With over 2,300 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the “Random Shuffle Review” feature.
The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!
Year Released: 2010
Rain’s Love Song (널 붙잡을 노래) came at a precarious time for any artist. Though he’d been active as a soloist for nearly a decade, he’d just come off the biggest album and single of his career. Following up a career-defining blockbuster like Rainism was a very tall order, and after over a year away from music, Rain took a 180 turn with this blast of sensuous r&b.
Unsurprisingly, Love Song was not quite the world-conquering hit that Rainism was, but it remains one of his most iconic moments. Much of that is due to his much-imitated shirt-lifting choreography, but the song itself is no slouch either. Love Song’s slow-burn intensity takes full advantage of Rain’s husky vocals, backdropping his performance with subtle orchestration and a slinky r&b beat. Its emotive melody isn’t the kind of instant earworm we’ve come to expect from most idol-driven k-pop, but its restraint rewards repeated listens. The song’s biggest strength is its theatrical arrangement, which gradually builds to a cathartic, electric guitar fueled climax. An undeniable sense of longing comes across loud and clear, even if you don’t understand the Korean lyrics. It’s a tour de force in a completely different way from his uptempo material.