With so many dramas in need of sappy, soaring soundtracks, Korea has got to be one of the biggest music markets for ballads. With so many being pumped out every year, it becomes difficult to stand out. A dynamite ballad can be such a cathartic experience — especially when delivered by a robust, dependable voice. Super Junior’s Ryeowook certainly fits the bill, and it’s been great having him back with the group after his military discharge.
Ryeowook possesses an incredibly clear tone and effortless vocal control, and those qualities are easily the most notable thing about I’m Not Over You (너에게). The song itself remains hushed throughout the bulk of its running time, casting an emotive mood that’s anchored by one memorable melodic line. The rest of the track allows Ryeowook to unleash his vocals, which are at their best during You’s final third. He delivers some truly ear-catching falsetto right between the song’s two symphonic swells. If you’ve ever listened to a ballad of this style before, this kind of extended climax is expected. But, it pays off nonetheless.
The rest of I’m Not Over You feels almost too hesitant for its own good. Without much percussion until the second half, the track barely rises above a whisper. This is likely designed to build gradual tension, but it all comes across as too typical in an OST way. Ryeowook’s 2016 title track The Little Prince benefited from a more balanced structure that gave it a satisfying fullness. In contrast, I’m Not Over You feels a little lopsided.