Jay Park is one of the most prolific artists in all of kpop, though I almost hesitate to call his music “kpop” at all. Of course, it technically is, but he draws so heavily from western influence that his tracks often sound like American r&b songs covered in the Korean language. For the past year or so, he’s mostly been giving us highly sexualized slow jams. But with The Truth Is, he offers us a mellow, lyrically-driven break-up song.
My favorite Jay Park song (by far) is Joah, and Truth‘s organic, laid-back sound recalls elements of it, though in a much more subdued manner. It’s the aural equivalent of a lazy Sunday morning — incredibly easy to listen to, without any one production element standing out in particular until the beat intensifies at the track’s climax. This assures that the focus is on the melody and lyrics. They both play out in a conversational, almost stream-of-consciousness delivery, so much so that Park’s performance actually outlasts the beat, giving the track one final push of apologetic introspection.
This is all more interesting to write about than it is to listen to, but it’s hard to fault the song for sounding slight, since it was clearly designed with this vibe in mind. It’s not going to inspire the excitement a track like last summer’s Mommae did, but this is actually the side of Jay Park I prefer. It feels more authentic, and frees him from having to act out the somewhat clichéd hip-hop persona he often portrays himself as.