[Review] Loved You – BAE173

Next up on the blog are some reviews for releases from the last few weeks that I have not yet reviewed. First up is BAE173’s first comeback single, Loved You. This one in particular is one I really wanted find time to write a standalone review for, for a number of reasons. Firstly, this is the first time I am reviewing a BAE173 release. They made their debut earlier this year with Crush On U (which I have yet to review, I will definitely get to it soon!). Other reasons will become apparent as I review this release. But as this is the first time I am reviewing BAE173, I will need to provide a little introduction to the group. BAE173 is a nine-member male group under Pocketdol Studio, consisting of J-Min, Hangyul, Yoojun, Muzin, Junseo, Yongseo, Doha, Bit and Dongpyo. Members Hangyul and Dongpyo may be familiar as they debuted as part of X1 and later formed duo H&D, before disbanding to re-debut as part of BAE173.

What really excited me about Loved You when I first heard, and even now, it is how much it reminded me of Big Bang’s works. To be able to pinpoint that exact feeling is something that is extremely hard, given Big Bang’s vast array of songs under their belt. But as I, like many, miss Big Bang greatly, this puts Loved You in a very favourable light. What I also like about Loved You is that it is a satsifyingly cohesive track. It made for a good listen and nothing felt out of place for me. From the piano work we get in the pre-chorus, to the strumming of guitar in the background of the verses, to the simple instrumental break that we get as part of the bridge. Instrumentally, the song is quite sound and memorable for me. Sure, Loved You could use some improvements in the vocal department. I do admit that they are not as memorable as they could have been. In fact, one might describe their vocals and rapping as rather dull, especially for an instrumental as good as this one. But I think that thought might be a bit extreme as I felt the members were going in the right direction with what they had going on in Loved You. They just could have been a bit more energetic with their delivery in retrospect, especially as the rappers felt very subdued. I think Loved You could have really benefited from something that was more dynamic as this potentially uplifted the song to a whole new level. Overall, Loved You is a really solid song for BAE173, putting them on the radar for new artsists to look out for in 2021.

When I watch the music video for Loved You, I can’t help think that PocketIdol Studio is holding back an extended version. I feel like there is a more fulfilling story to be told, but it had to be cut down to fit the parameters of a music video (even though this one did go for a longer than usual amount of time). As a result, I don’t think I can really form a storyline. But I think there is enough to take a stab at a guess. It seems like the music video revovles around one member, as in one scene the members disappeared leaving only one behind. Similarly, there is one member lyring over his desk in the swimming pool, whereas evertyone is standing around him. My best guess is that the music video talks about the struggles of being alone. But I am not sure what the giant big cat and the flames around the members suggest. Maybe I will revisit this video in a Music Video Theory post (which I planning doing again in the future, but just don’t have the time to restart at the moment). I also like how the music video features an extended version of the song, which I think adds appeal to continually rewatch the video.

The performance that accompanies Loved You is pretty good. My favourite bit has to the be the instrumental break that features the performance’s dance break. Though brief, I felt that it really delivered and showcased the group’s performance skillset. Similarly, I felt the same with the rest of the performance. I just wished the rest was a little more memorable.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.3/10

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