Now I have been on and off stanning for Yeeun this week, due to her returning to the music scene, as a soloist. Yeeun is 1/4 of of the biggest story Wonder Girls.
Admittedly Yeeun was one of the only two members that I could see going solo in that group musically. The other was/is leader Sunye, who has decided to put her career on hiatus for her new family, and Haiti.
Imagine my surprise to find out that Yeeun would be making her debut as a soloist. I was stanning.
So in all that anticipation, I had little fear, because Yeeun’s track record musically, was incredibly solid. Her video teaser only made me more excited.
Then everything dropped…and I…
I’m already warning…I have very little negative things to say…so this may not be as critical as I could be.
I loved it. I love it. Yeeun did something that I don’t think I will see in K Pop again.
Iron Girl (ft Lim of the Wonder Girls)
This song is in my opinion the best of the songs to start the album. Just to give a head up…it has nothing to do with the rest of the album. It basically gives off this I am here…listen to my story about growth in some form…and then completely abandons the sound, and overall tone. Lim assist on this song, and dammit if she doesn’t do a good job. She is not the best rapper, and she got a lot of shit for a lot of things. But mama came and laid down her verses. And she wrote them, which is a bonus point for her. I don’t really see her taking her career as a rapper anymore seriously than this song, but I do think she embodies this song more than anything. Also props to Yeeun with not going with the more obvious Yubin on this. It makes it better in my opinion. I appreciate this song on the album, but I can see where it could be a problem when listening to the rest of it.
The next song basically does a 180 on what was established. This song is darker in sound. Heavily reliant on electronic sounds. It’s very reminiscent to the new dark R&B wave going on in the states. Yeeun’s performance is great. She starts very light and with a whine, only to get a little more powerful on the chorus (which also picks up in drama compared to the verses). I kind of wish she would have done like SZA and Kelela and all them and kept it like on that whisper light vocals. But the drama is also great. The end feels so grand and just…ugh. I love it. And then it drops, and…ugh. I love it.
The promotional single. I didn’t talk much about it in the video post, so to give some more of my thoughts…I like it. I think I made a comment of how I wish there was a build up between the verse and chorus. It kind of just happens, and it a burst of energy. Which feels like the point. She is restrained, and then gets into this dubstep/trap beat (I don’t know this genre) where she is belting her ass off. Once again, Yeeun does it just right. She is big at the right moments, smaller and lighter in others. Plus the harmonies at the end. Like I forget that Yeeun can be a hell of a vocalist when she wants to. I think this was one of those songs that I couldn’t get into at first for a reason I will explain at the end. Just know I don’t hate the song.
The sultry record of the album. The nasty record. This is a nasty song. Yeeun plays it coy and does not make overly sexual comments, but you know they are there. She talks about his hands, and playing with him, and taking off his suit, and his “gun”. Beenzino doesn’t help with his blatant sex talk (Even refer to her vagina as that nasty). This is a grownfolk song, and I love it. The song itself is a fave. It’s sexual. The beat is fun (it plays on the James Bond theme, which is the topic of this song).Everything about this is sexy, and I wish it came after, before/around Truth.
The first half of the album is mostly dark in sound. This definitely is a pick me up in all ways. The lyrics are sweet, and Yeeun is just as sweet in her delivery. Everything about this song is needed after the first half of the album. The second verse picks up a little bit, making it seem as though the song has hit its stride, and you are at the meat of the song. There is nothing bad I can say about this song. I love it because it is a breather after all that dark, it feels cohesive, and it works as a good transition into the last two songs.
We finally lose the electronic aspects that take over a majority of the album, and have this pop ballad. The song maintains that brightness, but it is inherently sad. Anything dealing with that fuckboy Peter Pan has to be sad. The song is about about losing someone. The lyrics are very heavy on the metaphor. I mean it’s basically one long ass one for loneliness and loss. I’m not going to dissect the lyrics any further only to say that it is nice. Her performance also sells this song. She gives a little bit of drama at the end, and it is perfect like that. Just breeze through the song alone, and then give a little bit extra near the end. I think it sells it.
Nothing Last Forever
And the way she chose to end this album is with a depressing ballad. It’s dedicated to one of their fans who passed away last year. The song feels so resolute. Like you guys no how I feel about how one should end an album. Make it feel like there is no other way to finish this album. Nothing Last Forever is just that. What makes this song so worth it for me, is that there is nothing dramatic about it. It’s just one rolling emotion. The song was inspired by a fan that passed away, and as such it speaks on death. The translation was so…I read the lyrics and was just in my feelings about it. It doesn’t help that I lost a very close person in my life, so this song is really doing me in. The lack of professional editing on her vocals come off haunting in a way. Kind of distant, but still present. I don’t know…all I know is that I love it.
There are a lot of things to say about Me?. First is that I appreciate this album so much. It was her project and she did the best she could to bring it to life. That being said, it is not perfect.
While I loved the songs, I almost wish it was just a little long, a song or two to act as transitions. I will never understand why Yeeun put Truth before Ain’t Nobody. Iron Lady is perfect as an intro song of course. While it doesn’t necessarily set the tone for the course of the project, it does have this beginning feel. However I could see switching Ain’t Nobody and Truth around and it working just fine, if not better. Truth will then transition into Bond, which is dark in sound, but lighter in topic (sexual but not about a break up). The second half of the album is just fine as it is. Wherever Together brings a more positive feel. It is like you are starting over with someone and never letting them go. There is a bouyant romance to it. However Peter Pan proves that these things never last, and shows the harsh reality in a way…only for us to end on an incredibly sad note about death and loss.
Yeeun’s album reminds me of Beyonce’s self-titled album. The first half darker in sound, slightly cavernous (although Yeeun prefecred to do dubstep and electronic compared to Beyonce going the darker R&b wave), the second half much lighter in sound, more traditional in a sense. The difference is Yeeun made a condensed version and was less sexual, preferring to deal with the topic of loss and loneliness (she used loneliness in an interview) in many of her songs.
This is not to compare these two ladies at all, because Yeeun’s project is very different in content. Yeeun’s songs don’t end on a happy note. It ends with a feeling of wondering, and that is what makes me love it even more.
She developed this album (of course with help of Collapsedone, and the feature artists) with whatever she had in mind, and in the end, she let it end on such a low note. There is no happy ending, and you can only see how unhappy she is in most of these songs. Like not to make it seem like this album is just leagues above K pop, because the reality is, this album could have easily been trash, and her name would be stamped on it. However K Pop is in the business of selling fantasies, and false realities. This album may or may not feel real. But it feels like someone’s reality. And that’s another thing to add to my list of reasons to love this album. It feels
I basically sat here gushing and right faux deep shit, so let me throw out a few criticisms. I gave one in that I was not completely sold on the organization of the track list. Ain’t Nobody has more immediate punch and should go first, while Truth is such a slow burner at its core. Letting the promo track go first, and then following up with the darker and more focused sound of Truth just works better in effect…at least to me.
Also she does not have a clear genre to follow. It feels a little bit on the mismatched side. Because of that there is not a sound for me to follow. This is mostly seen in the first half musically, the second half is very bright overall, and then goes into two more traditional guitar driven ballads. Overall the second half just felt more cohesive sound wise.
Adding another song, just one, could have probably made the difference…but eh.
I have a lot to say about this album, but I don’t want to run this post on for so long. I love Me? I don’t know what has happened in her life, if that is even one of the inspirations for the album, but she made something that feels real, and is not trash. Yeeun wanted to introduce herself as someone different than the lead vocalist of a notorious group, and I think she did. HA:TFELT feels different, and a huge step in a great direction. Thankfully it started with a good album in “Me?”