As flagged yesterday, I will be reviewing two new releases today. There hasn’t been too much this week, so you probably know which ones already. First up is YESUNG’s solo comeback with Small Things and his first studio length album, Sensory Flow. The release occurred on 25 January (this week’s Wednesday), and follows YESUNG’s solo comeback Pink Magic from 2019.
There isn’t much to Small Things, if I am being honest. No matter how I draft this review or how much I listen to the song, I can’t seem to write any more than a couple of lines about YESUNG’s new song. This might be a good thing, but it is also a not-so-good thing (more on that later). Small Things is another pleasant track, this time delving into an indie form of soft rock. It is also subdued and laidback, as well. Small Things brings a huskier tone to the audience, with YESUNG’s vocals being in this huskier mode for majority of the song. It definitely sounds amazing and I do find it warm and enjoyable. Paired with the slight swaying melody that brings Small Things to life, Small Things pokes you in the right spot. However, apart from all of that, I didn’t find much else to pull me into the song. All of the above is great, but without anything captivating or alluring, I just don’t see myself searching up this song on YouTube or my music app. If Small Things pops up, awesome – I will listen to it then. But at this stage, there isn’t anything driving me towards the song. This is the ‘not-so-good’ thing about pleasant songs with little to talk about.
The music video is just as pleasant as the song. YESUNG is depicted as an indie singer who performs in small bars and such alongside his bandmates. He falls in love with a girl who also has the same passion as him. In the song, he says it is the “small things comes together, gonna shine so bright”, whilst also explaining the small things can be a small smile or footsteps. In the video, it is the fact that they have music as a common element, that she passes him a cassette to listen to and that she comes to his performances (although late). It is small things like that makes him like her. Overall, a nice video. Just nothing riveting in this video or story. I did like the home style video shots we get throughout the video, which compliments the indie style I mentioned about the song and the setting of the video.
Song – 7.5/10 Music Video – 8/10 Overall Rating – 7.7/10
One comeback that occurred last week was Yesung’s solo return to the music scene. However, I put the review on hold as I was hoping for a performance of some sort accompanying this comeback. However, it seems like Yesung does not plan on promoting Pink Magic and his third mini-album (which also shares the same name). So, here is the review for Pink Magic, exactly one week after its release! This is also Yesung’s first official Korean comeback since 2017 with Paper Umbrella and Hibernation.
The main reason to why I held onto Pink Magic’s review was because of its bright and slightly upbeat nature. I thought that there would be a nice routine featured in this comeback. It is unlike Yesung for a song of this style, mainly because we know him as one of the main vocalists of Super Junior (and main vocalists tend to take the ballad route with this solo promotions as proven time and time again). Even his previous Korean and Japanese releases have been of a ballad nature. But despite the style change to a retro 80s pop track, Yesung puts his husky and raspy vocals on display. I like how he goes on soft on some parts of the track, which goes to show that a rough textured voice can actually be delicate in nature if it is presented correctly. I personally don’t mind the track as it is quite pleasant and has this chilled sound to it. I also like its retro roots, which takes me back to a style that The song almost felt linear but that high pitch and funky effect that was showcased as part of the bridge and post-chorus really cut that feeling down. Overall, a satisfying song.
Yesung, appropriately, dyed his hair the colour pink for this comeback. I also liked the video because it used a more pale approach with its colours, without the help of filters. I get the lighting helped out there. Also making cameos in the music video is Donghae and Kyuhyun (who recently was released from the military). Essentially the video shows Yesung being captivated by his crush, who he describes to be like the colour pink. It is also the only reason why he can see her because his eyes have the ability to only observe the colour pink (based on his eye test results). Don’t know if he should be driving then… Apart from the plot, there wasn’t much else interesting to comment on.
Song – 8/10 Music Video – 7/10 Overall Rating – 7.6/10
Yesung finally makes his first return as a solo artist since his 2017 promotions of Hibernation and Paper Umbrella. But if you are expecting a return to the South Korean stage, then you have to come back next month as he will be returning then. In the meantime, Yesung recently releases his first solo album in Japan titled Story. The album features two title tracks (Because I Love You and If You) and both are connected via the music videos (hence why today’s review is a double review). Yesung also recently collaborated with Chungha for Whatcha Doin’ and Bumkey for Carpet.
I am not sure if I have ever reviewed any Japanese ballads before so this may be a foreign land for me. Both songs are of this nature and both are quite similar to the ballads we commonly get in Korea. For Because I Love You, we get a jazzy-like style instrumental which I thought was nice. Though I did think his raspy vocals were a little too soft towards the beginning and they were on the verge of being drowned out. The ending was a lot better as you can hear him pushing himself and this resulted in his voice standing out on top of the instrumental a lot better. If You takes on a typical approach with its ballad. A very nice but pleasant sounding instrumental made up of guitar and an orchestral touch. I really like his vocals here as they seemed clearer. It also has a nice melody that gets me swaying along. The only flaw is that it feels too ordinary. I think if I were to pick one of the two, If You would be my clear winner.
Because I Love You starts off our story. Yesung is probably holidaying in a European country and passes by this lady who attracts his attention. She is in a rush, so he doesn’t get a chance to talk to her. Later, Yesung stops by a restaurant and the exact same lady from before is his waitress. He becomes nervous and distracted from his work and slowly begins imagining them dating. After his little daydream, he rips a page out of his diary and writes a message. He leaves it on the table and leaves. The waitress comes out, clearly interested in him and finds the note. This leads us onto the If You video. If You shows Yesung waiting around for someone, presumably the waitress. She is seen walking around holding the note that he left for her. Both of them visit different places that appeared in his daydream and both end up meeting each other at the same place where his daydream ended (at night by the river). She hands the note over, revealing to the audience that he wrote ‘Because I Love You’ on it and they both share a smile. I liked how both videos tied in with each other and allowed the story to really progress rather than jamming it one video and making it confusing.
Because I Love You Song – 7/10 Music Video – 9/10 Overall Rating – 7.8/10
If You Song – 8/10 Music Video – 9/10 Overall Rating – 8.4/10
It is time for another SM Station release. Season 3 started a few weeks back, rounding out with NCT Dream’s Candle Light. There was an SM Station release last week due to (and I assumed this) it being the first week of the new year. But now, SM Station is back with a collaboration between Yesung and Bumkey. The song, Carpet, was released on Thursday of this week, which is the new designated day for all SM Station releases.
Carpet is an R&B ballad combo that endeavours the two genres that the collaborators are widely known for (Yesung commonly sings ballads, while Bumkey is an R&B rapper). Both do a splendid job within the song with nothing to say negatively. The harmonies are also quite beautiful. They also create a wonderful atmosphere that I think is best described as touching. I also noticed that there is a slight jazz infleunce, partly due to the piano, which could also be described as soothing. If you don’t understand the lyrics of the song straight off the bat (like a certain person – a.k.a. me), you can tell that there is an emotive drive to the song, which already sets the scene. But the music video (more on this later) and the title of the song got me rather intrigued, so I looked up the lyrics of the song. It seems the lyrics of the song are in the perspective of the small rug that has been through everything with someone, personifying it to be like a good friend to rely on and cry on – if needed.
And with the meaning of the song in hand, I think the video does an amazing job of visualising this message. The carpet has been with this young lady for many years. From her childhood, she played on it. From her adolescent, she read books on it. She also had breakups on it. But as she grew older, she moved away and the carpet was put into storage and somehow made it to the market. And during one of her shopping expeditions, the young female comes across the rug, which is instantly identified due to the presence of an orange juice stain that she caused back in her younger years, And to further fit the lyrics, we see the carpet wrapping itself around her to comfort her. A well put together music video.
Song – 9/10 Music Video – 10/10 Overall Rating – 9.4/10
We have a new duet release, which brings together Yesung from Super Junior and Kim Chungha. Their new single is titled Whatcha Doin’. Interesting fact, if you guys don’t know, is that this isn’t the first time Chungha has collaborated with an SM artist. Earlier this year, the solo artist joined forces with Seulgi (Red Velvet), SinB (GFriend) and Kim Soyeon (GI-DLE) for Wow Thing!, which was released as part of the Station X 0 project. Yesung has also been busy with the Super Junior comebacks that fans were treated to this year.
Whatcha Doin’ is a pop track that brings out the vocals of Yesung and Chungha. Yesung has established himself as one of the main vocals of Super Junior, while Chungha has been showing off her singing capabilities this year through her solo releases and collaborations. Together, they compliment each other extremely well. Both their vocals aren’t heavy, which goes perfectly well with the light pop instrumental of this song. All of this results in a pleasant track to listen to. Throw in a simple yet catchy hook to open up the chorus, I thought this was a very nice collaboration. I did like the soft ‘awoo awoo‘ in the background during the chorus, which added an extra depth to the song. They could have gone for something a little more unique but nonetheless, it was a good song.
I thought the concept for this video was rather cute. At the start, they were both nervous to make that first move. The way they interacted with each other was really well thought out, pushing the phone to each other despite each of them in their own halves. The Boomerang feature was also a cool addition to the video. Overall, I liked the video’s appeal and its fitting nature to the song.
Song – 8/10 Music Video – 8/10 Overall Rating – 8/10
Yesung from Super Junior has made his return to the stage with a brand new mini-album, Spring Falling. Hibernation was the pre-release single from the mini-album, while Paper Umbrella served as the main title track. It has been a while since we heard from him. He last promoted Here I Am back in April of last year. He also participated in the drama, Voice, earlier this year.
Yesung’s two songs delve back into the ballad genre in music. Hibernation has a nice melody but it fails to reel me. The percussion in the song felt dominate and did take the attention away from his vocals, which should have been the highlight of the track. His vocals are good but they don’t sound as emotional as his other songs. It just wasn’t as memorable. There were actually other tracks on his mini-album which could have easily served as a pre-release single instead and left a stronger impression on me than what Hibernation did. Paper Umbrella is a much better ballad in comparison. The orchestra based instrumental makes the song sound grand and elegant. His vocals are much better here. You could feel the emotions in his voice. There was also a nice buildup in both the instrumental and Yesung’s vocals in this song. However, similar to the Hibernation, Paper Umbrella fails to capture my attention. It sounds good in the moment, however, it just doesn’t have me coming back for more.
Hibernation’s accompanying video was boring to watch. There wasn’t much to it. Yesung was singing, while the lead actress in the music video went about on her day. There was no interaction between the two in any form. However, the video does seem to suit the song.
Paper Umbrella’s video was far more interesting. The video shows a Yesung and his former lover on a rainy day. The two seem to remember when they were younger and how they spent their rainy days together. There seemed to be other couples in the video (not too sure about this though). The use of colour in this video is excellent. The present day where they have separated, the clouds are grey and there is barely any light when they meet up on the bridge. Meanwhile, their memories are of days where there was a nice golden glow from the sky and the colours are much brighter overall.
Hibernation Song – 5/10 Music Video – 5/10 Overall Rating – 5/10
Paper Umbrella Song – 8/10 Music Video – 7/10 Overall Rating – 7.5/10
After so long being on stage, Yesung, one of the main vocalists of Super Junior has officially made his debut as a solo artist in South Korea. I really like Yesung’s voice, so I was extremely pleased to hear that he would be able to debut in South Korea. While I think it is obvious to everyone that his mini album did not do as well as expected, he still feels proud with releasing his own songs and tells everyone to focus on the song rather than the charts.
The song is really good. As I mentioned above, I am in love with his vocals. His voice just sounds so husky and in this ballad, his vocals were used to his benefit. The song was quite slow at the start but it slowly builds up with the instrumental. Everything is quite soft at the start from the vocals to the piano in the background. However as we hit the chorus, we are flung back into what I think sounds like a powerful ballad. The chorus was honestly very beautiful sounding. My favourite part was probably the bridge of the song. It is the perfect climax for the song that doesn’t ruin or change the song up in any way. From start to the end, the song stayed true to its ballad nature. I have to say this, but I say many songs don’t fluctuate from the “straight line”. This one doesn’t as well, but it is a prime example of how the song can still be amazing.
The music video is quite nice. The story line is very interesting (for a change, something plot worthy to talk about). The video starts off with Yesung packing up his things, ready to move out. People are coming over to inspect the house and he did not expect his ex to come around with her friend. The two become awkward but pushes through anyway, pretending not to know each other. Yesung remembers all these memories of when they used to be happy while I am quite sure, the girl does as well, as she turns off the faucet, something she probably remembered doing a lot when she was with him. I personally thought her turning off the faucet was a very powerful scene. Slowly the girl is reminded of her happy memories and the two start becoming awkward when they help out with measuring the window sill. In the end, the girl and her friend had to leave. We cut back to another memory flashback of their previous breakup. Ironically, when the scene is cut back to Yesung singing on the street, it is revealed his ex never left, similar to when they broke up. I have to say, the video was shot beautifully. His acting is really good and those tears he gets at the end was just the tip of the iceberg for me. Honestly, check out the video for this. It is a well-written plot line that goes hand in hand with the song.
Overall, a beautiful comeback. Despite his promotions already ending (I think) and that his album did not chart as well, doesn’t mean that this album is terrible. Do check it out. 10/10