Song Review: Yongzoo – This Time

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.

 Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.25



3 thoughts on “Song Review: Yongzoo – This Time

  1. I just can’t place exactly what’s so special about his voice (in a good way). It’s completely captivating whenever he sings, whatever he sings. He has a timbre that’s doesn’t immediately strike me as incredibly unique, but again, there’s just something about it. And then there’s the incredible support he has and that he still manages to have some earth in his voice as a tenor, but if I get into that this comment will never end. Plenty of other singers have all of these things, but Yongzoo… definitely something special!


  2. He has a very pleasant, boyish and clean timbre. When combined with the easy pleasing songs, it is very calming effect. Such is the depth of SM bench that they let this go – perhaps he can’t dance well? Unfortunately, the ranks of Korean ballad singers are also very crowded. Jung Seung Hwan comes to mind as a close comparison but more popular (eg “the snowman”).

    (Technically speaking, although I have only heard a few examples, he hasn’t shown that he can belt at high or even medium pitch sections, his falsetto can be weak at times, and I haven’t heard his lower register much.)


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