Making their comeback for the first time as a five-member female group after 12 years in the business and for the first time in 14 months is APINK. The long-lasting female group dropped their newest single D N D today, which leads the group’s 10th mini-album, SELF. This follows on from their 2022 release Dilemma, fourth studio album HORN, their annual anniversary single – I Want You To Be Happy – for their 11th anniversary and the debut of their first subunit CHOBOM with Copycat.
First listen in and I was falling for D N D (which stands for Do Not Disturb). To me, the song brings a fresh breath to APINK discography, especially when compared to some of their recent releases. We probably all know APINK for their cutesy sounds in the earlier days (and if you don’t, do check out their earlier day releases – very representative of the KPOP back when they first came about). However, as the group progressed along their 11 years in the industry, they successfully reinvented themselves as a leading female group through their mature releases, which you can also describe as somewhat dark and heavy. D N D leans into their early days, bringing a spring in their step and a pleasant energy that I felt was super appealing. D N D is a pop dance track featuring a very bright tone and funky elements in the background. It comes off as a pretty clean and pure instrumental. The bright tone of the instrumental is further emphasised by the vocals and melodies that APINK brings to the song. The melodies felt refreshing and vivid, especially when it came to the choruses, which strong showing of vocals was clear in the song. The pre-choruses brought a satisfying melody, delivery and inclination to the song, ramping it up to the catchy choruses. The bridge highlights the of the group’s vocals and was a simple yet stunning segment in D N D to enjoy. Overall, D N D is already a hit in my mind.
The song gives one courage to imagine a world of their own as no one will disturb them (taken from SOOMPI). We see the members lead ordinary lives or are stuck in a constricting world in the music video. We see a waitress, a painter who cannot come up an idea, an office worker stuck in a repetitive world, a celebrity who wants to escape from the public eye and a wanderer who stands out in a very grey world. As the video progresses, they embraces their imagination and this leads to the members realizing that there is more to life. For example, Eunji the office worker saw an alternative life involving a red carpet beyond the office lockers, while Hayoung the waitress caught the spoon in her coffee cup stirring without itself. The other members saw a change in lighting. From there, they change their outfits – from plain or seemingly out of place to more vivid and eye-catchy casual outfits that just shows a more comfortable side to the group. Overall, a well put together music video that works with the lyrics and message D N D is giving us.
The choreography brought a smile to my face. It might because of the music or just the members being cheerful and happy performing, which I am sure everyone is glad to see from APINK after a 14 month absence. But there was a bounce and a peppy vibe to the choreography that I really enjoyed. The entire routine was quite solid and looks great.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10
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