The next solo artist review (don’t worry, I have some more reviews for solo debuts lined up for tomorrow and the weekend) is for JO YURI, who made her solo comeback at the start of this week with Loveable. It is the title track from her second single album, Op.22 Y-Waltz : in Minor, which also dropped on the same day as the single. This release follows her earlier 2022 comeback, Love Shhh!, which I really enjoyed.
I feel that JO YURI is on a roll with her 2022 releases. Love Shhh! was a bright and energetic track that really appealed to my own personal taste and was a definite improvement from her solo debut with GLASSY. Loveable continues that momentum with another bright and energetic song. But it isn’t as great as previous track, to be honest. Loveable‘s verses didn’t have anything memorable to them, which left them behind and forgettable. I wished there was an element or two within the verses to give them a somewhat memorable tinge. This was much needed, especially since the choruses opts for a heftier set of percussion and vocals that had some oomph, which overtook and overpowered the verses by a long mile. I did appreciate the difference between the chorus and the verses, but I also felt the chorus could have had a stronger hook to balance out the song a bit better. The catchiest bit of Loveable comes in the post-chorus hook, i.e. the “Aah, Na Na Na“. It was so catchy and extremely vibrant that it was the only part of Loveable that I took with me the first time I heard the song and still cannot get out of my head. So much so that I feel the post-chorus hook also overtakes and overpowers the chorus, just like how the chorus did the same to the verses. Hence, I feel that balance that I mentioned a moment ago is critically missing from the song. The bridge for Loveable gave a really pleasant moment to the song, between forgettable and powerfully memorable sequences. Jo Yuri surely displayed her vocals throughout the song. Overall, I liked Loveable, but its weight towards one or two sections in the song made it feel unbalanced.
The music video depicts JO YURI as a neighbourhood lookout, who notices the community is feeling down and work behind the scenes to make everyone feel valued and happy once again. She starts out with the young boy, who was trying to pop balloons with a slingshot. He misses and his confidence takes a stumble, but JO YURI helps him out by shooting the balloons from afar to boost his confidence and help him win the big teddy bear. The pink sniper was a bit overkill, but I think the intention is the point here. She then notices a young man feeling deflated, but that he also had a bit of fun with bubbles. So she decides to use the local fountain to generate a lot of bubbles to make the community feel bright and lively again. It was a cute video and a sweet story to tell, even though it attempted to be cutesy when it didn’t need to.
The chorography was quite good. I love the whole routine during the song’s catchiest hook. It definitely matched the energy and and vibrancy of that part in the song. I could have done without the high tables, I think. They don’t add much value to the performance and they easily could have done without them
Song – 8/10 Music Video – 8/10 Performance – 7.5/10 Overall Rating – 7.9/10
Time for another review for an “older” release. This time, the focus is on JO YURI’s Summer comeback which occurred back at the start of June of this year. The song that lead this comeback is titled Love Shhh! and is featured on JO YURI’s first mini-album, Op.22 Y-Waltz: in Major. This comeback follows her debut last year with GLASSY.
One word summarises GLASSY to this day for me – forgettable. As a result, I didn’t have much expectations going into Love Shhh!. My only hope was this new song was not a repeat of her debut. And well, JO YURI definitely hit the brief. It might because I had super low expectations for this comeback, but I think it is more correct to say JO YURI exceeded the brief by a lot with Love Shhh!. Love Shhh! is much more dynamic, energetic and full of vigor that makes the track super bright and animated for me. Its pop dance vibe is infectious and the guitars bring both an explosive and funky element to the song. Even JO YURI sounds livelier in Love Shhh!. I did wish her vocals packed more of a punch and gave us a bit more texture as the song progressed. We were definitely heading in that direction. There was opportunity for the producers to experiment with her vocal tones, which potentially would have Love Shhh! even more engaging and interesting. The hooks are super catchy and helps makes the song infectious, but I think her vocals could have made the impact of these hooks a bit more than what we got. Despite this, however, everything within Love Shhh! (as it is) still makes it an addictive dance track for the Summer season!
The music video shows JO YURI receiving some mean and toxic messages, either from haters (I am thinking this is the case – based on the love hearts and hazardous signs that is coming simultaneously from her device) or a former lover. But instead of being hung up on these messages and self-doubting, JO YURI shows us her confidence and resilience by making the most of her day. This goes hand-in-hand with the actual meaning/message behind her lyrics. That is, it conveys the message of loving and enjoying life energetically and confidently no matter the situation (taken from SOOMPI). Aside from the storyline, I enjoyed all the shots in the video (so bright!!) and JO YURI herself looked amazing throughout the video.
The choreography for this comeback was pretty good. I liked how she shows off her confidence, just like in the music video, in this routine. I also enjoyed the different formations she had in the choreography, particularly around the second chorus where she is the only dancing and the dancers are huddled in the background. JO YURI was also super cute and youthful in this.
Song – 9/10 Music Video – 8/10 Performance – 8/10 Overall Rating – 8.5/10
Another IZ*ONE alum made her solo debut more recently. Upon the disbandment of IZ*ONE, Jo Yuri signed on with Wake One Entertainment (formerly known as MMO Entertainment and is home to To1 and Roy Kim) to become a soloist. She ended up making her solo debut with the single GLASSY (title of both the lead track and her first single album) two weeks back.
GLASSY was pretty a forgettable release for me. Even after two or so weeks since its release, I can’t really say I am excited to review this release. To me, the song had this dullness to it that really prevented it from being more than just ‘pleasant’. There is a tinge of retro air to GLASSY, but it is isn’t that strong or memorable like most other retro tracks. There is also a disco influence when we hit the chorus, and it did help add a bit of energy and colour to the song. But it wasn’t enough to really save GLASSY for me. The melodies that we got weren’t that memorable. On the hook front, the ‘La La La‘ was decent but not strong. And the song just kind of felt like a repeat of what we had just heard in the first verse and chorus, so there isn’t much else to mention. I think the most positive aspect of of the song was Jo Yuri’s vocals herself. I really like the nasally tone she brings to the song and I hope she can better utilize this to her advantage in subsequent releases. But overall, GLASSY was a miss for me.
The music video GLASSY has a similar effect as the song. I don’t remember much from it, despite just watching it just now to write this review. The idea of the giant glass heel falling from the sky was definitely intriguing, but it was pretty much forgotten once it had landed. There were references to glass shoes throughout the video, but they were simply placed there for aesthetics and nothing else. I could be missing a key detail that would make everything make sense. But given the lyrics are about falling in love and moving forward, I don’t think I did.
I liked how pretty the performance started off, with the flowers. It was a nice entrance and beginning to the routine. The rest of the performance was quite pleasant to watch, with the first half of the bridge being my favourite part of the entire routine to watch.
Song – 5/10 Music Video – 5/10 Performance – 7/10 Overall Rating – 5.4/10