This is a post I wrote up back in May of 2015, and I haven’t changed a thing about it–which is why it’s sparse and sort of incomplete. I was digging through my gigantic draft pile and realized just how fun it is to go back and see what songs were interesting to me then and revive what might of died in the drafts. I’m going to call these posts “From the Vault” and hope that Wizards of the Coast doesn’t come after me. It’s so weird to see me talk about BTS as they were rising given the insanity that is that world today almost 4 years later. Looks like the post title was prophetic.
Welcome back to another Music of the Week that includes me going through songs that are super old, super new, and probably not that memorable, but whatever.
Xiah Junsu, “Flower”
In this arrogant world, even mistakes become big sins.
What I think attracted me the most to this song is its theatrical presence, with the gothic chorus being the most underrated yet critical aspect of the song. The choir adds body to Junsu’s vocal desperation, and that little bit of resonance, both in the high and low registers, brings this song to heights of dramatics that Sistar‘s counterpart1 could never imagine being.
Lim Kim, “잘 알지도 못하면서”
While Lim Kim’s most recent album, Simple Mind, elevates “indie-pop” in a commendable way, I find myself turning back to Lim Kim’s roots in A Voice to find a little comfort in the violin and guitar driven piece “잘 알지도 못하면서.” I always appreciate a song that pursues something more than vocal melody, and this song’s simplicity leads it to being one of the best examples of holistic composition. The last full minute of the song is literally a droning baseline vocally, but the guitar and violin intersecting melodies breathe as much soul as Lim Kim’s voice does.
Park Ji-Min, “Hopeless Love”
Rumor has it that Park Ji-Min didn’t want to debut as a solo and that led to the creation of 15&. I’m not sure whether that was the smartest route for JYP to take, since the development of 15& ultimately crushed the momentum that Park Ji-Min had after the first Kpop Star. In any case, I suppose something happened more recently that led to Ji-Min taking a stab at solo work via this beautiful, yet ultimately empty song “Hopeless Love.”
BTS, “I Need U”
BTS debuted among a mess of B titled hip-hop oriented boy-bands, and to their credit, managed to make a decent splash right from the beginning. However, what would make them famous wouldn’t be their hard-hitting “hip-hop” but the fundamentally pop track, “I Need U.” A soaring chorus and somber overtones puts BTS right in line with the direction that made Big Bang the phenomeon that it is, and the charts certainly agreed.
1 | This is not a diss at Sistar or a claim that they plagiarized, but a recognition that their song, which has the same chorus in spirit, comes out unassertive and pales in comparison to Junsu’s.
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