What a time April 2020 was. Despite it being one of the few months of 2020 where all hell seems to have broken loose, and we all know why, April has brought upon a lovely array of K-pop comebacks to tide ourselves over while we are all in quarantine. One such group is APRIL, with a name that’s as appropriate as the timing they set their comeback, who are now delivering a concept that incorporates a slightly different style than their usual fluttery sound with a new feel to their choreography.
Coming in the form of their 7th mini album, shortened to ‘Da Capo’, APRIL attempt to reach into a darker side with new title track ‘LALALILALA’, but is this darker side going to have listeners sing along to their tune or is this a lala-lackluster release?
Oops I’m Sorry
The first track on the mini is a hard-hitting but cutesy pop APRIL song known as “Oops I’m Sorry“. It’s a bubblegum-pop track with hip-hop dance elements that feels fitting for its placement on the album, as it gives you a track that feels like it belongs in their previous releases a la “MAYDAY” and “WOW”. It’s super fun, and it has a catchiness that gets you going for the remainder of the mini. I will admit, it is the weakest of the overall tracklist, as it doesn’t have quite the oomph I usually love from APRIL’s songs, and it feels like a filler track that is meant to only introduce listeners to the album. However, it is a happy bop that I may find myself liking later. I’m sorry, girls, but onto the next!
This is definitely my favorite song on the mini. Produced by e.one, known for their productions with other K-pop groups like WJSN, “Inhyeong” is an airy, space-like tune that carries itself with grace and whimsy. It is a familiar sound to other songs in APRIL’s catalogue, but this song takes it to an upbeat waltz level. Beginning with the signature intro tune e.one incorporates into most of their songs, and flowing through with a flurried staccato of string instruments on top of a booming electro beat, this is one doll you want to have in your collection.
“LALALILALA” is the title track for APRIL’s seventh mini, and it is a formidable title track in their discography. While it is in the same vein of APRIL’s usual title entries, with its fluttery, twinkly, airy sound, the difference comes in its overall vibe. Opting for a darker space sound, the title track incorporates less of a love-song vibe, and as evidenced in the music video, APRIL flips the switch from ‘sweet dream’ to a ‘dark dream’. In fact, part-way through the song, there’s a rap segment that gives us a brief moment that APRIL is not who they used to be. I will be honest: I can’t really tell if there was a change. Choreography, perhaps, but there isn’t a lot of change. Still, it’s a very fun title track, and it’s one that I find myself lalali-king a lot.
When you think of a different sound from APRIL’s catalogue, “1,2,3,4” is the ACTUAL song that should come to mind. It’s a hyper-paced dance-pop track that features hip-hop elements, and it sounds much more in vein with a girl-crush image. Its instrumental is full-on distorted synth noises, topped with police sirens and booming drum beats. Interestingly enough, there’s your usual trap beats for full effect. Vocally, the girls are using every note they can belt, with some of the girls using their distinct lower registers to good use. This is a fun dance track that doesn’t quite have the catch, but THIS is definitely not your usual APRIL song. A good counting effort from the girls.
With its interestingly named title, “Neo.zip” is another display of APRIL going for a different style. Here, they are a little bit more sensual, as the instrumental gives us a synthy jazz feel merged with the girls’ soothing vocals. However, everything picks up as it moves closer and closer towards the chorus, blowing up into a full-on synth dance track with the girls’ powerful vocals begging you to listen. The more I listen to this track, the more I’m actually entranced. It’s an effective closer, as it has the elements needed to slow things down, but it is also extremely catchy, leaving you wanting more as it ends. This zip file should not find itself in the Recycling Bin anytime soon.
As an aside, there is a CD-only track on the mini that is NOT available in the digital releases. While I do not have access to this song, you can bet that I will get a hold of this song soon to add to this post. It will just not be here for the time being (lol).
APRIL is back, and they are ready to LALALILALA right into your music library!
A formidable effort from the girls, as every song has something really cool to offer, considering the amount of genres and vibes they presented from song to song. The title track is also a great track, though I don’t foresee them getting many wins from it due to its familiarity to their other title tracks. I could be proven wrong though! This is a mini-album I may find myself liking more and more with every listen, so I think it’s in good measure to recommend this release for those who want to get familiar with APRIL. As the album suggests, repeat this from the beginning onward!
MUST-LISTEN: 인형, LALALILALA, 너.zip