[Review] PLAY – LUCY

LUCY is nominated for Best Band Performance for their PLAY release in the 2022 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Support LUCY, and your other favourite artists, songs and performances by clicking here to vote today!

There are a few releases that I have nominated in the 2022 KPOPREVIEWED Awards this year that I have yet to review, and I am hoping to review some of them before the year ends. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to review all of them by the end of the year, so apologies in advance if I don’t post a review for your favourite group or song. First up is LUCY, who is a four member male band that I first reviewed last year as part of the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards rush at the end of last year, but the band has been active since 2020. This year, I have nominated them for Best Band Performance once again, but for their 2022 single, PLAY. It is the title track from the band’s first studio album release, Childhood, which was released in August of this year.

PLAY starts off with a soothing and soft band background that almost mimics a soft ballad or a very soft pop rock track. When we get to the chorus, the instrumentation amplifies. But it is more of a mild amplification that retains the sentiment and soothing tone that started off PLAY, whilst also keeping the track light and airy. At the same time, the amplification also brings a burst of brightness to the song that helped give PLAY a bit more to talk about and I found to be quite appealing and enjoyable. The second verse and chorus repeats exactly what we heard in the first verse and chorus combination, but we do get a brief second of children laughter before the second chorus (which complements the meaning behind the song – more of this in the next section of the review). I liked the ‘echo’ that comes into play during the bridge of PLAY, giving the sense of depth. I also enjoyed the inclusion of the children’s “Na Na Na” and more laughter. This time around, it fits into the larger picture that is PLAY. In addition to the band instrumentation, LUCY’s unique addition of violin is present throughout PLAY, but I wished the violin was a bit stronger and more upfront. This would really allow LUCY shine even brighter. As for the vocals, I really like the nasally tone that the members brought to the song. And this gives PLAY a memorable tinge. The melodies unfortunately didn’t have the same effect. They were pleasant, but they just were not enough to make PLAY more memorable. Overall, a really nice track. Some improvements could be helping in bumping my PLAY‘s appeal. But still a great listen nonetheless.

PLAY presents the message to embrace your childhood, even as an adult. And that is what we see happen in the video. The video features a typical Korean salaryman, who could be in his late 20s or 30s, and whose life is quite grey and dull (which is the literally theme of the start and end of the video). When he slides down the slide at the start of the video, he enters a world full of colour and brightness. But he is only wearing black, representing his detached and deflated mood and feelings. Whatever he does, wherever he goes, he just can’t seem to get out of this mindset. And I don’t blame him. Adulting pressures are definitely hard and not advertised. On the train, he is thrown side to side and squashed by people. At work, he is scolded by his manager. At work parties, he is left with a burnt piece of meat despite being the one cooking it. When he boards the taxi, he wants to be in his own world. And while at the shops, he is emotionless and dejected from the world. But in the midst of all of that, we also see a child version of him, who embraces his youth and childhood, and the world instantly looks better. Sometimes we just need to think back to our childhood to remind ourselves of what life used to be. The child him is running around and having fun, interacting with the band. He is having parties with his co-workers and even enjoying his taxi ride. In the end, the salaryman slides down the slide, returning us to the beginning of the video with the grey colour scheme. He still looks sad and deflated, but you can hear a lady call out to him (presumably his mother), and a smile presents on his face soon after. And I quite like this conclusion, that it is a reminder that at the end of the day, whilst we are all adults, we are still a child because we are someone’s child. So embrace the childhood, as to many of us, it is inherently part of our lives already. Quite a nice and pleasant music video, with a beautiful reminder at the end.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10

[Double Review] I Got U + irrelevant answer – LUCY

LUCY is nominated for Best Band in the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Support LUCY by clicking here to vote for them!

As mentioned last week, I will covering releases that formed part of the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards nominations. Last week, I focused on the Best Rap or Hip-Hop Song category. Today and tomorrow, I will be focusing on the Best Band category. A number of the nominations for Best Band, I have never reviewed before, so this would be a great opportunity to focus on these acts! First up is LUCY, who is a four-member band formed on the TV show Superband. They made their debut in 2020 with Flowering and have been actively promoting ever since. In 2021, they released two title tracks, I Got U in June and irrelevant answer in August. I am also aware that they just returned with Rolling Rolling, but I will not be reviewing that until next year.

I Got U is featured on their June album release, GATCHA. I Got U is one of those songs that you get so stuck into, that by the time it wraps up, you either felt the song went by too quickly or it was too short. I Got U falls into more pleasant territory, than anything else. But there was a lot in there that I found unique or enjoyed. I liked the filtered chant that opened up I Got U, reeling me in with an already unique melody and hook. I found the verses to be quite subdued, with minimalistic band instrumentation and very unique vocals in the higher tone range. That filtered chant returns as the song’s chorus (though it could be passed as a pre-chorus) and with the uniqueness mentioned before continuing on (but with the main vocalist being more upfront). Then, the band kicks up the energy and beat with an amped up instrumental piece. Its fun and definitely colourful. What really stood out in this segment was the violin. Bands don’t usually incorporate violins into their music, focusing more on the typical guitar, keyboard/piano and drums. So LUCY definitely have sent them apart from the rest of the competition with the presence of violin in the song, They skipped the instrumental piece after the second chorus, opting for subdued vocals (from the drummer, might I add!, and the main vocalist with a piercing high note), before returning back to the chorus (which once again could act more as a pre-chorus) and then the return of the instrumental piece that followed the first chorus. I also like the merge of the instrumental piece and the filtered vocals, closing out I Got U in a well-summarised but also fun fashion!

Compared to I Got U, irrelevant answer (their August comeback track) is a lot of heavier in terms of its sound, potentially more aggressive due to the non-stop nature of the song and its much faster tempo. It is a completely different vibe and feel. As I haven’t paid attention to LUCY as much in the past, this ‘different vibe’ demonstrates to me the ability to be versatile, which is always a positive takeaway. I like how the opening had a bit of everyone. A nice re-introduction to the group, in case three months away from LUCY makes it hard to remember them. I quite liked the instrumental of irrelevant answer. The fast tempo and the fact that it barely stops definitely satisfies me. It reminds me of when bands just continue playing non-stop to hype up the crowd. As it went on, the energy became more relentless but in a subtle manner. It is a bit different to what I am used when I apply the word ‘relentless’, but that is what makes the song unique. Unfortunately, I felt the vocals, melodies and hooks were a bit ordinary as well. Nothing was that memorable on these fronts, and I felt disappointed by that. Overall, I still liked the irrelevant answer as a whole, but there was definitely more in which LUCY could have done to take the song to the next level..

The music video for I Got U could have been more fun in my opinion. To me, the music video emphasizes the idea that they are indie artists and that is absolutely fine. They looked playful in the grassy fields, and bowling alleys are much fun (and I always find that their presence in music videos always feel so aesthetic) But I guess I wished that everything was more at ease and casual. I watch the music video with this cramped feeling for some reason, and feel it could have been more freeing. It might be that dullness from the filter, I am not too sure. As for the music video for irrelevant answer, it was more so a video capture of their jam session. They were definitely feeling it and looked like they were enjoying the three minutes in which they play to their heart’s content. I liked this concept and it is also something we don’t get enough of with other bands in KPOP.

I Got U
Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.9/10

irrelevant answer
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8/10