APRIL - Take My Hand
APRIL is a six-member girl group that's managed to land themselves in an odd place. They're not nugu, but they're certainly also not that big when you compare them alongside other groups. It's only been a few years since their debut, but it seems like it's been impossible for the group to gain much traction with any of their titles. Their last comeback, "Mayday," was just a little less than four months ago, and I was actually a bit surprised by it. It was an incredibly different sound to all of their previous title tracks, so I was hoping to hear that APRIL would be sticking with the idea of trying out new types of music.
The song begins with a simple piano melody with the light plucking of guitar strings and quiet hand claps accompanying it. There's a dramatic shift as the drums kick in and a spirited violin is introduced as our main driving force instrumentally. We then fade to the heavy bass bass synth alongside the piano continuing their parts while each member takes turns singing over them. The buildup to the chorus is quick and straightforward, doing its job to transition the song and nothing more than that. The refrain reintroduces listeners to the few instruments that faded out for the verse, replaying the ditty right after the girls finish singing. The bridge is probably the most interesting part of the song, adding a more intense feeling instead of slowing down.
I think that my main issue with this song is that I find the vocals incredibly boring. Not only does it sound like something that APRIL has sung before, but it just doesn't sound memorable or catchy in the slightest. The instrumentals are a much more interesting and entertaining portion of this song, and even those are not that great. The chord progression of the chorus makes it sound like there's supposed to be more and instead we're left thinking "wait that's it?" I'll say it flat out - I'm pretty disappointed that APRIL had to fall back onto what they've been doing since debut. "Mayday" wasn't the greatest title song that I've ever heard, but it was new and refreshing coming from them, and it feels like a step back to try this style out for the sixth time.
The video starts off with Naeun wandering in a forest before a very direct cut to all of the girls inside of a building and displaying the choreography. There's scenes for all of the girls, each displaying a story of their interactions with a guy whose face we never fully see. It seems as though each of the girls are trying to confess their feelings to him, but none are fully able to before he walks away and each are left distraught. Then, the girls read through a book that apparently teaches them all a magical spell that reverses time. APRIL are confirmed to be witches that literally turn back time and then each girl can be seen running to fix their mistakes and confess to the boy.
It's not the most original idea ever, but I'll be damned if I don't say that the girls look fantastic this comeback. Their visual game has obviously stepped up, and the lighting choices as well as the fashion choices flaunt it shamelessly. Like I said, it's not the first time we've seen this concept, but taken at face value it's more entertaining than a simple video cutting to awkward shots of the girls displaying some kind of aegyo into the camera instead. It suffices as entertainment, and at the very least the visuals push it to being decent.
As I mentioned earlier, I'm honestly disappointed in this comeback. I'm not the biggest APRIL fan by any means, but I know that the girls are capable of more than repeating the same type of title song. In fact, they have several side tracks that take vastly different directions that actually sound amazing, and I'm baffled that DSP hasn't really attempted any large departure apart from "Mayday." I definitely want to see the girls do well, but I simply can't imagine it happening if this line of music continues to define their entirety. Variety is the spice of the life, but it seems that DSP wants to keep things mild and predictable.