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Postmodern Jukebox Singer Robyn Adele Anderson On Why She Loves Lovelyz's 'Goodnight Like Yesterday' [VIDEO]

By Robyn Adele Anderson | January 22, 2015 08:02 PM EST


One of the new girl groups to hit the K-pop scene in 2014 is Lovely, an eight-member homogenous collection of whimsical dream girls.

Upon first glance they appear to possess the fundamental virtues of a typical K-pop girl group--femininity, youth and beauty. Donning school-girl uniforms, drawn-on eyebrows and highlighted hair, they sing about breakups, crushes and good old-fashioned puppy love.

At first glanse, there isn't really anything unique or distinguishable about Lovelyz, they merely fall into a sub-category of girl groups who embody a more conservative and demure image and sound, (as opposed to groups such as Girls Generation who flaunt a sexier and more urban-influenced style).

However, debut Lovelyz single "Goodnight Like Yesterday," released in November, definitely caught my attention. 

"Goodnight Like Yesterday" has a noticeably retro sound, albeit not that far back. The song evokes the sound of American pop tunes of the late 90's/early 2000's. The soft vocals combined with the white-washed R&B rhythm and MIDI instrumental tracks makes it a quintessential pop song of the previous decade.

If Mandy Moore were to be cast as the voice of the first Korean Disney princess, this would be the song that she sings during the closing credits.

The first aspect of "Goodnight Like Yesterday that grabbed me was the melody. Not only was it pleasant but it was discernable, memorable and spanned more than a few intervals. The fact that there is only simple instrumental accompaniment made the vocals easier to hear. Not only is the melody dynamic, but the addition of vocal harmonies helped bring more depth and authentic musicality to the song.

"Goodnight Like Yesterday" contains a musical attribute that I find is hard to come by in K-pop, the presence of a distinct chord progression.

Contemporary American pop music is rooted in it's resonant chords and basslines, especially music that is dance-friendly. The simple piano and guitar lines in "Goodnight Like Yesterday" provide a solid foundation for the song and create an intriguing melancholic dissonance that builds tension throughout the verses and the chorus.

Also unlike many K-pop songs, there are no English lyrics thrown in here.

Although sporadic English lyrics provide a clue to Anglophone listeners as to what the song is about, they can also disrupt the mysterious and poetic nature of the song. If poorly translated, they can also unintentionally create a moment awkardness or even humor which would truly disrupt the mood of an emotional song. Fortunately, the only awkward translation in "Goodnight Like Yesterday" is the title itself.

My only complaint about this first effort from Lovelyz is that (like most pop music) the vocals are heavily Auto-Tuned. Though this is not completely obvious on the recording, is very apparent and seemlingly also quite necessary after watching this live performance of "Goodnight Like Yesterday" on Korean TV program "The Show."

However, I have to give the band members credit for singing live and not lip-syncing to a backtrack, unlike certain American pop stars who shall remain nameless.

Overall, Lovelyz have produced a catchy tune with delightful vocals and instrumentation. The message of the song can be felt through the music alone, whatever your native tongue.

Watch Lovelyz's "Goodnight Like Yesterday" RIGHT HERE

Robyn Adele Anderson is one of the singers of the genre-bending New York City musical collective Postmodern Jukebox. The group has received over 160 million YouTube views for their innovative jazz, doo-wop and soul reinventions of modern pop hits, including "Gentleman" by Psy.


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