Well, good luck focusing on the song when you have that music video. Borrowing a page from most k-dramas, the nearly seven minute video for Already Winter doesn’t opt for subtlety when it can instead bludgeon its characters’ emotions (and in this case, bodies as well). I’m not sure I’ve seen a kpop music video so dark and violent since MyName’s infamous Baby I’m Sorry.
Trying to cleanse the video from my mind (and it ain’t easy), the song itself is a typical, hyper-emotive Korean ballad. After coming to prominence through the Superstar K audition program in 2010, Huh Gak has made his name as a reliable balladeer and duet partner. This particular single sees him paired with 4-man vocal group VROMANCE, who have yet to officially debut. Huh Gak has recorded a few lighthearted duets with female partners before, but with Already Winter he treads much darker waters.
The song begins at almost a whisper, soon to be joined by a swelling string section that abruptly cuts off before the dramatic chorus with its sky-high vocal crests. Even without the overwrought video, it has a cinematic, theatrical quality that makes it feel like a story. Most importantly, the ever-climbing build pays off as the track climaxes in an explosive blend of sustained notes that offer a robust, last-minute jolt. As far as gut-wrenching Korean ballads go, it more than gets the job done.