As her group Miss A continues to exist in an uncertain position somewhere between hiatus and disbandment, Suzy has finally made her full-fledged solo debut with the JYP-produced Yes No Maybe. But even though the song is part of her debut mini album, she’s been one of k-pop’s most famous idols for some time, spurred on by her acting in dramas and, most recently, her massively successful duet with EXO’s Baekhyun.
When it comes to solo tracks, things usually go one of two ways. Either the song is a big departure from the group’s material or an extension of it. Yes No Maybe definitely feels like the latter. But this isn’t a bad thing, since the traditional Miss A sound fits Suzy’s voice well. The track exists in a hazy place somewhere between dance and midtempo, fueled by a nuanced trip-hop beat and icy electronics. The instrumental has a chic appeal, floating along a sleek structure that never crests too far from expectations. Park Jinyoung’s touch is felt heavily, from the airy vocal delivery to the uncluttered arrangement.
While Yes No Maybe‘s chorus could do with a bigger impact in the vocal department (some layering, perhaps?), Suzy’s upper register here is a dead wringer for Janet Jackson, who just happens to be my favorite American artist of all time. I remember JYP saying what a fan he was as well, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this was at least somewhat intentional. Regardless, I wasn’t expecting much from Suzy’s vocals. But although she’s not exactly a powerhouse in that department, her unadorned tone is gorgeous and conveys much more emotion than I would have thought. It’s a suitably stylish piece of pop music, and a strong debut as a solo act.
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