One in every of Ok-pop’s brightest stars delivers a poignant, revelatory expertise

, One in every of Ok-pop’s brightest stars delivers a poignant, revelatory expertise


One would assume that Taeyeon doesn’t have rather a lot to be envious of. She is the highest-selling Korean feminine artist of the previous decade, in response to the Gaon charts, the Korean equal of the Billboard charts. Her profession with Girls’ Generation – one in all modern-day Ok-pop’s founding and most revered acts – in addition to her personal, slots her neatly into the legacy act class. In reality, so far as the that means of the time period goes, Taeyeon embodies and is a legacy of her personal. So, yeah, why would she have to say “I envy you” to anybody?

As her third studio album tells us, however, ‘INVU’ (or “I-N-V-U” when spoken) isn’t about Taeyeon, the artist, or Taeyeon, the legacy. It’s about Taeyeon: the lady. After discovering her “voice” and reckoning together with her “function”, she is trying on the rosy feeling of affection with a grey lens, as a result of love is nothing if not difficult. Right here, she envies how simply love comes (or doesn’t) to some individuals, as a result of her personal experiences with it have been fraught with disappointment.

That’s why her third enterprise comes off as decidedly extra mature than any of her earlier works – not that she ever lacked profundity, thoughts you. Taeyeon simply occurs to be a kind of artists who lend a gravity to the whole lot they are saying, even when they are saying it merely. What additionally makes ‘INVU’ such a pleasant hear is that it looks as if simply the proper album for Taeyeon at this level in her life and profession. Love is one in all Ok-pop’s, if not music’s, favourite ideas, however Taeyeon by no means places it on a pedestal – she approaches it like she approaches the whole lot, with a consuming self-awareness about her objectives, ambitions and shortcomings. But, to each emotion associated, she imparts a mysticism that instantly arrests.

Take for instance, ‘INVU’, the title monitor that units the stage for the eponymous work. The sunshine-hearted synth-pop quantity – the place she attracts inspiration from Greco-Roman mythology – hides a a lot somber that means: in some unspecified time in the future, you need to understand that even for those who give it your all, you’ll be able to’t make individuals love you. It’s on this merciless actuality that Taeyeon’s envy finds root, when she finds herself struggling whereas the opposite individual stays unfazed.

She carries the larger-than-life atmospheric mysticism of ‘INVU’ all through the album. On the gradual, R&B-inspired ballad ‘Some Nights’, it imparts a poignance to the aftermath of a separation, and on the pure-pop build-up of ‘Ending Credit’, it amplifies the bittersweet acceptance of the tip of a relationship.

Holding this ethereal feeling collectively is her glorious vocals and vary – however that’s a given. “I sing as if I’m saying the lyrics in actual life,” she lately instructed Nylon in an interview, and nowhere is it extra obvious than on ‘INVU’. Right here, there’s an ease and luxury to how she emotes, even when she is hitting her traditional high-notes. She appears fully comfy in what she is doing, even when is vacillating between genres.

On the pop-rock ballad ‘Can’t Control Myself’ – simply a contender for one of the best non-title monitor on the album – she takes us again to the 2000s, delivering one thing that will match simply into our emo libraries populated with Avril Lavigne. Instantly after, the attractive restraint and regular tempo of ‘Set Myself On Fireplace’ sparks a desperation within us. As she asks the article of her affection if setting herself on fireplace would carry some heat again into their frosty relationship, we look forward to a beat to drop, for one thing to vary, however it by no means comes – a kind of uncommon moments when a seemingly incomplete monitor sounds excellent. A couple of rungs down, her hovering, encompassing voice on ‘Coronary heart’, mixed with its showmanship aptitude, warms on the within.

However the precise greatest monitor on the album is ‘Toddler’, arms down. The poetry of utilizing a blast from the previous – retro, to be actual – to painting the wistfulness and longing to return to childhood doubles the remorse. In comparison with one other retro-leaning monitor on the album, ‘Timeless’ – which takes a way more hopeful outlook on the aftermath of a breakup – the image ‘Toddler’ paints is way more piteous. Taeyeon’s soulful voice simply enhances this impact, most notably on tracks like ‘Siren’ – which, by the best way, could be very meta of ‘INVU’, contemplating Taeyeon’s fame as a vocalist.

The comparability stands true, although: just like the music’s namesake, she pulls us all in with advanced vocal layering. In some locations, her crooning carries over over a misty panorama; in others, she breathes out phrases in a rush, tiding this boat over uneven waters. It’s so majestic that you simply don’t even understand that she’s main you to someplace ‘Chilly As Hell’. One other rock-leaning monitor on the album, ‘Chilly As Hell’ carries in unapologetic anger and detachment – “The reminiscence left behind is a dim ghost / There is no such thing as a such factor as ‘warm-hearted’ us,” – and its apparent Taeyeon is discovering it actually arduous to be bothered anymore.

This sense is coincidentally evident on one other monitor on the album, and it simply so occurs to be the sonic antithesis of ‘Chilly As Hell’. On ‘No Love Once more’, the anger of the previous simmers down into deep, deep unhappiness, lined up with frenetic dance-pop, maybe the musical equal of consoling your self with some ingesting and dancing.

Poetry additionally lies within the decidedly upbeat outlook Taeyeon leaves us with on the tail-end of the album. As soon as the hangover of ‘No Love Once more’ wears off and the reality units in, all that’s left is choosing up the items and attempting to maneuver on – which is precisely what occurs on ‘You Higher Not’. “If it goes boring after a very long time, it gained’t be as simple as a couple of phrases / It’s late, even when I look again, no, by no means, by no means,” she decides, before giving us a ‘Weekend’ to ponder it over, and shutting the chapter on the ‘Ending Credit’.

The story on this explicit one may need been heartbreaking and soul-crushing, however there definitely will probably be one other chapter – hopefully, a brighter, extra loving one. Until then, we’ll all nurse our bitter hearts and envy those who’ve all of it.


, One in every of Ok-pop’s brightest stars delivers a poignant, revelatory expertise
    • Launch date: February 14
    • Report label: SM Leisure


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