Sometimes you just fall in love with a voice.
This actually doesn’t happen to me all that often, as I’m usually more concerned with melody and song construction, but last winter I found myself obsessed with balladeer Yongzoo on survival series The Fan. I was so enamored with his tone and performance style that I nearly quit the series when he was eliminated just before the final.
Yongzoo is not your typical ballad singer, having trained at SM Entertainment for their NCT project and nearly debuting as a member of a Chinese idol group. This kind of experience seems to have steered his intonation and phrasing, which feels very deliberate. He has a gift for conveying emotion through music, but this is difficult to fully gauge without watching a live performance. This Love doesn’t hold a candle to the cover tracks he performed on The Fan, but it’s a pleasant enough showcase for his skills.
Much of the song is delivered in a breathy, understated style in keeping with Yongzoo’s strengths. The melody hinges around a simple hook that’s placed right at the front of the track. It’s an incredibly sentimental sound, tailor-made for drama soundtracks everywhere. The rest of Love doesn’t really go anywhere exciting, opting to paint an amiable vibe rather than command attention. If anything, I wish it would have harnessed his beautiful falsetto more effectively. For those interested to hear Yongzoo at his best, I present Exhibit A, Exhibit B and Exhibit C. You’re welcome.