Rocker and TV variety personality Jung Joon Young has developed a pattern of crafting raucous alternative rock with his group Drug Restaurant (formerly JJY Band) and more traditional Korean balladry when it comes to his solo work. The latter approach gave us the incredibly Sympathy last year, and with new single Me And You he’s returned to a similar sound — even down to drafting a notable female vocalist to serve as his duet partner.
Me And You is a bit of a tease, in the fact that it takes so long to climax in the type of rock bombast we expect from Joon Young. The vast majority of the song is supported by a hushed, unobtrusive piano instrumental. Fortunately, Joon Young is one of the few artists within this genre that can drive a production using only his voice. It’s a powerful instrument — rich and husky and full of character. Still, Me And You takes too long to get going. I remember feeling the same about Sympathy, but that track had a more compelling build. This time around, the arrangement is basically a flat line before pulsing upward during the last thirty seconds.
Once the guitar finally comes in at the song’s climax, we’re in solid territory. No one in Korea does this type of modern power ballad better. If anything, I long for an even more unrestrained catharsis. The track could have done with some trimming in the first half and expanding in the second. But even with this setback, the chorus packs a punch. And thanks to Joon Young’s reliably powerful performance, the cinematic melody soars with emotion.