I’m a long time Pink Panda dating back to the “I Don’t Know” days, so it’s normal for me to love everything that A Pink puts out by default (with “Mr. Chu” at the top of the list and “Hush” at the bottom). However, it’s nice that their latest classic, “LUV,” is the kind of song that can be enjoyed by all pop fans, and not just those who are lucky enough to be part of A Pink’s blessed and exclusive fandom like I am.
Slay Pink’s music has always had some kind of retro twist to it, but they’re best known for being a throwback to the legendary 1st generation idol group S.E.S., who built their sound by emulating the manufactured Western bubblegum pop of the late ’90s and early 2000s. Think early Mandy Moore and Christina Aguilera, Max Martin, and Billie Piper, with the kind of innocent touch that only Asian pop can truly deliver, and you’ll get Allah Pink.
And seriously, who doesn’t need more Mandy and Billie throwbacks in their life? Even pop fans that don’t listen to K-pop love that shit deep down.
Slay Pink have also gone #SugarFree for this comeback by scrapping their little girl’s fifth birthday party concept in favour of a picturesque seasonal backdrop and retro fashion that veers from chic to tacky depending on which outfit you’re looking at. The group’s lyrics get the same mature treatment, so instead of singing about their first crush they’re now lamenting over a lost love.
A lot of the best pop songs have a sunny demeanour with a melancholy underbelly, and this is one of them. It’s B2ST “Fiction” lyrics over vintage S.E.S. beats!
While “Mr. Chu” (arguably the group’s most sunshine and lollipops moment) is still my favourite Slay Pink single, their darker concept this time around paired with the irresistible turn-of-the-millennium pop production is an obvious recipe for success that’s going to appeal to the naysayers who have been calling the angelic sextuplet boring and childish since they debuted.
“LUV” is already destroying the Korean music charts with more zeal than any Slay Pink single ever has before, and by the time this era’s over, it’s going to be pretty clear just who K-pop’s new top girl group is — whether you like it or not.