Oh Rainbow. If only your label’s ability to market your brand was as good as your actual singles. This week, we take a look at Rainbow’s “Sweet Dream,” a song that retains some sweet replayability and a video that is wholly unnecessary.
From the moment the song starts, “Sweet Dream” manages to accomplish a couple of pretty impressive and competing feats. The light and bouncy keys and snares give “Sweet Dream” a levity that creates an atmosphere of fantastical fluff. However, the song is also able to manufacture a pretty substantial adrenaline rush thanks to some T-ara-esque hammering synths and double-tracked, full-bodied choruses. The interplay between the delicate verses and the exuberant choruses propels “Sweet Dream” from start to finish and it never allows the listener to get bored along the way, despite the predictable vocal journey and the simple production of the instrumental track. And when things threaten to lag a bit towards the end, Woori’s rap adds just enough spice to get the song through the final chorus. And, like any good pop song, “Sweet Dream” doesn’t overstay its welcome. It’s three and a half minutes of a catchy tune with a rollicking chorus. “Sweet Dream” never tries to re-invent the wheel but it is definitely a smooth ride.
Unfortunately, while the song is a classic (and I will not hear otherwise), the video has aged horribly. The “Sweet Dream” theme is combined with some sort of masquerade ball-club set and while either a wholly dream-like video OR a mysterious club video could have been executed in a way that’s interesting, “Sweet Dream” doesn’t really commit to either idea. Sure, the multiplying Woori’s and Jisook’s are nice but the slow-motion club scenes are laughably spartan and the warm yellow lighting makes it look like the video was shot at lunch time. Weirdly, for a song that takes place in a club setting and has a beat that seems ripe for choreography, there’s no actual shots of Rainbow dancing. The total effect makes the whole video look less like an unbelievable dream and more like a middling bar on a Tuesday afternoon.
While the video may be bad, “Sweet Dream” always seems to end up in my K-Pop rotation because it’s a simple song executed well. The double-tracked vocals are infinitely listenable and the beat has the pace and tempo of a Marvel Studios film: Sure, you can probably predict how the plot will unfold but that somehow doesn’t make the trip any less enjoyable.