[Review] Switch To Me – Rain & JYP

The next collaboration that I wanted to quickly cover was the final release of 2020. Dropping on the 31st of December 2020 was Switch To Me, a collaboration between Rain and JYP. Rain, for those who don’t know, is a well-known soloist in the KPOP music industry and his famous physique that he has flaunted in his musical releases on numerous occasions (the most iconic being Love Song). More recently, he saw a resurgence in his fame through the remergence of his 2018 track Gang, collaborated with Zico for Summer Hate and collaborated with Yoo Jae Suk and Lee Hyori for SSAK. JYP is a male soloist who we all know, thanks to his old school hits (which are considered classics in the industry) and more recently collaborated with Sunmi for When We Disco. But today, we are hear to have a closer look and listen at Switch To Me.

Switch To Me delves into the new jack swing genre, bringing forth a strong retro appeal for their new song and collaboration. It is super jam packed with energy, which is representative of the genre. And knowing Rain and JYP’s style of music, this energy driven song is totally both their styles. In hindsight, Switch To Me is a pretty straightforward song. But there was a few elements that really made this a collaboration enjoyable. Aside from the energy that I have already touch upon, I really liked the chorus of this song. It was quite memorable and catchy. I particularly liked the way they ended their choruses, giving us a little more than a hard finish would have. I really liked their voices in this song. JYP’s sings in his signature style, while Rain employs a little more huskiness than what I remember his voice contains. The rapping in the second verse was quite nice and adds a burst of exciting energy into the song. I don’t have much else to say about Switch To Me, aside from the fact that it is a strong collaboration track and one that I am sure fans of both soloists have enjoyed.

The music video starts off with what feels like a K-drama scene of two frienemies or rivals praising one another by keeping tabs on one another’s recent achievements. I also like how their dialogue touches on the point that Rain used to be an artist under JYP’s guidance and that he learnt everything from JYP himself. Enter in the actress, who Rain and JYP spend their time throughout the music video competing against each other for. There are abs being flaunted, horse riding and expensive cars being driven. But the ending cracks me up with an unsuspected contender turns up. The ending shows the actress walking towards Rain and JYP, with us suspecting that she will choose one of them. But she ends up going for Psy, whom she was very pleased to see. I loved Psy’s face in response to the two singers and Rain’s reaction to the event.

The performance was pretty good. Despite their age, both Rain and JYP commit to the energtic side of the performance. It is really enjoyable and helps liven the song up a lot more than just the instrumentation/song itself. There seems to be a tiny hint of comedy in the performance from how I see things, no doubt a play on Rain’s recent trendiness and JYP’s usual outrageous performance style. I also quite liked the ending, with both singers going for that half split.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.6/10

[Review] When We Disco – J.Y. Park & Sunmi

The next new release of the week is a collaboration between the CEO of a major entertainment company in Korea and one of his former artists. The CEO I am referring to is none of than J.Y. Park, the CEO of JYP Entertainment, who has periodically released music and continued as an artist in the industry, even during the modern era of KPOP. Sunmi is probably a name that a lot of us recongise given her successful solo career (her most recent solo release being pporappippam). She was also a member of Wonder Girls, which was one of the famous groups of Korea under JYP Entertainment when they were still active. The two have jouned hands together for When We Disco, which dropped last night.

Based off the title of the song, it clear that the collaboration would be dealing with the retro influence. And that expectation was defintiely fulfilled with the European disco instrumental. I liked that the instrumental didn’t stray away from the disco influence, which is the likely route that other KPOP groups would have gone with given that is the default trend of today’s music. And it was quite consistent. That didn’t pose a problem here, as When We Disco feels fresh, relative to the releases we have been getting from other KPOP acts. And it is hard to find the disco influence boring, as the energy is always likeable (and a memorable part of my childhood, as that was the songs that my mother enjoyed while she was growing up and she would play it a lot when I was younger). Both J.Y Park and Sunmi effortlessly sing their way through the song with really enjoyable melodies. They are very easy on the ears. Even the filtered vocals at the start were not harsh in anyway, which really helped make the song appealing. The only thing that I did dislike about the song is the inclusion of the infamous JYP whipser at the end. It is such an awkward position for it and it just doesn’t fit in with the retro theme. I know it is his song, so it makes perfect sense for him to put an audio signature into the song. But I just wished it had a retro twist to fit in better wtih the song. Other than that, When We Disco is a fun, catchy and enjoyable collaboration between two icons of the KPOP industry.

The song is about a past love who disappeared from their lives. They reminsce about this person and wonder what they are doing now. And that is exactly what we see in this video. J.Y. Park and Sunmi used to be lovers. But some other guy pulled them apart. Sunmi went on to be a singer in the storyline and reunited with J.Y. Park. The exact same thing happened this time around, with the other guy ordering his henchmen to pull the reunited couple apart. This time around Sunmi fights back and with J.Y. Park runs away. While this is a nice story, I wondered what the smile on the other guy’s face was all about. It looked supscious. I was lowkey expecting a confrontational scene between J.Y. Park and the other guy towards the end of the video, but we never got it.

The dance is not complicated. Well, this comment is based on how I percieve it. Given my two left feet, it might be a completely different story. But relatively speaking, it isn’t too complicated and I am sure that we will be seeing great stages. It also fits in with the retro influence. I love how odd the dance gets towards the end. It is still within the retro genre, just not how I expected the dance to play out.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10