Heize first gained fame about a year ago by appearing on the second season of Unpretty Rapstar, but rather than follow an expected hip-hop trajectory since the show’s finale, she’s offered music that adds much more of a melodic, r&b influence. Taking this approach even further, Star (저 별) goes full-on ballad, showcasing Heize’s vocals over spare production.
Star is the kind of track we’d expect to hear from someone like Lee Hi. It’s well in line with the sound that Korea falls in love with this time of year, and marks a true moment for Heize’s burgeoning career. The song takes a sorrowful, pensive approach throughout, marked by murky keys and plodding snare. The instrumental’s general sound is a bit warped, as if each individual element is melting into the others to create a dark, dreamlike atmosphere. It’s effective in this way, especially if you’re looking for something on the sadder side. As a fan of music that gets me pumped up and excited, my bias clearly lies elsewhere.
Though Star‘s verses are mainly subdued — including the soft, conversational rap segment — its chorus is quite strong. It grips you immediately with its simplicity in both melody and performance. For an artist who didn’t exactly debut as a singer, Heize proves that she is more than capable of delivering an emotive vocal. I can understand why this song is sitting at the top of Korean charts, even if it may not be something I would listen to regularly.
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