I have now changed up the monthly reviews and will review one single and one album per month. For the month of October there was a tie in the poll for best single between Taeyeon’s ”I” and the single from the album that won in the album poll. Which means that Taeyeon gets this review. The tie was at 23% and there was only one other single that came close to the two winning ones.
This is Taeyeon’s first effort as a solo artist, and the first member of the powerhouse that is Girls’ Generation to go solo as well. So it’s a big event, and one I’m sure that no kpopper has been able to miss.
It’s a beautiful song; it really is. I thought it was boring when I first heard, but from second listen and on I’ve really loved it. It makes me want to fly, to live my beautiful life. So if anything, this song was successful in delivering its message.
Taeyeon doesn’t have the kind of powerful vocals that for example Ailee has; she’s got a delicate voice, but a strong one. This is the perfect kind of song for her, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard her perform better vocally in a single. The ad-libs in the end are just to die for.
I like the inclusion of Verbal Jint. This song does put heavy focus on the chorus, so his rap part makes it a bit less repetitive. Also, and I’m not entirely sure where I’m getting this from, I feel like Verbal Jint as a person really suits this song. I feel like this is his kind of message. And, of course, I’m saying this without really ever having listened to his music. It’s just my impression of him.
This song is about letting go of the hard times, and of flying away. I’m fond of the lyrics; they’re quite poetic, yet still simple.
The chorus is made up of four simple lines and they really sum up the song:
”Sky that pours light
I stand under it
Fly as if I’m dreaming
My life is a beauty”
I know a bunch of people have criticized that last English line, and while it isn’t incorrect I do agree that it sounds a bit awkward. But after hearing it a bunch of times, I really like it. It’s somehow prettier to me than it would have been if she’d said ”my life is beautiful”.
The best part of these lyrics is Verbal Jint’s part, which of course he wrote himself.
”A story I’ve heard often somewhere
Ugly duckling and swan, a butterfly before it flies
People don’t know, they don’t see your wings
A new world you’ve met could be cruel
But strong girl, you know you were born to fly
Tears you’ve cried, all of the pain you’ve felt
It’s to prepare you for the day you’ll fly even higher
Butterfly, everybody’s gonna see it soon”
Now tell me that isn’t stunning. And so uplifting. The first line of the second half is in English and every time I listen to this song and hear that line I just feel so encouraged. Thank you, VJ, for believing in me.
This video was filmed in New Zealand, and could basically be used as a tourist ad, because it makes the country look so incredibly beautiful. It sure made me want to go there.
This video is about Taeyeon, a waitress who’s kind of sick of her job.
Probably at least partly because her boss is a total asshole.
Then she encounters a butterfly, which reminds her that life is too short, or something like that.
So she tells her rude boss off, quits and steals (?) his car.
She lets her hair down, and goes off on the adventure that the other Taeyeon has been on this whole video.
I love how they did Verbal Jint’s scene. The shading and the flowers in the background relates to his lyrics, and just looks very cool.
All of the non-plot scenes of Taeyeon, where she’s singing in front of the most beautiful backdrops are, well, stunning. Everything looks so soft and lovely.
The real star of this video is not Taeyeon, it’s New Zealand. So now, let’s revel in how beautiful it is.
The cinematography is off the charts. And fyi, I made that last shot my wallpaper.
I’m really fond of the ending. It shows two different Taeyeon’s, smiling at each other. They’re very different, yet they’re both her, which is shown by the giant floating Is above their heads.
Then the two Is merge into an even bigger one, driving the point home that she has both these sides, and that that’s what makes her who she is.
I know there’s almost nothing more tabu in the kpop fandom than comparing one group or one idol to another, but when I saw this profile shot of her I was immediately struck by how much she looks like 2NE1’s Dara. I’ve never thought that they look particularly alike before, but something about this was just so innately Dara to me. Please tell me if you see it too, so I’ll know I’m not crazy.
There’s no dance in this video, nor does she dance when she performs it live. It’s not a song that it makes sense to dance to; so I’m glad they didn’t try.
Outfits and Styling
Taeyeon has very soft and gentle features, and this video’s styling really embraced that. Her makeup is soft and her clothes are (almost) all in soft materials and in soft and gentle colors. It’s frankly stunning, and suits her oh so well.
She’s had the wavy blond hair for a while now, and while I’ve always liked it, it has never looked better than it did here. It perfectly rounds out the softness of the look, and makes her look as kind and sweet as a marshmallow.
She has a couple of looks that are a little ”harder”, this being one of them. You can see how much difference such a subtle change in makeup can make. And I love the necklace.
Not only is this a gorgeous shot, it’s also a great outfit. I’m really pleased by how they put this darker outfit in a night scene, it’s clever.
This is my favorite outfit in the whole video. I don’t think it would suit me, but on her it’s the perfect kind of quirky.
Taeyeon has a few different eye colors in this video, none of which is her own. Normally I’m not into colored lenses, but here it didn’t look as harshly fake as it often does and it worked well with the very soft concept.
I’m pleased, very much so. This is exactly what Taeyeon’s solo should have been. SM did not disappoint.