The idea of a “healing song” must seem especially attractive in a culture like Seoul’s, which values the kind of non-stop work ethic that has resulted in massive technological advancement over a comparatively short period of time. Music can certainly be healing — but like everything, “healing” is subjective. The idea of a calming, barely-above-a-whisper track may appeal to many who long for a cozy, stress-free environment. But for me, “healing” is a big dance track with production I can get lost in. Something that feels transformative. Something that teleports me to a different world entirely.
Regardless of your taste, it’s hard to argue over the healing quality of Jeong Eunji’s voice. She’s proven to be quite a versatile performer as part of girl group Apink, but her solo material has always harnessed the more tranquil side of her vocals. Being There (어떤가요) is her most subdued single yet — more a tone poem than a pop song.
In this sense, it’s a difficult track to review. I mean, how do you review an atmosphere? Being There is so quiet, so deliberate in its approach, that it almost feels like bullying to write anything negative about it. The acoustic guitar provides a muted backdrop for Eunji’s crystal clear vocals, which occasionally meander into gorgeous falsetto. Percussion picks up about halfway through, but this feels designed as a backdrop rather than center stage. There are even a few bars where the instrumental drops out completely so we can enjoy Eunji’s tone unencumbered. Being There definitely succeeds at what it sets out to do, and it’s incredibly easy to appreciate. I’m just not sure if I’ll have much use for it on my own K-pop playlists.