After winning Kpop Star, Baek Ah Yeon is the first contestant of the show to release an album! Her debut single was released under JYP Ent and it is called “I’m Beak”. For those who have watched the show, Baek Ah Yeon’s growth as a vocalist is quite spectacular and much of her talent is showcased in this album. “I’m Baek” has a total of five agreeable tracks that are just the right tools the solo artist needs to start out in the business.
The first song to kick off the album is the title track called “Sad Song”. It is a simple ballad that is quiet and melodious instead of containing an unnecessary techno bass line that is so prevalent nowadays, which benefits the track in that it is easier to listen to. The song is about a person who is dreading the reality of her ex-boyfriend’s absence. However, because she must accept the truth that lies before her, she sings nothing but sad songs in order to quell her sorrow. Although this song should be heart wrenching, Ah Yeon doesn’t quite hit the mark yet when it comes to delivering those painful emotions through her voice but with a bit more practice, she will be able to do so.
“You’re Leaving” follows up as another ballad. It starts out with the sound of some maracas or shakers in the background to set a beat for the song, making this track stand out a bit more. Once her voice is introduced, a piano piece is played that goes along nicely with her vocals. Her voice is better portrayed in this song because the arrangement of the track suits her voice more. Even though this track is a sad love song, it’s slightly playful and that allows her voice to be carried well. Since she is almost whispering in the verses, the effect of her emotions speaks out the listeners in a more effective way as well. Despite its similarities to Se7en’s “When I Can’t Sing” in the beginning, this song is quite good and can stand on its own. I like it a lot better than the title track.
The third track entitled “Stay” is another ballad. The song is about a person who is hesitating and unwilling to move on from a failed relationship, she chooses to remain in that limbo like state because she can’t let go of the memories she shared with her ex-boyfriend. It is again slow and melancholy, displaying her soft vocals. However it doesn’t really stand out to me.
After three slow and sad songs, “Love, Love, Love” picks up the mood of the album and makes things a bit livelier. There’s this soft and slightly jazzy sound to it even though it’s a Pop song. The guitar arrangement is really nice and easily sticks in your head. The stacking of her voice in the chorus also adds to the song because the echo-y effect of her vocals is charming. Since it’s a bit more upbeat, “Love, Love, Love” will also likely be able to gain higher popularity compared to the ballads because it appeals to a wider range of people.
The final song in Ah Yeon’s album is called “Always” and it’s written/composed by none other than her sunbae and label mate Jun.K aka Kim Junsu of 2pm. This track definitely has Junsu written all over it due to all of the Jazz and R&B influences found in the song, two genres that the senior artist happens to favor. He is also featured in it as well, rapping the bridge portion at the end of the track. “Always” also does a better job at showcasing the range of her voice, proving that Ah Yeon does indeed possess some impressive pipes.
I believe “I’m Baek” does a good job as a debut single by getting Beak Ah Yeon’s name out there to the public. With a bit more tuning up here and there, I’m sure Baek Ah Yeon will be able to shine brightly among her peers and other fellow artists. For the mean time, give this girl a chance by listening to this album!
This is the MV for “Sad Song”.
Review By: Samantha Her & Alona
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