It is time to catch up on reviews that I should have reviewed during the week but was unable to for whatever reason. First up is APRIL’s Now or Never, which is the group’s first comeback single since LALALILALA earlier this year. The single is featured on their first special Summer single album, Hello Summer. Prior to this comeback, Naeun was swept in a bullying controversary, which has since been proven to be a lie (as confessed by the person who spread the rumours). It was announced that Naeun would not be promoting this single due to shock. But from what I could see on the group’s comeback stages, Naeun is well and continuing her duties as a APRIL member.
APRIL’s take on a Summer single is pretty much what we have heard previously from other female groups. But that impression changes once we get to the chorus. The surprising incorporation of brass during Now or Never‘s chorus was a pleasant one. But I just wished that it was better mixed into the instrumental. To me, the brass seems like it is between two layers of instrumentation. It comes off alright, but it does not feel as explosive or energetic as the many examples of brass I have heard in KPOP previously. For example, I felt the brass in the song’s pre-chorus was nicely mixed into the instrumental. The brass that faded in the pre-chorus was a great teaser and buildup to the chorus (I had no issues with this). Their shouty ‘Now or Never‘ hook was pretty catchy and I really like the brightness that comes from this element. I also really like the ending, which (to me) added some classy style to this bright and upbeat track. Their vocals were good, but I wished the melodies were a lot more memorable. So far, everything I have described seems positive and neutral. Unfortuately, there is one bad element to the song that I felt was unimaginative and unnecessary. I am talking about the rapping. The short rap line at the end of the chorus is not the issue here though. I find that to be a good addition to the song. The issue is regarding the rap sequence that follows the first chorus. It just felt unneeded and cheesy with its trap-based setup. But apart from that part, Now or Never is still a decent track to bring some freshness to Summer.
The video was nailed perfectly. It is pretty hard to stuff up a Summer themed music video as the things we would associate with the season is quite obvious. Water, sun, sand and smiles. This video had it all. The bright lighting and colourfulness of the video is probably my most favourite aspect as everything just pops right out at you. In terms of content, there isn’t much to the video. Though for a Summer video, you can’t really expect for much, other than the members having fun.
Unfortuately, the choreography for this comeback wasn’t that impressive. Aside from the chorus, the rest of the choreography just didn’t seem as interesting. What I enjoyed in the chorus was that subtle bounce that made it look appealing. That was lacking in the rest of the performance.
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 6/10
Overall Rating – 7.9/10