Review

Song Review: Taeyeon – Four Seasons

It’s been a long wait for new material from Taeyeon, and even longer since she’s actively promoted in Korea. With the release of digital single Four Seasons (사계), it doesn’t seem as if that promotional lull will end any time soon, but it’s nice to hear her voice again. The song arrives just over two years after the release of her first full album — a watershed moment in her career. In many ways, Four Seasons feels like it would have fit perfectly as part of that project… just maybe not as a title track.

As a soloist, Taeyeon’s had a relatively high level of freedom when it comes to exploring various styles, and Seasons flips things once more by marrying her traditionally ornate balladry with a mid-tempo reggae beat. Those hoping for a “throw down the gauntlet” type of comeback will likely be a bit disappointed, as the song plays more like a solid album track. Taeyeon’s personality-rich voice drives the laid-back verses, though no single element seems positioned to stand out within the instrumental’s amiable vibe.

Seasons’ chorus feels more robust, highlighted by a strings-heavy arrangement that adds a stately drama to the song. In an odd and unexpected way, this aesthetic actually reminds me of old James Bond themes. The song’s aim and ambition are very different, but the swell of the instrumental (and that wordless, post-chorus refrain) give off a similar sentiment. After all this time, I just wish Four Seasons left me with more punch — whether it be melodically, structurally or emotionally. As expected from Taeyeon, it’s a strong track. But compared to past singles, it doesn’t carve its own niche as strongly as I would have liked.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.75

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6 thoughts on “Song Review: Taeyeon – Four Seasons

  1. I sooo agree with what u said. Btw, love ur reviews!

    Could you review Baek Yerin’s new sobg Maybe It’s Not Our Fault?

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  2. I can’t pinpoint exactly what song this is soundaliking, but it sure works well. I’ll update this comment if I figure it out, because it’s killing me!!

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  3. I’ve noticed that songs that make reference to seasons or the weather (e.g. breeze, snow etc.) are more often than not a little dull. I wonder why that is. This is definitely a better example of this, however – it’s a perfectly pleasant song. It wasn’t mind blowing and I’m not aching to listen to it again (like I was with Something New – that groove! More of that please!) but I appreciate that it isn’t trap and actually has a chorus. Side note: since you mentioned Bond themes, have you ever listened to the demo for Jimin’s Lie? It has added strings and it totally sounds like a Bond theme, I absolutely love it. Can’t understand why they removed them.

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    • Of course a BIG exception is with summer songs, like Red Velvet’s Power Up, Gfriend’s Sunny Summer, Twice’s Dance the Night Away. Also with some spring songs, like IU’s Spring Love Cherry Blossoms. I think it’s just that winter songs sound more mellow and melancholy, which comes off as “dull” for some fans.

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  4. Hello. Even i’m not really have some basic knowledge about music but your reviews somehow attract me to read. I only have a little question: What does ‘bias’ mean here? Is it about the vocal or the trend or something? Sorry if this disturb you, i just want to know

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  5. The Bias category is kind of a catch-all. While the other three factors are more objective, “bias” just means how much I personally like a song or artist. Sometimes a song will score high in the other three categories but be brought down by a lower bias score just because it doesn’t really appeal to me. Or, vice versa.

    Hopefully this makes sense!

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