Laboum - Between Us
Laboum is a five-member girl group under Global H Media. They previously were comprised of six members, but Yulhee left the group late last year. While I was somewhat surprised by that news, I didn't really expect it to change much in the larger scheme of Laboum's career. "Between Us" is the first that we're hearing of them since Yulhee's departure, so I thought that the group might go into a drastically different direction in order to make a statement that they're moving forward even without her.
As I somewhat expected, "Between Us" does serve as a new style for Laboum, and, more than that, possibly a turning point for their musical direction. It combines elements of what has worked well for them in the past, such as the whistling, and tosses them into a more mature atmosphere. Even though this track has a significantly more sensual vibe going on than their previous releases, there's also a recognizable amount of pop that keeps the song in a somewhat familiar territory for the group while diverging enough to craft a new experience for Laboum and fans alike.
This song really gave me similar vibes to "Something" by Girl's Day, with some of the sexual thrust being replaced by more gummy elements. It's not a song that's outright catchy in the forefront, but rather succeeds in an almost underhanded delivery. One that's bound to crop up in the back of your mind when you least expect it. It's not my favorite song of the month, or by Laboum for that matter, but in terms of what they were aiming for, I think this is solid. It's an interesting direction for the group, and I actually hope that they can explore it and flesh it out more in the future.
I've got conflicting opinions when it comes to this video. Starting with the positives, I absolutely loved the colors used here. The outfits were fairly elegant and not overly sexual, and I have to commend them for that when it comes to a more matured sound for a group. Doubly so when the group is still trying to earn recognition in the public sphere. The lighting was pretty fantastic throughout and gave enough contrast between the scenes and the girls, and it really helped to make them pop out that extra bit. Seriously, they were highlighted and emphasized so well with the lighting and sets.
That all being said, there was a clear difference in terms of artistic ideas and the realization of those ideas. This was undoubtedly due to budget concerns, and it's a damn shame to see. The simplicity of so many of the backgrounds, while utilized well, ended up leaving a sense of wanting more. Individual member scenes were reasonable, but mostly kept that minimalist feel. I suppose it could have been an artistic choice, too, but seeing as there's little to any meaning behind a majority of the scenes, I can't see it being anything but the budget constrictions of a smaller company.
That all being said, the girls still looked great, and there was a ton of choreography shown off for fans to enjoy. The dance seemed to be in line with the song's mood, and while there wasn't anything too crazy to pick out from other comebacks like this from other groups, I still enjoyed what was shown. There were some formations that looked interesting, and I think that the group moving down to a five-member total might have actually aided the dance a bit. (Not that it's a good justification, just an observation of the effects of moving to an odd-numbered group rather than an even-numbered one.) In total, the video sufficed. I wish that they had more money to drop, but I completely understand why some corners were cut, and in the end, the director did amazing with what they'd been given.
"Between Us" serves as a track to mark a new era, and likely a new course for Laboum to head down. While some may miss their spunky, upbeat tracks of the past, I think that this comeback presents a solid case that the group has more to offer than we've previously seen. If you enjoy softer tracks that are more subtle in their stickiness, this is definitely a comeback that is worth your while.