#1) ‘Cherry Rush’ – Cherry Bullet
rom losing three members—one of whom was the leader of the group—to encountering controversy for music that was completely out of their control, Cherry Bullet has had a rocky two years since their debut.
Despite this, they continue to outdo themselves with each and every comeback, and “Love So Sweet” is no exception.
Whether it’s the nostalgia-tinged synths, vocals drenched in reverb or general quietness of the track, there’s an underlying sadness to “Love So Sweet” that I adore. Rather than going for a candy-pop, instant-happy-pill sound, “Love So Sweet” strikes the perfect balance between colorful and tender. Packaged nicely with cute choreography, pastel-core styling and a Valentine’s Day aesthetic, “Love So Sweet” easily takes the cake as Cherry Bullet’s best title track, and Cherry Rush, as their best project.
B-side “Follow Me” is that “candy-pop, instant-happy-pill” type I mentioned earlier. With its use of horns, enthusiastic group vocals and lighthearted writing, “Follow Me” is bubbly, theatrical and, honestly, refreshing to see in the K-pop sphere. Over the past few years, cute concepts have really fallen out. While there’s nothing wrong with a girl-crush anthem about being confident and breaking hearts, the market has certainly become oversaturated, and thus, it’s great to see Cherry Bullet bringing back that endearing, sweet-yet-flirty style.
Also, much to my delight, “Follow Me” was chosen as the b-side to be promoted on music shows. The girls have adopted this 1950s aesthetic of poodle skirts, neck scarves, polka dots and saddle shoes, which I love because it’s super unique and perfectly matches the song.
Any of the other three b-sides, however, could’ve been promoted alongside “Love So Sweet”—this mini-album is that good. “Ting-a-ring-a-ring” is a dreamy, jazz-influenced track that delicately blends elegant piano, softly-strummed guitar and wistful vocals.
“Whatever” must be laced with something—it’s so addictive. The bass is just subtle enough to drive along the glittery synths and play off the other retro-inspired elements without overpowering the delicate harmonies and joyful atmosphere that’s impossible to not groove along to.
Lastly, as the only track on Cherry Rush to highlight Cherry Bullet’s more assertive, girl-crush side, the attitude-packed “Keep Your Head Up” is sure to satisfy fans who prefer the group’s “Bullet” concept. Atop the blown-out bass and blunt percussion, the girls declare, “I’m the main character / I’m the only one in style, I’m the only one who’s different… I’ll show you something bold.”
And, bold they are, just not in the conventional, feisty way. Cute and sweet concepts are risky in an industry and fanbase that prefer confident, self-empowered music, from both boy and girl groups. Cherry Bullet are reconstructing the narrative that confidence only takes form in shouted affirmations or rap-heavy bangers, when in fact, it comes in all shapes and sizes, as it does on Cherry Rush.
7.5 / 10