Since winning the first season of K-pop Star, Park Jimin has jumped from gig to gig — as part of pop duo 15&, as a co-host on After School Club, and as a soloist. She’s about to make her biggest leap yet: straight out of JYP Entertainment. It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for her. Despite possessing one of K-pop’s strongest voices, her work with JYP has been infrequent and rarely managed to draw fully upon her talents.
The same could be said about Stay Beautiful, her first solo song in about a year. She takes the reins on composition, working with a few collaborators to deliver a fairly standard K-r&b track. The song is very reminiscent of something Heize would record, though the two have very different vocal timbres. Rather than offer a big belter of a track, Jimin pulls back for a more subdued, moody sound.
For those who enjoy this style, I’m sure there will be a lot to love. After all, Jimin is a gifted vocalist, no matter the genre. For me, Stay Beautiful is little more than a vibe. Lyrics aside, the track remains at the same general level the entire time. It establishes its languid instrumental immediately, presenting a blend of downbeat guitar, murky keys and trap-influenced percussion. On the plus side, this underwhelming production shines full focus on Jimin herself. But, as pleasant as her voice is to listen to, she never really pushes at the song’s seams. This isn’t an unemotional track, and Jimin is able to generate some nuance through her phrasing, but the whole affair tends to fade into the background when it should pull you by the collar.
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