As the first season winner of successful singing competition K-Pop Star, you’d expect Jimin Park (or Park Jimin, I suppose…) to be Korea’s answer to Kelly Clarkson. But although the two share an incredible level of vocal talent, Jimin has struggled to capture the spotlight since signing with JYP. In my opinion, much of that has been due to the material she’s been given, which hasn’t yet matched up fully with her ability.
Outside of her work as half of vocal duo 15&, Jimin’s been giving us plenty of midtempos and ballads. And although these have all been enjoyable to some extent, none has given her the “moment” she needs to truly sit atop the industry. Try (다시) is the same story, offering a pleasant pop melody without much to distinguish it from the pack. Listening to the song’s accompanying mini album, it’s clear that Jimin can pull off a multitude of genres. She has a natural soulfulness to her voice, which works especially well on more upbeat, attitude-infused tracks. Try is an interesting case in the fact that it’s so uninteresting. I’d struggle to say anything bad about it, but part of that is that it’s not evoking much for me to write about at all. The melody is pleasant, if familiar (parts of the chorus sound nearly identical to Zion T’s Yanghwa BRDG), and seems well-suited for the upcoming fall season.
The song’s production is similarly nonplussed. Boiling it down to the basics, we have a pretty acoustic guitar strum over an equally pretty midtempo beat. But unfortunately, Jimin’s never given the space to truly showcase her vocals. I get that this isn’t a “belter” type of song, but I know that she can really deliver an evocative performance. Try relegates her substantial talent to yet another equally portioned piece of the puzzle, and I fear that it’s only keeping her in territory that feels too safe.