TAEYEON – SOMETHING NEW
1. Something New
2. All Night Long (Feat. LUCAS of NCT)
3. Baram X 3
4. One Day
6. Something New (Inst.)
She's been teasing it on Instagram for awhile, and now it's finally here -- her 3rd mini-album 'Something New.' This is her first solo outing in six months, her last release being 'This Christmas' in December. She's given us 5 new tracks, which includes a guest spot for Lucas of NCT.
The title track "Something New" is a low-key dance tune. It's really restrained, and the only reason you know there's a chorus is because there are backing singers with the line "nanana" which is more annoying than anything else. Ironically, there's nothing new here on this song. "All Night Long" starts oddly, with a part that may have been intended for the middle, since it starts with Lucas' rap and the music already underway. The decision to move it to the beginning of the tune is a little strange, as you hear little from him after that, except for the occasional ad-lib. Other than that, it's a pretty good pop-reggae tune.
The oddly titled "Baram x 3" contains some of that fabled Korean wordplay that I like so much. Baram in one sense means wind, like the storm that's going on outside her house. It also means being unfaithful, as she realizes her man is straying outside their relationship. It's a cute song, with some world rhythms and horns. It's also super catchy.
"One Day" is a ballad, and that's where we get to really hear Taeyeon and her vocal prowess. She does an amazing job here, with the vibrato and the emotions and all that. It manages to not quite tread into standard ballad territory, and that might be largely because of her voice and what she does with it. It's a softer tune. And softer is where she stays on "Circus," the last proper track on this album. This one hit a lot of the sweet spots for me. Not only is it sweetly sung, it has that echo-ey ethereal quality, along with some spare instrumentation. It's not really a ballad, but it gets close. But it's also one of the better songs on the disc.
So how did she do? Well, as much as I pine for the days of 'I,' Taeyeon continues to evolve as a solo artist, so those days are likely far behind us. Still, with each release, she gives us top flight material, and I can't argue with that. We've got a few more great songs to listen to, and really that's all I ask for.
In case you haven't seen it yet, this is a pretty interesting MV. In it, Taeyeon plays a spy (or a psycho who steals luggage -- you decide).
They put her through her paces as both the attacker and the defender, although the buildup to the defender is obvious and a bit trite. The really odd thing is when she decides to hurl the luggage off a cliff, it all of sudden hangs in the air the same way luggage wouldn't, and multiplies into a number of different wheeled bags, that dart, and float near the cliffside. The MV also changes at that point, pixellating and acquiring those wonderful fine lines that you saw when VHS tapes began to wear out (some of you may never have seen that before, in which case it would be new).
When you wanna be like Michael Jackson, but you don't have the money for silver sequins...
I thought it was well-acted, and the fight scenes were rough and raw, the same we see in some of the action dramas coming out today. The effect worked and gave these scenes some serious punch (yes, you know what I did there). My first thought was "why did she attack that guy in the elevator?" but I picked it up fairly quickly.
The CGI sequences at the end were painfully obvious CGI, but at least it picked up the MV and made it slightly more entertaining. It softened out the violent scenes and left us with a sense of whimsy. Overall, pretty successful.
MV SCORE: 8.3
ALBUM SCORE: 8.3