Cherry Bullet is a rookie girl group that I’ve been trying super hard to get into. I really enjoyed their more girl crush style song “Hands Up” last year, but they tend to go for more bright and cutesy stuff – which is nice but not my style. While their latest song “Love So Sweet” is still definitely on the more girly side, I’ve been finding it downright addicting.
First of all, I’m SUPER obsessed with this song. I thought I was getting tired of the synthpop/retro trend, but apparently I was wrong. The melody of “Love So Sweet” is soft and delicate, and it really does make me envision cute things like candy. It’s just so lovely and catchy; it genuinely hasn’t left my head since I heard it, and I don’t mind at all. I feel like this is exactly the style of music that would appeal to the general public. If Cherry Bullet just had a *little* more recognition, it could have easily been their breakout song.
Normally, I find “sweet” songs to be too over the top. So, I appreciate how “Love So Sweet” has sugary vocals but doesn’t milk them to the point where it gets obnoxious. However, I’m not as in love with the dance because I do think it’s a touch too cutesy. I admit it’s fun and bouncy, but there are so many frivolous hand gestures that end up being really distracting. Which is a contrast from “Hands Up,” where everything was very clean and polished and done with purpose. And the aegyo key points seem super young to me since my elementary school students do that kind of stuff all the time. That being said, I do find the dance very memorable and I think it has a very classic feel. Which is a nice change of pace, because girl group dances have kind of evolved from choreographies that emphasize the key point.
I love the fun girly aesthetics for the music video, and I adore all of Cherry Bullet’s colorful retro outfits. There’s so much pink, and you all know how much I love pink things. (I don’t know why I like pink things but am so resistant to cute concepts; it’s truly a mystery.) But I was a little disappointed to see that it was pretty much just a really nice looking dance video, and there wasn’t any of Cherry Bullet’s video game concept. I always enjoyed how their music videos included some gaming or technological aspect like virtual reality or social media, and I think it helped them stand apart in terms of creativity. I’m not saying it ALWAYS has to be there, but it’s a unique element that could neatly tie all of their music videos together – and it doesn’t have to be high concept, either.
MY OVERALL INTEREST LEVEL
(NOTE: My options for each category are “Love,” “Like,” “Neutral,” “Not My Style,” or “Dislike.” But I rarely dislike anything, so I’ll mostly be using the other four.)
All in all, Cherry Bullet did a nice job with “Love So Sweet.” It has everything that a successful girl group comeback should have, and the girls execute everything flawlessly. But while I enjoy it immensely, I’m concerned that it doesn’t do much to make Cherry Bullet stand out from the competition. While “Love So Sweet” is a wonderful song, it doesn’t have any of the group’s unique flair. I can easily think of at least five other girl groups who could make a single like this – and in K-pop, you really want to release a track that only your group could do. The girls also all sound the same while they’re singing, which doesn’t help. And that’s definitely a production/direction issue, because they all had very distinctive voices in “Hands Up.” The same goes for the choreography and music video – they’re fun and appealing, but they’re also a little on the formulaic side.
Ultimately, I don’t think this is a huge issue for Cherry Bullet – in my opinion, we’re really just talking about the difference between a B+ and an A-. They’re all very minor details. Plus Cherry Bullet is only in their third year, so I’m aware they’re still laying their foundations. It’s just that not many people know of them, and I really want them to succeed! FNC came up with such a unique name and concept, and it feels like that’s disappearing little by little. “Love So Sweet” was a good comeback; but if FNC had made more an effort to help Cherry Bullet shine, it would have been truly great.
(“Knee Jerk Reaction” is a column I created to talk about comebacks or debuts when I don’t have a lot of time to write in-depth reviews. A knee jerk reaction is like an automatic response, so it’s a post about my initial thoughts on the song, the music video, and the performance if it’s available. Compared to my reviews, everything is more stream of consciousness and less analytical. And everything is 100% my own opinion!)
SOURCES: Music video belongs to FNC Entertainment. Cover Image is of Cherry Bullet at Music Bank, which was originally posted on their Twitter here.