Review

Song Review: Rain – Magnetic (ft. Jackson Wang)

Rain’s new album is primarily composed of collaborations, though the line distribution varies depending on the track. When the songs were first released, I saw many listeners raving about Magnetic — his duet with GOT7’s Jackson Wang. And Rain must agree with the praise, because the track now has a music video.

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I’m not hearing the amazing jam that others seem to love. Magnetic is a fine r&b track, but apart from its novel pairing of artists, there’s not much going on here. However, I enjoy how the song brings Rain back to his roots. His airy tone excels within these slower-paced tracks, and the arrangement rekindles all sorts of memories. The instrumental is rather simple, gliding along a bass-driven pulse peppered with muted keys. The insistent hi-hat rolls are the one “trendy” aspect that grates on me. I think it’s just a texture issue. When placed alongside other percussion, hi-hats tend to have a flimsiness to their tone. And when they feature so prominently in the mix of every single K-pop song, that tinniness begins to wear thin.

I would have rather heard Magnetic more fully embrace the other levels of its frequency – maybe even bring in a touch of passionate guitar. Instead, the groove is pushed into the background, giving its performers license to steer the ship. Rain and Jackson make for a great pairing, but the song’s melody is so one-note. It wafts by, and in just over two-and-a-half minutes it’s gone. In this way, Magnetic feels a lot like last week’s Chungha-featuring Why Don’t We. Both are serviceable tracks that could have been amazing with a few adventurous tweaks.

 Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.25

11 thoughts on “Song Review: Rain – Magnetic (ft. Jackson Wang)

  1. Nick, remember when your ult bias Ms Janet Jackson did the looks-like-one-take video. ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaleKN9GQ54 Remember how we would watch it closely to figure out where the cuts were. Shutters feet wall lightbulb lamppost = five. We couldn’t google it, we couldn’t youtube it, we just had to wait for it to come around again on MTv, although it was in heavy rotation so that was about once an hour, but still. (Fun fact – choreography was by Paula Abdul.)

    This song here: Good song, good performance. Clever duet too, arguably a better choice than Rain’s other duets these months as Jackson has an even bigger fandom to tap into.

    With a slight change in the arrangement this could also be early 90’s R&B. This song could use a stronger break with a nice high falsetto note – there is the space and time for one, I just don’t know why there isn’t one. The older R&B would also have that break or a sotto voce soft rap, or both.

    Sorry, further digression, I was thinking up possible lyrics to that soft rap, but all I can think of is Saturday Night Live spoofs of that era of R&B lyrics for a hypothetical song called “Magnetic” = “Girl we’re at opposite poles but you attract me”. Imagining JT singing that line.

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    • Oh yes, ‘When I Think of You’ is never far from my mind!

      But though it doesn’t have quite the same one-take illusion, ‘The Pleasure Principle” is my Control-era video of choice. What a freaking powerhouse she is!

      And now you’ve given me the excuse to embed it…

      Liked by 1 person

        • Well, Rhythm Nation 1814 is probably my favorite album of all-time, so you’ll get no argument from me.

          That run from Control to The Velvet Rope (1986-1997) is widely considered one of the best album runs from any pop artist, and that’s not just my bias talking 😉

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          • Will check them out!

            I personally will almost always think the greatest streak of albums for me will always be the Bollywood albums for the Raj Kapoor films produced by Shankar Jaikishan, with lyrics by Shailendra, and all sung by Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar, and Manna Dey. I’d love it if Janet came close!

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        • Sacre Bleu! Janet had this one-two-three punch string of hit records and albums that was just phenomenal. Control – Rhythm Nation – Janet. Control by itself had six promoted hit songs released off of it, it was that good. And then Rhythm Nation had seven songs released and promoted off of it, all hit songs. She was this powerhouse that just owned 1985-2000 in her own way.

          My personal favorite is Together Again, followed by Escapade.

          My sister was always partial to “Again”, I don’t know why, what boyfriend all named Kevin was the reason (she had 3? all named Kevin until she married someone not name Kevin), but that was her song.

          Oh, back to Rain, the reference to Janet is because his video here also uses a version of the one-take illusion, less effective because he is obviously changing floors but it was what came to my mind first, and then the statue illusion thing going on.

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  2. If you don’t like hi-hat I hope you didn’t listen to his boygroup (Cipher ?) highlight medley, or maybe you should so you won’t be too much excited when they’ll debut

    Liked by 1 person

  3. R&B as a genre is generally not for me. I respect both of these artists, but to me this is boring. I might have this play in the background while I’m doing something else though.

    Liked by 2 people

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