Time Machine: Just Listen, It’s Younha (Part 1)

Younha_oneshot

I just heard the fancams from Younha‘s June 22nd concert at Plitvice on Tumblr, (which you can see here) and it inspired me to go back to her old discography and finally make this post on all things Younha’s music. I’ll cover some of what she sang at Plitvice as well as some of my personal favorites, though I’ll try to spend more time on Younha’s older Korean music than on her last two albums of awesome. And because she’s Younha, she gets to have more than one of these compilation posts, and the second one will be tailored more towards her Japanese releases.

First up is “Delete,” (which I know I briefly mentioned in my last post,) is such a great pop song that I don’t mind talking about it once more. It’s a bit upsetting that it’s actually a cover of NΓ‘dine‘s “Made Up My Mind” and not an original song of Younha’s, but that doesn’t make the song any less incredible.

Edit: It turns out that “Made Up My Mind” is the cover of “Delete” (Yay!)… Thanks to 0hann0 for the correction!

Someday is undeniably Younha’s best album before Supersonic. Unfortunately, the reason for that is that her label began promoting her ballad style over her piano-rock in the latter years with the company. This song is called “Hero,” and sits in the harder rock end of pop-rock.

There is no way I can talk of Younha’s past before WeAlive without covering this little hit of hers, “Password 486.” It’s a fun song that doesn’t really get past pop-rock’s basics, unlike the surreal music she released with Supersonic and Just Listen. This link to the music video is part of a huge eclectic playlist of Younha songs, hits as well as b-sides, so enjoy!

“One Shot” is a song that wasn’t exactly her most popular piece, and let’s just say the blond wasn’t her best look. She’s not innocent like in “1, 2, 3,” but she’s not this leather wearing, red lipstick donning, bad girl either. “One Shot” is certainly not her best work, but I like the melody enough to look past the inexplicable and awful rap insert.

This song with Tablo, “Memory,” is a strange style for Younha, because it’s basically a conglomeration of K-pop Boyband uptempo ballad elements (I turned it into a genre, okay?). I think it would be really easy to give a revamped version of this song to Beast, because it sounds like something that they would sing.

…So it’s just me that thinks that? Okay… but here’s the song anyway:

“Comet” is another one of those iconic Younha tracks that it would be blasphemous for me to leave it out. It’s piano-rock at its best, enthralling but uncomplicated. I don’t think Younha would be where she is today without the song. It was her gateway to recognition as an artist in Japan, and by extension, Korea.

Younha’s ballads are little discussed here because, well, I don’t really like ballads all that much. Sure there are some that I fawn over, because there’s usually a transient quality to it that most other ballads lack. OSTs in particular are most infuriating because they often feel like tweaked copies of the same song, over and over. “I Cry” manages to be a song straddling in the traditional ballad line that doesn’t annoy me, though it might be worth mentioning that rock-ballads tend to be more of my taste.

“Strawberry Days” is a big surprise to me, because I expected to hate it. No, really, despite loving Younha to the ends of the earth, I didn’t think I would like this song. If the name is as unconvincing to you as it was for me, listen to the song, and you just may turn out to be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

Although I promised to stay as far away as possible from Younha’s last two albums, “Hope” is a song that I just have to mention. While most may find the pop magic of “Run” charming, the rugged edges of “Rock Like Stars” and “Driver” intriguing, and the vibrancy of “Set Me Free” and “We Could Have Changed” euphoric, “Hope” is a song that holds a special place in my heart for it does nothing more than keep me at peace. “Hope” doesn’t have much going for it in the innovation department, but what it has more than so many songs I’ve come across is soul; an inherent sincerity that could never be forged by over-emoting, ambitious vocals, or instrumental processing.

Though Younha released her mini-album, Just Listen, not too long ago, there are some signs about a new album coming out in November(?) based on this video (containing a 2min+ preview of the song)and a tweet she left on her twitter that just says “Subsonic.” These are not confirmed as far as I know, but let’s just say that I’m screaming internally…or externally.

Edit September 6th: Official “Subsonic” Teaser (it’s pretty boring)

(And if someone knows where one could get one of those Younha lightsticks, that would be greatly appreciated. :D)

(Youtube Credits To Respective Owners and Uploaders, WeAlive, Lion Media, Epic Records)

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14 responses to “Time Machine: Just Listen, It’s Younha (Part 1)

  1. Hey, nice review. But first off, Nadine covered Younha’s “Delete” in 2010, so you got it the wrong way round. It is Younha’s original song.
    I find that although Younha has a avril lavigne feel to her at times (and therefore many associate her with pop-rock music), her vocals are meant for ballads. You mentioned like all the songs in Supersonic except for Wait For Me, which stood out the most for me. The upkeys in that song are amazing. My fav song is surprisingly the upbeat “I Like You” which carries so much optimism, I wish she could make another song like that some other time. 2nd best would be “Sea Child”, drenched with passion and emotion and a hopeful meaning.

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    • Really? Wow! I read everywhere that it was Nadine’s song initially. That kind of makes me happy. (Now that I read Wikipedia, it turns out you’re right!)

      I wouldn’t really call her Avril Lavigne because she doesn’t have the hard pop edge that Avril has–the comparison doesn’t just feel right. I personally think Younha’s music has more complexity and even comes off as ambient, especially with Supersonic. I loved “Wait for Me” as well (I adore the whole album), though I mentioned “Hope” because it is still my favorite in the sense that it’s the song people don’t normally find striking.

      “Sea Child” is my 2nd favorite song from Just Listen which I should be reviewing soon, because it won the “Best Album” poll I had.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  2. Once again, I have seen YounHa in a whole new light. I liked her before, because of you and your post/review for SuperSonic. I bought the CD. I love it. NOW…look what you have done. I am so glad i found a somewhat local music store that sells online so i can find the hard to find music at a price that won’t leave my pockets empty. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my CNBLUE, but have recently picked up a lot of new music: Beast, YounHa, Henry, EXO, TRAX, TVXQ (trust me, more to come on the TVXQ front) and some YB (Yoon Do Hyun) I know they are older but i am an old soul rocker just trying to keep up with the kids in the fast lane. Thanks for this wonderful, enlightening post.

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  3. HEH I just love it whenever you go on a Younha rave πŸ˜€ Absolutely loved this segment. Sigh, Younha’s really something, isn’t she? πŸ˜€

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    • LOL. Younha raves never end around here. I’ve been listening to fancams from Plitvice and her preview for “Subsonic” for the last week. She really is something to get me that obsessed! Can November come any sooner?

      (Actually, no, because that means I’ll probably be studying my head off)

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  4. THE PREVIEW SOUNDS AMAZING, like another step up from Supersonic!! :DDDDD
    Somehow I’m not such a big fan of her earlier more Japanese style… I guess I just dont really like that kind of music. :S But it was a surprise to find that the Comet I knew from like wayy before high school was sung by Younha!! slightly mindblown lol πŸ˜›

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    • Her stuff pre-Supersonic isn’t the best, but I’m still trying to sift through it to find some gems πŸ˜€

      That “Subsonic” snippet has been the best preview I’ve heard, ever. I’ve listened to it like 30 times so far, and it doesn’t look like I’m stopping soon. Leave it to Younha to find ways to become even more perfect.

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  5. Subsonic sounds like its gonna be in English! I have been waitinggggg for another english song from her every since My Song And! (english version of People not counted) Really looking forward to more Younha. Seriously she can sing about anything and everything under the sun and still make it sound good. She could sing the contents of a cookbook and I’d still listen.

    If you’re still sifting for gems from Younha, might i suggest checking out her non-discography lives? They’re so epic you might need a full post to cover them all. Some of her really good live performances: Sketchbook – Dancing With You, IAAS2 – You Are The Only One, Beautiful Concert – The Wind Blows, Beautiful Concert – Underneath the Shade of Trees and Viva La Vida (:

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  6. Thank you for posting this. Really nice to know that many reviewer praise Younha! And OMG, you’re definitely major fangirling on her!!! kekeke… But really, anything about this girl is love! It hasn’t been long since I become a fan. It’s a pleasant surprise for me, that i don’t even need to know what does the singer look like in person, to become a fan of her/him. It is a rare case for me especially in K-pop, so far only Younha (and DBSK5member) manage to do that magic to me. Definitely love at first listen. It was her OST song “Can’t Believe It/Maldo Andwae” at first, then with “Time to Rock”, i completely amazed by her. ^^
    Many times I wish that a genuine talented proven artist like her gets as popular as idols. It is so hard to find an active English fansite of her where I can read updates and actual article/korean reviews about her. Do you have any recommendation?
    On the other hand, OMG!!! When is subsonic gonna be released??? *excited*

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  7. love your blog and all this you
    younha’s stuffs haha.

    “someday” is like major fan pick for younha’s best album, but my own pick is “growing season”. it has various genres. from her usual light pop rock (i like you), alternative (say something), balllad (broke up today, 22nd street), melodious easy listening (lalala), yoo hee yeol masterpiece once again (must be easy), and finally, this one genre she hasn’t tried before (realize after breakup). it’s a gem imo.

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