Synthpop never fails me, I tell you.
For someone who descends from the sonic brilliance that is Mexican electro-pop trio Belanova, K-indie chanteuse Yoo-jin Lim (aka Neon Bunny) strikes the perfect chord for me, and this year manages to bridge the airiness of her 2011 album ‘Seoulight‘ (excellent in its own right, that album) with an even stronger synth production for her 2012 mini-album, ‘Happy Ending‘.
The 80′s vibes that doused her debut album are strong here, but Neon Bunny serves up a fresh new use of that inspiration, with instrumentals that echo the likes of the playful bass-driven anthems of French duo Jus†ice.
‘Happy Ending’ is trendy as hell and a lot tighter in production value than what I’ve heard from her. The rock elements aren’t as pronounced this time as they were over a year ago, taking generous amounts of Euro beats under her wing and pretty much dancing her ass of to them this summer. It’s not a turn off at all, but it’s interesting to listen to Neon Bunny strutting into a very different form of Korean indie music.
“비눗방울” and “Plastic Heart” are light, frilly synth-pop jams that add a sweet bounce as a backdrop to Neon Bunny’s funnel-y vocal processing. Imagine you’re talking to her via telephone outside a thumping French night club in the middle of its hottest track. That’s what these songs sound like, and what Neon Bunny’s vocals come off as, as she funnels her airy voice through pipes of sweet EQ.
The instrumentals in particular are sexy, and for someone who adores gorgeous bass guitar leads, hits the spot with fierce stamps. Melodically, while not nearly as engaging as what I fell in love with on ‘Seoulight’, Neon Bunny attains a level of beauty in her delivery. Forgettable for the most part, sadly, but beautiful nonetheless.
If there’s a stand out track to choose, I’d gladly give that honor to “첫사랑“, the last song on this project. The bonding of Neon Bunny’s vocal lead and the smooth synth beat is one of her strongest to date, and gorgeous at that. It’s totally 80s inspired, but so much stronger for Neon Bunny as a vocalist, who manages to juxtapose her softness as an artist with some pretty aggressive synthesized beats.
That’s the piercing take-away of this entire mini-album. Neon Bunny fearlessly attacked strong, and as Korean Indie has said, oftentimes dark tones in ‘Happy Ending’ that weren’t as bravely displayed on ‘Seoulight’.
Two music videos are in the works, so I’ll be mad trolling to see when they drop. Because with such a vibrant mini-album, visual stimulation is the logical next step now.
| Points scale
0 – could do without
0.5 – mediocre/filler
0.75 – pretty good/grew on me
1 – liked immediately
Points to stars conversion: [(3/4) x 5] + 0.25*
*there is a 0.25 bonus for every album. The logic is that, if every song were “pretty good”, it’s a 4-star album.