Super Junior’s Yesung pre-released the emotional ballad Phantom Pain a little over a week ago, and as part of that review I expressed my hope for more upbeat material in the future. I suppose Beautiful Night is as good as we’re going to get when it comes to increased energy. Like his bandmate Kyuhyun, Yesung knows where his bread is buttered. I think his albums will always lean toward subdued sounds.
To Beautiful Night’s credit, the song firmly lodges itself within current K-pop trends. A touch of city pop influence drives its retro appeal. For me, city pop can be a frustrating prospect. I love its 80’s aesthetic, and can never get enough of its satisfying synths. Beautiful Night even throws in a saxophone solo for good measure. But, it also embraces the genre’s least interesting aspects. The track finds its groove immediately and never modulates to something more dynamic.
Beautiful Night is smooth and relaxing. It’s muted and atmospheric. And, it fits Yesung’s vocal color quite well. However, it’s also quite dull. The melody holds no real surprises, while the instrumental nudges it in all the expected ways. If I were to play this song in the background while working, I’d be nodding my head in enjoyment. But as a focal point, nothing really draws me in. Thankfully, Beautiful Night builds to a nice climax, with Yesung’s vocal matching the intensity of that ever-present saxophone. He’s skilled enough to elevate tame material, but I’d love to see him push outside his comfort zone.