Following her solo debut in January 2022 with SMILEY and subsequent comeback in August of 2022 with SMARTPHONE, YENA is officially back with a new song release. The title of the new single is Love War, and the single also features rapper BE’O (who gained popularity through his participating in Show Me The Money 10 and his subsequent music releases since then).
What a drastic change to YENA’s sound. Last year, it was all about bright and addictive pop rock energy. This time around, YENA has gone for a much more mature sound, delving into the R&B genre. While I enjoy a good switch up and don’t mind YENA’s change in direction with Love War, I do think Love War could have been a bit more appealing. Personally, YENA could have gone with a more memorable melody for the chorus. I just can’t seem to pinpoint a strong melody in the first half. Luckily, Love War‘s main hook (“Oh My Lover, Its a Love War“) does have a memorable factor, though it is rather plain upon reflection. I also felt the choruses was too similar to YENA’s verse, with the only difference I personally could detect was some amplification. On a more positive note though, I really love YENA’s vocals in Love War. The soft and husky tone she brings just sounds so good, and brings a sense of fragility and vulnerability to the song, I also love her falsetto that she reaches following BE’O’s rap. That was perfection and handled really well. BE’O’s rap was a bit interesting. Part of me feels like he overpowers YENA’s presence in the song with his stronger oomph he puts behind his delivery/verse. But listening to Love War a few more times since its release has warmed me up to his sequence a bit more. I do like how both YENA and BE’O come together to deliver the final chorus, which I found to be a nice touch. Overall, I do like the change in direction (despite also missing the pop rock phase that YENA debuted with). Though more could have been done with Love War.
Love War (which is a play on the word Lover, as both sounds similar) describes the precarious point in the relationship where the couple are fighting with one another. They used to be in love, but that same spark just isn’t there anymore. In fact, a much different spark is present. This video depicts both YENA and BE’O having that fight. It is a tense and dark atmosphere at the dining table (with literal storms in the background). We see scenes of her storming away, setting the place on fire, throwing things about to express her frustration. On BE’O’s end, we see him in the corridor, as if he just left the apartment after a verbal fight to cool down. In the end, we see YENA takes extreme measures and approach BE’O in the streets with a gun, further highlighting the lyrics of Love War. Overall, I think this video nails the message behind the song and the lyrics. I also commend the pair on their acting.
I quite enjoyed the performance. There was a bit of choreography, but it was kept to a minimum. Instead, the focus was on the delivery, which I appreciate. It starts off with a couple (not YENA and BE’O involved) having a fight. It is a short one, but it sets the scene for this performance. We then get some dancers doing their thing, while YENA joins in during the key and doable parts that doesn’t distract her from her live vocals. BE’O joins her on stage for his rap. But the concept of this whole comeback is that they are angry with another and they do a good job of showing that. I quite liked the ending, where both YENA and BE’O separates and walk in different directions, ending the video in a very cool but fitting note.
Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.3/10