Apink - %%
It’s been just about six months since Apink came back last year with “I’m so sick,” a track that completely changed my perception of the group. The song managed to make it far into my top 100 songs of the year, and in general I enjoyed it to the point that I was actually kind of excited to see where the group would go from there. Well, today is the day that we got to find out. The teasers for this track sounded really weird, but in a way that intrigued me. I remained cautiously optimistic going in, knowing full well that Apink hasn’t been much my style in the past.
I really want to know who it was that decided it was okay for Apink to finally branch out and just go all in on new sounds and concepts, because whoever it was deserves to be promoted within the company. Put that person in charge of every comeback, please. This song along with “I’m so sick” of last year have seriously changed my perception of the group on the whole. Not only that, but from what I can tell, that seems to be a fairly common opinion among several international K-pop fans which is just great for an older group like Apink to be achieving this late into their careers.
As for the song itself, I really love the playful instrumentation of this track. Those piping synths give the song a nice moody and mysterious vibe for its duration. That alongside those descending “ooh” vocals are insanely gripping and addictive. The progression during the verses is absolutely delightful, and the pre-chorus shift into the refrain doesn’t disappoint. Everything in the song also ties in so neatly together that it’s just a pristine example of quality production. For me, this entire song was catchy, and any point of the song could easily be a sticking point depending on what types of sounds and rhythms personally appeal to you. That alone makes this a damn strong contender for an early chart-topper for 2019, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this ending up as a favorite for several playlists.
The music video for this is actually intriguing in a way that I wasn’t expecting. It matches that darker, mysterious atmosphere that the song gives which is great. From what I can gather, the girls are all placing items into a vat of some kind of liquid that dissolves and absorbs qualities from each, and then by the end of the video we see that they retrieve a heart from the liquid which is then placed onto a suit and it brings it to life. Now, I have a few different interpretations as to the meaning of this. The first is that perhaps this is a hint at the concept for their next comeback and we’ll be seeing Apink in suits soon.
That’s rather hopeful on my part simply because I adore girls in suits, though, so let’s go with option number two. Maybe this is Apink’s way of saying that they’re breathing new life into the girl crush concept which seems to have stagnated harshly within the past year. Though, if that were the case, I wish the music video would have used a different color scheme. Perhaps it was more that they were breathing new life into their own music, and the suit is more representative of a more “classic” feel that they used to have.
In any case, this video was fun to watch, and as always, the girls looked incredible. I wish that we got to see just a bit more of the choreography, but I guess I can just go watch some of the upcoming live performances. There were a few moments that I really enjoyed, such as the stack of six pink cars that matched the number of current members in the group, or the cute way of showing how “%%” is just slightly tilted “응응” which connects both the Korean and English titles for the song. Overall the video was solid and more than enough to keep you wanting to watch.
Apink seems to be on a roll with solid hits, and I am surprised to say that I’m actually really looking forward to their next comeback due to this release and the one prior. I’ve never really been a big fan of the group, but if they continue down this road of undeniable greatness, I don’t think I’ll be able to say that for much longer. If you haven’t already, I think I’m actually going to recommend everyone to give this track a go. It’s slick, cohesive, and it’s everything that I love about K-pop thrown into a single music video.