SM Station’s latest release brings together Doyoung from NCT and Sejeong from Gugudan. Though only Doyoung is an actual SM artist, the two share at least one thing in common. Both are supremely talented vocalists whose group comebacks rarely give the opportunity to fully display that skill. Star Blossom (별빛이 피면) may be yet another drippy ballad, but this time Station definitely got the pairing right.
The song has a wistful nostalgia about it, wrapped in the tickle of jazzy piano and warm strings. In this way, the instrumental feels as if it was pulled right out of some old musical, given the tempo and style of a waltz. This influence is brought to the forefront during the gorgeous bridge, which swells with a full string section. It’s an incredibly cinematic moment that sweeps in unexpectedly and hints at what Star Blossom could have been if it had gone a little more ambitious.
But even if I wish the track would have upped the theatrics further, the understated production allows Doyoung and Sejeong to drive Star Blossom with a stunning interplay. Their tones are different enough to create sparks when brought together, and even though the song doesn’t result in any chill-inducing power notes, their hushed performance still captivates. The second verse and onward is the strongest display of their teamwork, culminating in what amounts to a musical conversation as their voices intertwine and echo each other. Star Blossom won’t be a song for every season, but it’s the perfect soundtrack for these shorter days as we head into winter.