YOUNHA – 'STABLE MINDSET'
1. Four Seasons
3. On A Rainy Day
4. The Hardest Work
5. Rainy Night
Younha has just dropped her newest EP, 'Stable Mindset.' It's part of a seasonal series, with another one slated for winter. After a year and a half, it's a welcome comeback. Her sixth mini-album has five tracks, and she wrote the final one, "Rainy Night," herself.
"Four Seasons" is a settled, refreshing ballad. I'll say one thing for Younha, she knows how to set the tone for the rest of the EP. This track is just an appealing piano ditty that showcases her vocals nicely. She puts on her best pleading voice for this one, a song that ends as quietly as it begins. On "Lonely," she adds a tempo to the tune, making it more soft pop than anything. I think I like this one even more than the first one. It's still refreshing and chill, but it has that beat that makes it even better. The melody is well put together on this one, too.
The contemplative "On a Rainy Day" becomes quite emotional before too long. The lyrics go back and forth between remembering being with someone and hurting because of what the rain reminds them of. She does it so well you can almost believe she is in pain. And like the first one, it ends as quietly as it begins. "The Hardest Work" gets a beat after the first verse. It's a piano-driven tune about the hardest work of all, which is to get over a breakup. While the lyrics are nothing amazing, it's Younha's expressive voice that gives this song a boost. The final track is "Rainy Night," which Younha penned herself. It's a ballad with some R&B influences, and very soothing and laid-back. It could serve as a lullaby -- I could easily see myself closing my eyes and drifting off to this one. It's rainy where I am, so this song is perfect.
There's a lot of rain here. I mean of a lot of it, two whole tracks devoted to it. Which is fine. Many of her tracks through the years have been rain-inspired, including her collaboration with Epik High, "Umbrella." On 'RescuE,' she experimented with EDM, but she's right back where she started with a sweet collection of warm ballads. The tracks range from emotional to fun, to quiet and calming. And maybe a lot of this is about rain. But it also shows that she's far from all wet.
Younha spends her time reminiscing "On a Rainy Day."
She goes through her day while rain drips down. Outside, through the ceiling, into glass, plates, and bowls, and even out of faucets. About the only time it lets up is when she actually is outside, and the only thing stirring is a gentle breeze through her hair. To be fair, a couple of flames can be seen, however fleetingly, as a gas burner on a stove roars to life, and a candle heats a carafe of water.
The times we see her is when this MV really shines. She does a great job mimicking the emotions we're supposed to feel in this song. Whether in a white lacy getup in a garden area, or outside against a majestic pink sky with Seoul in the background, those are the times the MV works best.
The MV is deceptively simple for all that, even though there's a fair amount going on. I think the rain and the dripping are a stand-in for tears, and when she gathers a box of the dishes to herself that's her memories, as she takes one out, examines it, and sets it down in favor of another.
The music video does a nice job, invoking me that same special feeling that you get when you first hear the tune. It did exactly what it was supposed to do, entertain your eyes while you listen to a voice as pure as new-fallen snow.
MV SCORE: 8.3
ALBUM SCORE: 8.6