Ahead of a full album next month, Taeyeon is back with pre-release single Can’t Control Myself. Pre-releases have been a longtime tradition in her solo career, with many of them standing as discography highlights. If Can’t Control Myself is any indication, we’re in for another set of emotional pop tracks.
Taeyeon has one of the best voices in the business, but she’s not always given the strongest material. Even so, SM Entertainment seems willing to match music with experience, creating a discography that feels raw and personal. This compliments Taeyeon’s strength as a pop storyteller and elevates tracks that might otherwise come across as generic. In other hands, Can’t Control Myself might feel dull or even maudlin. On its face, it’s a straightforward track that hinges on many of the tropes and energies that are currently popular on the global charts. But, Taeyeon’s nuanced performance brings a sense of authenticity unique to her.
I like the song’s rock influences – particularly the guitar during the chorus. It gives the instrumental an oppressive sound in keeping with its thematic territory. Taeyeon’s vocals fray around the edges, further contributing to this gritty vibe. These two elements combine to bring needed character to Can’t Control Myself. On its own, the song is a little pedestrian, with a beat that feels stuck in one straightforward gear. But when flashes of pathos poke through – like during the beautiful piano-led bridge – Taeyeon proves yet again why she’s one of the strongest idols out there. I’m excited to see what the full album brings.