[Review] April’s “The Blue Bird” is another solid building block, but quest for breakout continues

Production team e.one has carved out quite a niche for themselves composing material for girl groups, and that includes the creation of most of April’s singles. Their signature style — a mix of the ornate and the electronic — has fared well for the girls, even if they’ve yet to nail down that one breakthrough single. “The Blue Bird” is very much in keeping with the group’s past work, presenting an elegant pop melody at the expense of some of the immediacy that characterizes their most addictive tracks.

Right out of the gate, the song’s gorgeous strings loop guarantees that we’re in safe hands. It’s a simple little hook, but manages to be instantly endearing when coupled with the potent shuffle of the instrumental supporting it. Things slow down considerably for the muted verse, which could have done with a bit more punch. Part of me wonders what “The Blue Bird” might have sounded like as a full-on dance track, rather than the ever-shifting mid-tempo it is.

Still, these underwhelming verses do a nice job setting up the lavish chorus. In many ways, this refrain comes across as a natural sequel to their “April Story” from last year. It’s not a particularly ear-grabbing melody, but the orchestral touches and climactic use of percussion elevate it. The girls deliver an engaging performance, injecting a genuine sense of emotion rather than simply settling for “cute.” It’s another solid entry in their singles discography, even if I doubt it will perform any stronger than their past few releases. But I guess slow and steady wins the race, and April are slowing building up a cohesive catalog of refined K-pop.

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