Song Review: Jang Hyunseong – I Just Can’t Stop Loving You

Okay, the first thing that pops into my head when I see the title of this song is the classic Michael Jackson/Siedah Garrett ballad, which sets the bar pretty darn high. I have no reason to expect something similar, since pop music has moved on to a different palette of sounds in the past 30+ years. But, there is something comforting about seeing that familiar title tethered to a familiar artist – in this case ex-Beast and Troublemaker member Jang Hyunseong.

Hyunseong has been pretty quiet these past few years. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed his solo music on The Bias List before. But, his voice was an instrumental part of the industry’s second generation, and it’s a treat to hear it back in action. I Just Can’t Stop Loving You (차가운 너의 손을 따스히 감싸주고 싶어) is an interesting blend between the old and new. On one hand, its structure feels more like a flow than a melody —  a very trendy approach these past few years. But, it’s underpinned by a synth-kissed instrumental that feels much more timeless. In this case, I think the juxtaposition works well – especially given the expressiveness of Hyunseung’s vocal.

In some ways, I Just Can’t Stop Loving You feels like one of those old YG hip-hop ballads, conversational and cathartic in tone. There’s an unguarded energy to it, as if the performance was captured after a few swigs of alcohol. I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. This is a large part of the track’s charm, and fits with the general tone. I especially like how the chorus dives toward a messy, mile-a-minute conclusion, as if the song is stumbling over its own feet. I Just Can’t Stop Loving You may not be particularly ambitious, but it resonates in its own charming way.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

3 thoughts on “Song Review: Jang Hyunseong – I Just Can’t Stop Loving You

  1. Well, hey now, this is pretty good. I never really knew who was the other half of Troublemaker, or learned the Beast members, but now I know one!

    I really appreciate the performance too. It makes the song a lot more Real and Genuine. No one went word by word to cut and clip and massage and produce the vocal line to within an inch of its life. Actually it takes a lot of talent and experience and confidence to record a more free form vocal in a few takes these days.

    I can hear YG-style in it too, and can almost assign the sections to Taeyang, Daesung, GD etc. Speaking of which, where in tarnation is Big Bang?

    Off topic: there is an urban legend about Freddie Mercury downing a shot of vodka and then recording “The Show Must Go On” in one take. It must be true enough because the story is immortalized in wikipedia.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello I agree with everything you wrote here, which was rare coming from me.

    Agree with the easy-laid back vocals, the so-called “unguardedness” and the conversational style that i found a lot in bigbang & gd songs and also in one of my fav japanese r&b singer, shimizu shota’s older works.

    The melody is so nice, esp love the nice surprise in 2nd verse with the lower register rap-singing in english. Now that’s new (for Hyunseung) and refreshing.

    I didn’t even know he had a song out, stumbled upon it on youtube 2 days ago and it’s been on loop when I’m on the treadmill or in the shower.

    surprising indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.