For too long, J-Min has seemed like an afterthought within SM Entertainment’s larger roster. I suspect much of this is due to the fact that she works within a rock-oriented, singer-songwriter territory that the agency really doesn’t specialize in. It could also be because her career really kicked off in Japan before she started releasing Korean singles. Either way, she hasn’t actively promoted a track since 2014 when she released the underrated Shine.
Ready For Your Love arrives amidst little expectation, but it uses that to its advantage, bursting out of the gate with a gorgeous symphonic flourish before slowing to more acoustic territory. In melody alone, the song recalls 90’s Lilith Fair-targeted releases from the States. The spotlight is on J-Min’s voice, which weaves through a soft, affecting melodic line. This would be fine on its own, but the production absolutely brings the track to another level. That opening flourish repeats with each chorus, giving the hook an added sense of drama — the kind of sleek ornamentation usually reserved for Bond themes. I also love the trumpet-like synth that ushers in the song’s final moments. It doesn’t feel overstated, but adds such a brilliant taste of bombast to a song that could otherwise be just another acoustic ballad.
It’s these little surprises that make Ready For Your Love a treat to listen to. It’s so nice to hear something from SM that doesn’t sound at all like anything any of their artists are doing at the moment. In fact, the song sounds unlike anything Korea‘s been doing this entire year, and offers a welcome contrast to k-pop’s current EDM craze.