Review

Song Review: Yuqi ((G)I-DLE) – Giant

Yuqi - Giant

Though she doesn’t receive as much attention as some of (G)I-DLE’s other members, Yuqi has one of the group’s most compelling voices. And now, she has the opportunity to spotlight that talent with the release of her digital single Giant. Recorded in both English and Chinese versions, the song offers a shot of rock-infused inspiration.

I’m not usually a fan of K-pop tracks released in English, but Giant‘s lyrics are vague enough to appeal to anyone going through a struggle. The imagery is memorable, if a bit simplistic. And, it’s echoed by a hearty instrumental that brings a heavy dose of rock guitar. The production has that plodding quality that’s become so popular in modern pop music, and I wish the rhythm matched the intensity of the guitar. It picks up during the standout pre-chorus, hinting at the full-on rocker this could have been. Instead, we get some satisfying symphonic flourishes, which help compensate for the beat’s sluggish pace.

More importantly, Yuqi compels with her husky voice. She brings authentic emotion and grit to Giant, holding her own against the bombastic instrumental. And though the melody is quite repetitive, her performance keeps things fresh and engaging throughout. If it were up to me, the track would close with a killer key change or an unexpected shift to double-time, but Giant‘s ambitions are more modest than that. Even so, Yuqi has all the talent necessary for an exciting solo career. And if the excellent b-side Bonnie & Clyde hints at what she’s got in store for us next, I’m all ears!

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8

27 thoughts on “Song Review: Yuqi ((G)I-DLE) – Giant

  1. The song sounds like a Kelly Clarkson song, if Kelly were a mezzo-soprano and shifted the song key down a third or fourth from her usual. Its about typical fare for every inspirational you go girl song from the 2010’s, but as Nicks says it needs that Big Moment. That high pitched I got the eye of TIger , a FIghter, and you’re gonna hear me ROOOOOAAAAAR. That moment.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I know this is a site for music reviews and I want to keep it that way….but this news just shocks me: https://www.soompi.com/article/1469074wpp/m-c-the-maxs-j-yoon-passes-away.
    Musically, he was one of my favorite producers to begin with, anyone who makes songs as genius as Golden Child’s Eyes On You or Infinite’s follow me is definitely to warrant attention. But it was his intros which always stole the show. I won’t act like I know him, but man….This definitely is a punch to the gut.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. She is one of those few with a unique tone in K-Pop, which to my mind generally favours those who can hit high notes and such (while there are some exceptions obvs). Her tone reminds me a bit of BTS’s V maybe? I’m happy she gets to showcase her talents through the single.

    The song however got a bit boring for me in the end. After the first verse, I wasn’t motivated to really finish the song though I liked the first verse . The pre-chorus was my fav. part of the song but apart from that, I’m not sure if I’ll finish the song the next time I play it.

    High 7s for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yuqi is a mezzo-soprano like Lee Hi. There are a small number of others, Lee Eun Mi is a classic old time example. But as you say, generally speaking, kpop agencies look for light lyric sopranos with the high notes for their idol training.
      Lee Hi ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnW1_jYh2Uo
      Lee Eun Mi (with Chen) ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGBA_28gcsw

      Now, in Western pop, mezzo-sopranos are everywhere, probably these days there are more mezzo’s than sopranos in western pop. Adele, Pink, Beyonce, Idina Menzel, Gaga, etc.

      V is one of a small list of Baritones in kpop. Roy Kim is another example. Usually the baritones get pushed to be the rappers with the deep tone – eg Top from Big Bang. V tends to add a heaviness to his voice by pushing on his larynx to make it sound deeper than it is in parts, which for some is a really appealing timbre. So the way he hits a middle C, say, sounds low, isn’t low. Partially it is also a vocal compensation and adaptaion, as the BTS repertoire tends to favor the tenor line and especially the falsetto notes.

      Now in western pop, half of everyone is a baritone, so there is a lot more repertoire for a young baritone to practice on in their natural range. These examples barely break above middle C.
      Neil Diamond ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGemtjVtfZM
      Jim Kerr of Simple Minds ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gLVqjIvokc
      Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FzR7HpzNbw

      Liked by 5 people

      • Honestly would love to see some more vocal diversity in kpop also! I think it could really work well. High notes are a little overrated in my opinion (they often end up sounding super strained anyway).

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s not only that they sound super strained but the thing is, they’re not well-placed. Songs such as Wave, Into The New World and Atlantis have perfectly-placed power notes which washes a euphoric feeling all over you.

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          • ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1X-cnOi7yo
            Hi, me again.
            Also Heechul, SuJu, baritone. I had (somehow) forgotten until this morning, when one of his solo songs came around on the shuffle. He sings the shit out of this one here as it is placed right in his range, even though he has to compete with a crushing guitar solo and a living legend.
            ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1X-cnOi7yo

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  4. This is cool. She gets to fully showcase her nice husky voice, and with a song that really fits her. However it doesn’t quite have the impact I expected it to have for some reason.

    I would score it around the lower 8’s.

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  5. As Nick said, the intensity did not match with the rhythm. Those were exactly my thoughts when I heard the song. I understand why they chose this as the title track but I still hoped for a korean release. Yuqi sounded great though. Her voice texture is so unique and has a powerful effect.

    Bonnie and Clyde, on the other hand, excels at the retro inspired rock feel.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I liked the single and will definitely look forward to any future solo releases. I think she would do really well in a Marina and the Diamonds “Electra Heart”-esque repertoire.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. GIANT (2021)
    Rated: G – Animated, Adventure, Family

    Studio: Disney / Pixar
    Writers: Yuqi, BOYTOY, Young Sky, Peter Hyun, ChaTone
    Stars: Yuqi as Jacqueline, PSY as Fefi Fofum

    Plot:
    Young Jacqueline lives in a small village where life moves slowly. Having been bullied most of her life, she tends to keep to herself, preferring to spend time at her grandmother’s home helping her with her garden. One day, after school, Jacqueline is severely hurt by two girls that are larger than her. She hides in her grandmother’s garden crying herself to sleep. When her tears fall, they land on a young seedling. Throughout the night, as she sleeps, the seedling grows into a huge stalk climbing high into the sky. When she awakens, she marvels at the new plant towering high above her. As she tries to leave her grandmother’s garden, she sees her bullies down the road. She decides to run away from home and climbs the stalk. At the top, she encounters a very large village hut. Initially afraid of its humungous occupant, Jacqueline learns that the giant’s name is Fefi Fofum. He has a gentle soul but is quite clumsy and lumbering. They quickly become friends. Jacqueline wants to give Fefi one of her toys for his birthday so she decides to climb down the stalk to retrieve one from her bedroom. Halfway to her home, she is trapped by her bullies and she is terrified. Fefi, noticing Jacqueline is gone, climbs down the stalk to look for her. Her finds her with the bullies and lets out a loud roar. The bullies scamper, falling over their own feet and run away. Jacqueline runs to Fefi and gives him a big hug. The both walk down the dirt road to her house holding hands.

    This song would be the films climactic score near the end of the film when Jacqueline is bullied and Fefi finds her.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bonnie & Clyde is also a solid pop song. Its almost like a double A side-style release. I just bought both for darling daughter

      Like

    • I don’t know what cicadas have to do with Yuqi or this song, but I do distinctly remember a big brood that emerged one year in my adolescence. The cicada exoskeletons were everywhere, on every tree trunk, every branch.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Ah, I have listened to this guy a lot, and I remember this one. He has a lot of gems.

          Yes, I heard the hi hats on this song here, Yuqi’s. but the first thing I heard was that it is like every “I am” song from every female soloist since about 2000, sans impressive key change or belting note, so I didn’t really consciously bother to think about the rest of the songcraft much beyond that.

          Anyway, That Cicada he refers to is not quite the same Cicada as the giant brood of cicadas that are about to emerge on the east coast of the US. That Cicada he refers to in my area is annual, and usually around July-August, and you can hear in bushes and high grasses here and there. They can be very loud. When you walk by they stop. If you stand very still, they may start again.
          ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mah26og11ms

          There is a periodic cicada that is emerging soon on the east coast of the US – next week? – that looks more darker, longer, and locust-like. Brood X! dun dun dunnnnn It is so big in the news here, because for once it is good news, I guess. Or at least not bad news. That is the one you link to above. Depending on your area on the east coast, they emerge every 13 years or 17 years, in distinct cycles. I have no idea what it sounds like. I don’t remember seeing or hearing a live one in my youth, just many many many husks afterwards stuck to the trees.
          ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWr8fzUz-Yw

          Another common summer sound on the US east coast is the katydid at night, a call and response from one tree to another tree far away. da da daaaaa – da da dihdih – da da daaaa – da da dihdih. As far as I know know one has set katydids to music. ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ob2rEjRz-RM

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Shoot man, I don’t know why this song got me crying cuz it hit me. It’s not a perfect or complicated song. The lyrics are thaaatt special, but for some reason, her voice and the imagery of it all it is powerful. I love this route for Yuqi. She has such a beautiful voice and I hope that she releases regular solo content like this. It is powerful and driven, but not too much. It reminds me a lot of regular pop and there are areas that could be more flushed out but damn, Yuqi got me.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am not floored/blown away but I’m very impressed. I love Yuqi’s performance and the instrumental. I think it’s a pretty powerful and moving performance…I think it’s an exciting solo debut just because I really wasn’t expecting this : )

    Like

  10. Other people have said it already, but she does have a lovely voice. I appreciate that this song is doing something a little different than what you usually might hear as the first solo song from a member of a group striking out on their own. Makes me excited to see (and hear) what she does in the future!

    Like

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