Last winter saw Apink release “Luv,” a song that took the sound of the group’s signature Shinsadong Tiger-produced Max Martin throwbacks and put a melancholy spin on it. It became the biggest hit of their career, setting a new record for the most music program wins by a girl group and spending endless months on the Gaon chart.
Their latest single, “Remember,” combines both sides of their Tiger hits into one — the flirty fun of “NoNoNo” and “My My” with the warm nostalgia of “Luv.” It’s the kind of song an artist releases to promote a greatest hits compilation; a song that neatly sums up what they’re about with a few knowing winks to their back catalogue.
The most addictive part of “NoNoNo” was the post-chorus synths while Apink hopped and wiggled their hips. It played a total of three times during the song, and not for very long. In “Remember,” that part goes to an insanely catchy flute refrain, which Mr. Tiger thankfully does not use sparingly. It plays at the start, it plays during every chorus, and it plays at the end. It’s like eating choco chip cookies or smoking a strange cigarette–you just can’t get enough of it.
Most K-pop artists use the retro concept as a one-time gimmick, incorporating the fashion or the sounds of the late ’90s and early 2000s into their singles because it’s the trendy thing to do right now. Apink is different. They’ve been doing S.E.S. homages since before it was popular, and their vintage beats with sentimental lyrics creates a genuine sense of nostalgia that goes beyond a fleeting concept.
“Let’s leave in the cool wind, forget about today,” they sing. “Do you remember the sun that shined at us / the wide and blue sea like yesterday / like the time has stopped as we always wanted.”
As with every Apink comeback, i-netz will whine and complain ad nauseam about how “boring” Apink is and then change the subject to 4minute, 2NE1, or any other artificially edgy and/or sexy group, but who cares?
Fuck ’em. Apink rules.