K-pop teasers can be deceptive if you’re not paying close attention. Take a look at the visual teasers for Yesung’s new comeback and you might expect a gritty punk rock track. I’d love to hear him tackle something like this – a song that gives his strong vocals more bite. But beyond the visuals, it became clear that Small Things was going to be a more subdued affair. The track fits snugly within Yesung’s discography, but its laidback vibe doesn’t do much for me.
It’s hard to write negatively about Small Things. It’s a very pleasant track, worthy of Yesung’s considerable talent. Its chorus is memorable from the start and the arrangement evokes the feeling of being in some small, smokey indie rock club. Small Things establishes a sense of intimacy that gives weight to its modest ambitions. Yesung brings plenty of texture to his performance, utilizing the breathier side of his voice to great effect.
Yet, apart from being a chill soundtrack around the house, there’s nothing about Small Things that compels me to listen again. During the doldrums of winter, I’m looking for music to sweep me into another world. Instead, Small Things reinforces the drowsy chill of the season. If that’s your thing, it’ll make a solid addition to this month’s sparse K-pop slate. But as refined as the song may be, there’s not enough dynamism to keep my rapt attention.