Weeks before making his military enlistment, Crush has released a mini album with a fun concept. With Her pairs the soloist with a different female artist for each track. I think this is a wonderful idea, as each collaborator could bring out a different part of his artistry, while potentially challenging themselves as well. The album’s title track Let Me Go (놓아줘) features Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon, who previously worked with Crush on 2016’s Don’t Forget.
This is a powerful pair, as each artist has enjoyed substantial success on their own. Coming together, you would expect fireworks to fly, at least on the digital charts. But, Let Me Go is a subdued affair. Its lyrics detail a break-up, so it would be unfair to expect a rousing musical backbone. Instead, the track’s instrumental largely keeps with muted keys and finger snaps. Now, being a massive Janet Jackson fan, I know very well what kind of pop-r&b perfection can be mined from muted keys and finger snaps! But, Let Me Go doesn’t have a compelling melody to go along with its instrumental approach.
True to form, Crush’s vocal teases at each and every line. But, if you were to take his individual style out of the equation, the actual song construction is rather flat. It’s almost as if the track is on cruise control. Even as Taeyeon comes in to offer a response to Crush’s first verse, Let Me Go maintains its cool. I appreciate their two voices together, especially as they join for the second chorus. There’s a good deal of satisfying harmony during Let Me Go’s second half. I just wish the song offered more melody for these two powerhouses to sink their teeth into. Instead, it hinges too strongly on its affecting lyrics and smart pairing of vocal tones.