While I am catching up on more recent reviews (barely even scratched the surface of that list), I am also keeping in mind some of the older releases which I haven’t reviewed yet. One song that falls into this ‘older’ category and has been continually emerging on my playlist at the moment is Kim Sejeong’s latest single, Whale. It was released mid-August and follows the release of Plant. That one was released 2 months prior in July of this year. Both songs haven’t been reviewed yet, so I am going to do it one go in this double review format.
Plant is a ballad, an expected starting point for the solo career of the main vocalist of any group, not just Gugudan. It is a features a pleasant orchestral instrumental, which can be broken down into nice strings and soothing piano. It is extremely slow paced, so it isn’t my preferred type of ballad. But it was still a good one, nonetheless. An interesting observation is that it never climaxes, despite it does do some building to reach that orchestral touch. Another interesting observation is that the song feels relatively short despite doing for almost four minutes. But all of that is okay as Sejeong captivates us with her vocals. They are beautiful and really helps elevate the ballad into an elegant piece.
Whale opts for a little more upbeatness but remains very light for the entirety of the track. But it incorporates a more pop aligned instrumental, which features some nice acoustic guitar and mid-tempo percussion. It reminds me of a number of songs, such as Jeong Eunji’s recent solo comeback, AWay, and AKMU’s Dinosaur. As a result, it feels typical. One good thing about the track is nice Kim Sejeong sounds in the song. I really like the entire bridge of the song, which features a short yet sweet high flutey note at the very end (and the entire sequence is in English). Unfortunately, the song doesn’t earn a 10/10 from me though. When it was first released, it was easily forgettable due to its lightness and typical nature. That bars the song from getting the highest ranking as that thought does linger to this day (and I quite like/recognise it now everytime it pops up on my phone/playlist).
The slow pace of the music video for Plant compliments the slowness of the song. I quite liked that. As for the meaning of the video, I pinched the following interpretation from a YouTube comment (courtesy of kyu). Essentially, Sejeong is lonely in this world. The plastic bags she encounters throughout the video (i.e. the plastic bags in her mobile home, the plastic bags that are floating about while she was in the car and the plastic bag art display in the abandoned warehouse that she dances around) represents the negative thoughts, perceptions and words that she has to deal with. The plant that she grows in her mobile home is essentially the only thing not in a plastic bag and represents positivity in her life, hence why she is smiling at the end. For Whale, there isn’t really a music video. Instead there is a ‘live clip’ that acts as a music video. It is an okay video, focusing on Sejeong and her singing. I would have liked if her company put a bit of money towards a music video, as Whale deserves something with a little more substance. The live clip was pretty unfocused and had this yellow hue hazy filter which dulled the experience for me.
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.2/10
Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 6/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10