The focus on soloists this week on the blog is quite timely, given the biggest release this week is without a doubt the solo debut of one of the members of the biggest KPOP group at the moment. JIN (from BTS) is the logical choice as the next member of the 7-member group for solo promotions, given that he is expected to be the first member to officially enlist into the military (which I believe will happen some time in the next two months). However, just before he does leave, JIN gives us The Astronaut, the title of his solo debut track and the focus of this review.
You may notice right off the bat that the track feels very Coldplay. Well, you notice and thought right, as both JIN and Coldplay co-wrote The Astronaut. If you pay close attention, you can hear Chris Martin contributing to the song via some of the backing vocals, as well. With this partnership in mind, it does not surprise me that The Astronaut is a pop rock song with a hint of synths. And it is a very beautiful one, at that. It isn’t one of those vibrant and upbeat pop rock songs that I think KPOP has geared towards more. Instead, The Astronaut opts for a slower pace that draws out the song in a captivating and stunning manner. I am glad that the slow pace doesn’t draw out the song to the point of boredom, which easily could have been the case. As for the vocals, I am quite entranced. JIN isn’t the person to come to mind when it comes to vocals in BTS, so I was interested in hearing what he has to offer in terms of his official solo work. In The Astronaut, we get to hear a heartfelt and profound tone from JIN. He utilised his lower tone so well in the song to captivate me. I also enjoyed the moments in the song where his vocals become wispy, which helped make The Astronaut more appealing and dimensional. The Astronaut was incredibly thought out and played towards JIN’s strengths. Sadly, it will be a while until we hear from JIN again, but The Astronaut leaves me (and a lot of listeners) quite satisfied for the next while.
While the song’s lyrics appear to have been written for the fans, the story that was told in the music video was so nice and equally as fitting for The Astronaut‘s lyrics. Essentially, JIN plays an alien, who was left to fend for himself when his spaceship crashed into Earth. During his time on Earth, he befriended a young girl who he hanged out with often. A lot of his fondest memories was with her, where she taught him pastimes and he taught her to ride a bike. One day, the spaceship starts beaming up a light which I guess is a call for Alien JIN to return to his home planet. He leaves behind the young girl who was looking for him with a bike (but not after leaving her with his helmet) and makes his way to the spaceship. When he reaches it, however, he realizes that he made Earth his home and reflects on his time with his friend. He ultimately makes the decision to stay behind and returns home. When the young girl rings the bell on the bike at the end, he see a smile on his face, showing us that he is happy with the big and spontaneous decision.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.4/10