Deflecting whatever slump might have been feared over the year’s hiatus since “Remember”, A Pink return with a gorgeously sophisticated new single and music video, giving a mature gloss to their autumn comeback while losing none of their exquisite girlish charm.
The girls’ moody housesitting routines, eating pancakes alone on the stairs or dumping out copious rivers of purple glitter, recall Lovelyz in their “Hi” and “Shooting Star” videos. Eunji, as befits a triumphant solo artist, communes in her loft with what we infer to be the Pink Revolution album playing while she scribbles in her journal.
Where the video for “Remember” started off great, then petered off as the imagery became more about generic portrayals of having fun, this video creates a subtle but satisfying three-act structure, climaxing with Eunji’s glance at the neon ferris wheel beside her on the floor and transitioning, through a subtle quick fade to the actual playground. This could be a flash forward to their next adventure, or a recollection of one past. It’s a sweet ambiguity, unpretentious in its cleverness, and it lends just the slightest satisfying tone of melancholy. I’m in love with the way this video, without striking out for anything startlingly “new”, makes such stylish use even of familiar tropes like “dancing in a box”– here in a lovely white hall festooned with an armada of white balloons along the roof.
The wan, diffused palette recalls the Juniel, Laboum, and Girl’s Day videos of fall 2014. One might have feared from the first teaser that the video would be almost unwatchable in its wispy, low contrast vagueness, but the final product’s polish renders it a low-key feast for the eyes. While the imagery overall may not have the compacted precision of design we see in “Mr. Chu”, this video is easily superior to the ones for “Remember” or “Luv”: in its visual poetry and whimsical delight it competes with the elysian visions of their classic ballad videos “Secret Garden” and “Petal”. All the soft-focus white tints, the hazes of fog, the raindrops and flowers and lights glittering in the playground dark, are a shimmering vision of rarefied beauty.
And with this new single, they have a piece of mid-tempo pop music which can also compete with their exalted ballads. Though it may sacrifice the exuberance of their previous singles, “Only One” has a lambent beauty that will wow Pink Pandas and hopefully woo the charts too. This is pale September after all, and with this comeback A Pink has nailed what for me are the giddy delights of this most beloved, most heavenly season. A Pink hwaiting!