Despite its initial fanfare, the first season of Produce 101 only resulted in a small handful of long-lasting breakthroughs. Generally, these came in the form of single artists rather than groups. Kim Sejeong is the perfect example. She’s a steady fixture on variety shows, yet her own group Gugudan haven’t had a comeback in over fourteen months. Jellyfish Entertainment is clearly banking on her popularity and hoping they can hitch the rest of the group to her wagon. This strategy rarely ends well, though it’s certainly not Sejeong’s fault.
When it comes to a Kim Sejeong track, you can pretty much expect a ballad. It’s her sweet spot, and takes advantage of her clear, polished vocals. In this regard, new single Plant (화분) gives you exactly what you want. It’s a pleasant, piano-driven ballad with a sentimental melody and comforting delivery. And given the current level of global panic, “comforting” is a welcome mood.
As a song, Plant is relatively simple. It never builds to some huge crescendo or climactic power note, choosing instead to alternate between subdued, melodic verses and a gentle chorus that draws on moments of falsetto to create an airy – almost fragile – appeal. I like how most of the song loops around a pair of repeated melodic refrains, growing more powerful during Plant’s second half but never becoming needlessly overwrought. Without a bridge, the track feels overly short, but I think that’s okay for a song of this nature. Sejeong (and ballad) fans will likely be pleased. I’ll continue to turn to my thumping dance tracks in unsure times, but every once and awhile it’s nice to indulge in a moment of calm like this.
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