Thursday, March 23, 2017

K-pop Duets: Boy X Girl (Part I)

Duets are a perfect way to bring out the romantic meaning of a song. They are also ideal for harmonizing and adding depth to the sound. Spring seems to be the perfect season for duets. In fact, most of these love-budding songs were released in the months of spring!

1. Suzy X Baekyun - Dream
Suzy from Miss A and Baekhyun from EXO are two fan favorites. They are loved for their sweet images and charming personalities, both of which 'Dream' emphasizes perfectly. It’s a slow-tempo r&b song with a hint of jazz. In the music video, a live band plays mellow sounds from a piano, guitar and drum set. Center stage in the middle of the vintage-looking room are the two singers, dressed very classy, This makes the performance feel something like a cozy dinner date concert! As the cherry on top, the meaning of 'Dream' is even sweeter: a boy and girl are shy, but utterly in love as they exchange heartwarming confessions.

2. Eric Nam X Jeon Somi - You, Who?
This time last year, Eric Nam released a springtime duet with Red Velvet's Wendy. Perhaps he was inspired by that because this March he launched a collaboration project in which he plans to release a single each spring. True to the season, 'You, Who?' is calming like a March breeze, with an acoustic instrumental. Eric's singing partner is Jeon Somi, a former member of IOI. Her juvenile voice gives the song extra cuteness, though her vocals don't quite match with the mature voice of Eric. Despite that, 'You, Who?' and its retro-themed music video is still very charming!

3. Park Kyung X Park Boram - Ordinary Love
Park Kyung is a rapper in the group Block B, but he proved that he can stand alone as a musical artist. Ordinary Love is a self-written track from his solo mini-album that features soloist Park Boram. It's about not wanting a stagnant relationship and finally finding a girl who keeps his heart racing. There's a fun bounce in the sound and Park Kyung displays his animated rap style (complete with his catchphrase "aight"!) The best part, though, is how the music is a seamless meld of r&b, hip-hop, and pop while maintaining such a playful theme.

4. Yesung X Seulgi - Darling U
Written by and composed by Yesung himself, Darling U is a release from SM Entertainments's music platform SM Station. It's a mid-tempo tune with lyrics that invoke warm fuzzy feelings and is accompanied by a cute, pastel music video. Yesung, from Super Junior, has what has been described as an "artistic voice". This complements the sweet, soft register of Red Velvet's Seulgi. The pair romantically croon "Darling you baby" throughout, making it catchy and easy to sing along to.

5. Sunyoul X Yuju - Cherish
Gfriend is known for their ability to switch from a light voice to powerful high notes, and as their main vocalist, Yuju brings that style to cherish. Up10tion's Sunyoul also does his part well by harmonizing with his airy vocals. Overall, 'Cherish' was a nice platform for these two idols, because at the time of its release they were still rookies. It's paired with a simple music video, that's rather typical but matches the lightness of the song. The couple is captured singing in the studio and posing for a photoshoot wearing powdery colored outfits.

6. San E X Baek Yerin - Me You
Like any other rapper, San E has a serious persona. But he showed something other than just that by entering the pop genre. 'Me You' shows his cute, quirky side and enlisted 15&'s Baek Yerin to sing. The song, about experiencing first love has an addictive chorus! The most interesting part though is the unique music video. It was filmed like an Instagram post and even has imagery of the social media in it. The aesthetic is also really funny: San E is blown up like a balloon, which represents how being in love can lift your mood.

7. Henry X Soyou - Runnin'
Henry mainly sings pop music: his two previous solo projects have been pop and so has Super Junior M's releases. However listening to 'Runnin', I realize that the pop genre really doesn't do justice to his talent. This SM station track is simmering r&b and brings out the best Henry's vocals have to offer. What's more is, Soyou was the perfect duet partner for this song. Her whispered verses don't overpower and they keep the sound. Unfortunately, she doesn't make an appearance in the video, but we do get to see Henry and all his boyish charm!

8. Crush X Taeyeon - Don't Forget
Perhaps it's a stretch to call 'Don't Forget' a duet, as Taeyeon's part in the song is small, but I can't ignore this beautiful collab. Crush is an r&b sensation who continuously pumps out quality music. Likewise, Taeyeon is an established soloist who sweeps the charts and dabbles in many genres. Together, in this winter release, they sing to always remember their love even if they separate. Crush's buttery voice makes up the majority of the song, but Taeyeon's part, only a few verses, is a golden nugget. It adds dimension to an already great song. Don't Forget's music video is lonely as one can imagine. Crush wanders in the snow-covered city by himself and passes through a closed amusement park, all while singing the blues.

Collage: a,b,c,d,e,f

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