Random Shuffle Review: Park Jung Min (SS501) – Not Alone

Park Jung Min - Not AloneWith over 4,000 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the “Random Shuffle Review” feature.

The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!

Year Released: 2011

When Park Jung Min’s Not Alone came up on shuffle, I thought this would make a very interesting blog post. First of all, I doubt many newer K-pop fans have even heard it. You’d really need to be ensconced in the industry’s second-gen landscape to be familiar. Secondly, Not Alone is a product of a bygone era. I can’t imagine it being released today. It would stick out like a sore thumb amidst the musical trends that have been popular over the last five years or so.

But, that doesn’t mean we should forget about Not Alone. Yes, its sound is nostalgic. And yes, it might come across as a little cheesy by today’s standards. But, I have huge appreciation for this style. The track opens with its strings section, which features prominently throughout. The vocals don’t even appear until thirty seconds in. This symphonic intro hints at the drama to come, as Not Alone unveils an ever-growing series of melodies that crest in a two-part chorus with plenty of room to breathe. Its refrains are focused and inter-connected, resulting in a satisfying structure that builds upon itself. Honestly, today’s producers could learn a lot from this approach. (For those keeping track, this was composed by the legendary Shinsadong Tiger).

And if you enjoy Not Alone, I have good news for you! When promoting in Japan, Park Jung Min went by the moniker Romeo and released a great album of rock-tinged pop. Give Me Your Heart is one of my all-time favorites.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

Grade: B+


3 thoughts on “Random Shuffle Review: Park Jung Min (SS501) – Not Alone

  1. Hi, I’ve been following your blog for a few months and always enjoy your comments on new songs. I thought this one sounded vaguely familiar. A quick check on YouTube showed me that I’ve heard it before. Probably a good decade ago, when I was just starting to listen to K-pop. Thanks for reminding me of this song!


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