For the past several years, Super Junior’s Kyuhyun has been a reliable deliverer of autumn ballads. Now that he’s set to transition into his military enlistment soon, he’s overcompensated for his upcoming absence with a full album of them. For me, a Kyuhyun ballad is a Kyuhyun ballad — really just the same thing repeated ad nauseam. Luckily, it’s largely a format that works.
For this new comeback, he’s given us two title tracks. But given their immense similarity, I’m choosing to review only the better of the two, for fear that I’d have nothing left to say about the other one. And in this head-to-head battle, Blah Blah (블라블라) emerges as the victor. But even so, it’s not much more than a traditional Korean ballad, through and through. From its sentimental mix of strings and piano to its utterly predictable structure, the song is comfort food for those looking for a very OST-minded release. Kyuhyun’s a reliably strong conduit for this style, even though I’ve often wished he’d let loose more than he ever does. Even when the notes soar, he’s always seemed to prefer a professional sense of restraint when he could be blitzing us with pure emotion.
The main problem with Blah Blah is that it’s not even remotely as strong as either At Gwanghwamun or A Million Pieces. Stacked up against them, it feels like a very minor entry in his discography. Pleasant, yes… but lacking the melodic oomph of either of those singles. Its best moment is actually the use of electric guitar after the chorus, which gives the song a needed sense of drama that the rest of the track is woefully short on.
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