It’s a testament to just how badly I’m wishing for a B1A4 comeback that when the solo debut of main vocal Sandeul was announced, I let out a disappointed sigh. This is insane, since Sandeul is an amazing performer with so much potential as a solo artist. But to me, the only thing this announcement meant was that we’d be waiting even longer for the full group to release new music.
So after taking a deep breath and putting things in context, I approached Stay As You Are (그렇게 있어줘) with an open mind and a realization that anything from the guys is something to be thankful for. As expected with Sandeul, the track is a classic Korean ballad. It’s well-suited for the change of seasons, with its acoustic instrumentation and wistful melody. In fact, it sounds exactly like something you’d expect to hear Roy Kim sing. Luckily, Sandeul has a very different voice and makes sure that the song is his from the very first moment.
Since Stay As You Are relies on vocals so strongly, this is a perfect opportunity to praise Sandeul’s effortless performance. It’s not overly showy, but the tones in which he paints the melody are diverse enough to keep interest high throughout. He’s often given the power notes in B1A4, but here he can show a bit more versatility. Though ultimately quite tame in its approach, the song has a nice, steady build that feels almost conversational — like a fully-realized scene in a drama. Whether it’s Home or At Gwanghwamun, Fall always seems to give us a gentle ballad like this, and Stay As You Are is right up there with those modern classics.