[Review] Lovelyz’s solid but understated “Beautiful Days” throws back to their earlier work

I’ve always appreciated Woollim Entertainment’s ability to curate music that stays true to its artists’ personas. While so many others rush to jump on whatever’s popular at the moment, a group like Lovelyz slowly but surely crafts a cohesive discography that feels like an intentional body of work rather than a ‘try everything and see what sticks’ approach. One could argue that this results in unadventurous or reductive music, but Woollim’s classicist touch has proven to stand the test of time. More importantly, their focus helps create a dedicated (if somewhat limited) fan base.

When it comes to Lovelyz, you can count me among those fans. Ever since their 2014 debut, I’ve appreciated their sometimes-cutesy, sometimes-elegant retro-styled synth pop. New single “Beautiful Days” feels like a throwback to their debut era, bolstered by the kind of refined performance that only time can forge. It’s hard to call a dance track “subdued,” but “Beautiful Days” has a breezy, dreamlike quality that comes across as very natural — if not immediately galvanizing in the way of the group’s most iconic work.

“Beautiful Days” is positioned more as a victory lap than a statement of intent. Its wistful chorus feels ripped from any number of past singles, as does the synth-heavy, light-as-air production. But, we’re retreading excellent territory here. I love that the song’s club-ready beat sustains through nearly the entire track, pausing only for a lush bridge that showcases the lower registers of the members’ vocals. This cohesive tempo reminds me of a simpler time in pop music, and results in a sneakily compelling production.

“Beautiful Days” may not pack the punch that some might have been hoping for, but it’s another solid addition to an incredibly distinct singles run.

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