LABOUM initially attracted my attention with a series of peppy and catchy tracks like “Aalow Aalow“ (this is still THE shit, I don’t care), “Hwi Hwi“, and “Only U“, all of which deserved more attention than they got. Unfortunately, what did end up getting them attention were sajaegi accusations (coupons, bitches) and Yulhee leaving the group (cause she got knocked up). With all that going down in the past year or so, as well as ZN making UNI.T from ‘The Unit‘, this was probably as good a time as any to change directions, and LABOUM did exactly that on “Between Us“.
LABOUM have always leaned more on production than execution, and musically that’s generally worked out extremely well for them. With “Between Us” a bit more was asked of the girls themselves due to the song not being as busy as their usual fare. While it’s not always up to par (some girls have vocals that are too light), they generally surprised me a bit by delivering more often than not the type of sensual appeal necessary for this type of sound.
Usually with songs in the same mold as “Between Us”, the verses are boring, but things were kept interesting throughout thanks to an underlying beat that reminded me a lot of Girl’s Day‘s “Something“, which is a rock-solid foundation and always a positive association in my book. The pre-chorus gradually and effectively builds tension, but the chorus is actually rather reserved. However, it picks up in the back half of the refrain, and the whole thing develops this surprisingly foot-tapping quality to it that’s easy to latch on to.
So while “Between Us” admittedly wasn’t as immediately appealing as their standout earworms from the past, it definitely seems like a grower, as multiple listens gave me a better appreciation for the sound and its appeal. I’m already starting to think it could end up being my third-favorite release by them, which is high praise from me because the two ahead of it (“Aalow Aalow” in 2015 and “Only U” in 2017) are well within my Top 100 for their respective years.