Jonghyun, Minhyun, Dongho) [MV]
2. Winter’s Tale (겨울 이야기)
3. How Is It? (어떤가요)

LOVE LETTER does what Love Love Love did and that was bring us a Christmas-themed pop tune. It’s filled with all that happy and joyful spirit although the jingling isn’t as prominent as it was in Lovex3. I can say that this is probably one of the best Christmas songs that came out of K-Pop recently. It’s not particularly catchy as the vocal arrangement is a little too fast paced and sometimes it seems difficult to pinpoint where the chorus and verses transition as well as the vocals seem a bit forced at times, but it gathers much of Pledis and it’s lighthearted pop atmosphere is really refreshing in the aggressive dance-dominated K-Idol world. It’s also nice to hear a few new voices such as Ara who really works her part.

I think it’s safe to say the cheese really comes out with Winter’s Tale which includes Son Dambi, Kahi and Jungah. This song has a stronger similarity to Lovex3 and I’m not really liking it. I’ve never been a fan of these overdone Christmas songs and while it’s catchy at times it just sounds way too similar to Lovex3 that there’s really no need for this one. The girls do sound good though.

How Is It? is a much better song as we’re given a powerful ballad with R&B undertones and it features only the Orange Caramel girls. The song reminds me of a few of the early 00’s K-Pop songs as this style was pretty popular then. It’s not the best of it’s type out there, but it does it’s job and the middle 8 and last chorus step things up so it doesn’t get too boring. Vocally, of course Raina takes the lead here and she does a great job with the vocals although I don’t think her voice is as suited for these kinds of ballads.

The LOVE LOVE LOVE Remix is a really big change from not only the original but just from the general mood and sound of this single. It starts off with a heavy trance intro before going into the main song, which is just like the original except it has a strong dance beat and an array of synths. It’s a nice change and I actually think this is better than the original because it surprisingly works and is way more interesting.

Overall: Compared to the first Happy Pledis single, this one was much better. The title track was far more interesting and wasn’t as cheesy and while there definitely was still some cheese in here like the second track, the remainder of it was pretty decent.


[Digital Single] Son Dambi & After School – AMOLED

AMOLED is the first collaboration single between Son Dambi and After School. It was used to promote a Samsung cellphone.

Released: July 23, 2009

Just to start off, AMOLED is pretty much dominated by Son Dambi. While we do get glimpses of After School, the most that goes on with them is rapping. It really feels more like Son Dambi featuring After School. Still, it’s a good song. For Son Dambi, it pretty much follows the dance sound she’d been following, while with After School it’s a major improvement over the disappointing Dream Girl. The song takes a more serious route, but still has a little fun to it. It follows the trend of 2009 well though, with its excessive use of autotune and repetitive nature. It’s a good song, but nothing stellar. Vocally, it continues the autotune path. Son Dambi never had the greatest voice, but she does an ok job taking the majority of the song. As I said earlier, After School really only give much in terms of the rap, but that much needed attitude really works well for the song and unlike their previous song it actually fits.

Overall: AMOLED is a good collaboration between the Pledis artists. With that said, it still falls a little flat in areas. While catchy, it doesn’t really go anywhere and the overproduction of the song sorta hinders its push to a higher level.