You might as well watch the music video for "Please Don't..." now if you haven't already, because you won't want to be spoiled on the ending.
[Warning- spoilers for 'Reply 1997' in the next paragraph.]
Did anyone actually see that ending coming? Sure, Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" already pulled that switcheroo on us this year, but this is about a million times sadder. The production team did a good job making scenes that looked similar to scenes from Reply 1997 (the angsty car rides, Seo In Guk and Dasom fighting on the stairs) to make us all think this was the alternate universe where Siwon ends up with Tae Woong instead of Yoon Jae. The ending had me laughing at how they managed to fool me (seriously- when I watched it back it was SO OBVIOUS), and simultaneously feeling SO BAD for Seo In Guk's character. Poor guy didn't have a chance.
I'll admit, I'm not very big on typical K-Pop ballads, so when I heard that K.Will was a balladeer, I quickly filed his discography away in the music-I-probably-won't-like section of my brain. In fact, when "Intro (Closing My Eyes)" came on, I was pretty sure the album wasn't going to be my style- I'd already heard the emotional title track, and I was worried the whole thing might be a little over dramatic, like a compilation of OST ballads. Track three, the repetitive "Butterfly" didn't help much- but after that, things started to take a turn for the better.
"Please Don't..." carries some clear trot ballad influences, using the a common-time beat, prominent snare, a typical chord progression in a minor key, plucked guitars, and storytelling format common to the genre, but with a more modern instrumental, swapping out the more traditional accordion for various electronic sounds, and substituting pop-style vocals for pansori. The vocal layering throughout the song gives it a lot of depth and emotion of the song without getting too heavy-handed, and it made me wonder if K.Will could change my mind about K-Pop ballads.
90's R&B inspired "Come to My Crib" ft. Beenzino started out promising, but threw me off with the repeated requests to "come to my crib", which are jarringly corny against an otherwise decent track. The following song- "Hey You" ft. Choiza of Dynamic Duo- follows a similar (but slightly more funky) R&B groove, but pulls it off more successfully.
"You're So Beautiful" is an excellent send-up to Motown in the vein of The Four Tops, which is a style that suits K.Will's voice really well. The album concludes on a cool note with the mellow-but-still-groovy "Bluffing". If you're looking for solid K-Pop that has a beat, but isn't bombarding you with demands to dance or party, you should definitely add the last three songs on this album to your playlist.
If you tend to write off K-Pop ballad singers without much thought, I'd recommend you check out 'The Third Album Part 1".
What are your thoughts on K.Will′s third album? Leave an honest rating and your thoughts in the comments below.
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