Sistar’s Hyolyn released two of this summer’s highlights, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. Her performance style is perfectly suited to the season. But as we transition to fall, it’s Soyou’s turn to shine. Her music has always carried a more relaxed vibe, and her breathy tone acts as an ideal autumnal soundtrack.
With All Night (까만밤), Soyou ups the tempo for a jazzy slice of lounge-pop that wouldn’t feel out of place within the context of an indie musical. The song marks the first collaboration between producers Groovy Room — whose prolific compositions seemed inescapable in 2017, and Oreo — one half of the Iggy/Youngbae team responsible for much of GFriend’s pop output. It’s a surprising pairing, and results in a unique sound. I can’t say that this style of jazz-influenced K-pop appeals very strongly to me, but I applaud its individuality.
When it comes down to it, I think a stronger melody would have helped pull in reluctant listeners like myself. The instrumental is definitely the star of the show, melding its classic elements with modern hip-hop touches for a light-on-its-feet, improvisational grace. This works especially well during Sik-K’s guest verse. His rap adds a shot of energy just when the song needs it. The chorus is less memorable, vamping with a come-hither tone but lacking the punch to back it up. In contrast, the airy pre-chorus stands out by harnessing Soyou’s unmistakable delivery. She definitely thrives with this theatrical aesthetic, and could easily pull off an IU-style belter like Good Day or You & I. Now, that would capture my attention.