Both Sistar‘s Soyou and EXO‘s Baekhyun have become known as popular duet partners, so it’s a no-brainer to pair them together for a digital single. Infuse some of the downbeat balladry that Korea loves and you have a recipe for instant success. Unfortunately, “success” doesn’t necessarily translate to “interest,” and I can’t say I was particularly excited about hearing Rain (비가 와) for the first time.
Most listeners will have an inkling of the song’s eventual sound before even playing it. Both Soyou and Baekhyun’s duets have incorporated a relaxing blend of r&b and coffeehouse-style ballad. Though both performers are more than capable of letting out a dynamic power note within their respective groups, songs like Some or Dream have focused more strongly on evoking a mood. And Rain takes this mood to an even more hushed place, built on an unobtrusive blend of acoustic guitar and strings that almost gives the track the feel of a lullaby. It’s not particularly interesting from a production standpoint, but the light touch is undeniably effective.
Rain is divided equally between Soyou and Baekhyun, before their voices collide at the song’s climax. Soyou’s infamously breathy tone suits the first verse well, easing listeners into the soft melody before hitting the chorus. Baekhyun delivers a restrained performance, opting to compliment Soyou’s vocals rather than provide a major contrast. This causes Rain‘s first two-thirds to be very pretty, but also kind of unremarkable. When the two finally harmonize during the last minute, the song feels like it’s ready to build to something. I’m not sure it quite gets there, but in the end it doesn’t really matter. With star power of this caliber, it had “hit” written into its DNA long before any recording happened!