Usually, as an artist gains prominence and becomes more mainstream, their music follows suit. But with Crush, it feels like his output has become more idiosyncratic since his days as a relatively straightforward r&b artist. Though last May’s Woo Ah wasn’t quite to my taste, I could definitely appreciate its languid style. Fall (어떻게 지내) is another sharp change of direction, offering a soft sound well-suited to autumn and winter.
Like Dean’s What2do (which Crush actually featured on), Fall springs from little more than jazzy piano and a hushed snap of a beat. Perhaps A Charlie Brown Christmas has been too deeply ingrained in my brain since childhood, but that iconic Vince Guaraldi soundtrack was the first touchstone that popped into my head upon hearing this track. It shares the same gentle aura, even down to the fuzzy, lo-fi production filters. The song could have stepped out of almost any decade, and certainly isn’t chasing any trends.
Fall‘s melody is also understated, giving Crush the opportunity to fill each line with emotion that feels more realistic than bombastic. While the chorus isn’t particularly impactful, it fits the song’s vibe perfectly. As the soundtrack to a cozy night with the fireplace burning, it’s hard to imagine a better track. As a promoted single, the song is already doing very well in Korea, but feels too quiet to make much of a long-term mark. I love that Crush is indulging in the type of music that truly appeals to him, but part of me fears that he’s lost a bit of his edge in the process.