S.E.S. – 'REMEMBER' – S.E.S. 20TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL ALBUM
1. Candy Lane
5. My Rainbow
8. The Light
9. Love [Story]
10. Remember (English Ver.)
First, it was Sechskies, and now first-generation girl group S.E.S made their comeback with their 20th-anniversary album, showing the new generation how to rock! As you might guess, this trio was formed 20 years ago in 1997 and is among the first wildly successful girl groups. Now they're back, bringing their old school vibes with them. They want you to 'Remember' them.
"Candy Lane" is what the album starts with. It's largely a jazz composition carried through with sweet voices. While it might be appropriate to their concept, I don't feel it fits all that well with the rest of the album. I know, different time, different tastes, but to me, it stood out, and not in a good way.
"Remember" is the first of the two title tracks, a sweet ballad that showcases their smooth harmonies and is full of feels. There are some cute nods to the sounds of today, and it should rightfully stand next to some of the good modern ballads. It's a very pretty, very soothing tune. Bada and Shoo got solo turns on the chorus ("I hope that you remember"), and their vocals helped make the song.
"Love [Story]" is a remake of their song "Love" from their 3rd album in 1999, and really doesn't sound that much different. There are a few different arrangements, but the vocals are still as solid as on the original, and in some ways superior; they're clearer and show more vocal agility. The rapping is handled by the girls this time, and to me, they sound better. Nothing special, but the song flows better that way. It's a nice throwback, and they hit all the right beats.
The tune "Paradise" is the other title track and is intended to be their club-banger. I found myself definitely grooving along to this one. These kinds of songs are what pulled me into K-pop in the first place -- the synth blasts, the beats. And the hooks are awesome, stuttering a syllable on the lines "this fact alone is enough to make us smile" and "be confident and have fun." The chorus is confident and bold, just the way I like it. Definitely my kind of song.
"Hush" is one of the ballads, which comprise about half the album. The others were okay, but nothing amazing. This one, to use a rhyme, is lush. The harmonies are angelic and the sonics just wash over you. It's very soothing, charming, and is one of the high points of the album.
Sadly, I can't really recommend the English version of "Remember." Besides having entirely different lyrics, there were some awkward transitions between words that didn't work for me. They weren't outright fails, but the way they wrapped the lyrics around the melody wasn't as skillful or natural as the Korean version. Stick to the first one on this disc.
To be honest, I don't remember S.E.S. I discovered K-pop about 9 years after they were disbanded. But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy what they put out here. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. It's not every band that can resurrect what they had, but S.E.S has.
MV REVIEW - "REMEMBER"
There are a lot of things to dislike about this one because it uses almost every trope in the book. The three girls laying on their backs, arranged in a triskelion, heads at the center; snow; the forest/garden scenes; emerging from gossamer curtains, etc.
But I didn't hate it.
There are enough fresh scenes to cast these other rather prosaic scenes into a new light and make a very pretty MV. The scenes with the child and the metronome symbolizing the passage of time as well as them standing outside, singing with one another outside a building while snow falls, just gives me some of the feels the song promised.
It's a hopeful MV, and while it's almost entirely dramatic, there is no plot. There are some symbolic things here and enough adroit camera work to save this one. It's entirely watchable and leaves you with a warm feeling, so what more could you want?
MV REVIEW - "PARADISE"
In this MV, these girls look every inch the divas as they strut their stuff through different rooms and backgrounds. There's no plot here at all, just dancing and individual shots. That's not a deal-breaker, though, because the visuals are nicely done.
These "ahjummas" are in their mid-thirties and still managed to keep their looks. I don't know if it's camera work or good genes, but these girls look just radiant here. Yeah, you can tell that age has crept in -- time gets us all -- but they don't show any signs of slowing down, either.
See, there's also dancing. And while it's not exactly genius choreo, they're still more animated than many sexy girl groups of today. It's fun, well-timed, and entirely appropriate to the song. The costuming is on the edge of sexy with see-through parts, though they don't show too much (the MV is rated 12+).
There are some interesting CGI parts, too, like rolling an animated sky onto a wall with a paint roller and the like. It's subtle, and doesn't distract too much. The focus is on these lovely ladies, and well it should be.
Not only a great song but also a fun video. Giving this enthusiastic likes.
MV scores are averaged.
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