Weekly Roundup of ListenOnRepeat New Reviews for Mar. 23 to March 29, 2020

“Music is a piece of art that goes in the ear straight to the heart”. Music explains the unexplainable and shows the unshowable. Someday we need the music & someday we need the lyrics and the rest of the time we also like to read reviews of our favorite music. ListenOnRepeat presents you with the best LOR weekly reviews of week Mar 23 – Mar 29, 2020. Enjoy Reading!

Florida Georgia Line – I Love My Country

florida georgia line - i love my countryThere has perhaps never been a better time for a Country music stalwart like Florida Georgia Line to release a rousing 21st Century celebration to the United States of America. Indeed, it comes at a difficult moment. With the US having been hit hardest by Covid-19 in the last few days, the spirit of community and determination that is described needs to show itself loud and clear. Solidarity in isolation is an interesting idea, though America is not yet on lockdown, and trust in one’s neighbor has rarely been so real. Songs like this one are bound to offer confidence to country fans who live and breathe the patriotism that is inherent in the genre.

Yet, the lyrics on the track are often centered around the most American of outdoor activities, which presents another interesting idea. As cases rise and the nation’s behavior inevitably gets more insular, the yearning for nature will grow. “Out here, ain’t nothing but woods and water / Drop a deer from a stand, catch a fish with a bobber…” these words might well take on a stronger meaning as the days and weeks pass while free-roaming is restricted. Perhaps it will work in the song’s favor as time goes by, encouraging a romantic view of since-gone freedoms.

Florida Georgia Line consists of country duo Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley. Since their ludicrously successful debut, they have become flag-bearers for all things stars and stripes. With “I Love My Country,” they have created a stadium tune for lonely times, and it is something Hubbard has certainly realized: “Considering the time that we’re living in right now, with everyone quarantined and may be living in a little bit of fear, it felt like a song that could bring a little light to people.”

Watch Florida Georgia Line – I Love My Country

 

그때 그 아인 (Someday, The Boy)

someday, the boy‘Kim Feel’ is a name that provides a good indicator as to what kind of artist he is. In fact, he is on the front line, trying to solidify K-pop, and trying to bring a deeper, slower edge to music that has got the world dancing. Where most tracks from the genre could be described as ‘uppers,’ Kim’s tracks give an entirely different high, one that is slow-burning, hard-won and cathartic. His latest release, “Someday, The Boy,” is a great synthesis of this idea. On the cover of images used for the track, a young man stands in front of a lake at sunset, staring dramatically into the eyes of a young woman.

What kind of story is being told? Well, it turns out that the image doesn’t just provide set dressing. Instead, it pictures the main two characters from a South Korean television series called Itaewon Class. The narrative tells the story of Park Sae-ro-yi, a young man who gets expelled from his school for standing up to a bully. Once his father dies, he hits rock bottom and the narrative follows him as he emerges from the ashes. It is a series that has become a real cultural touchstone, with nearly 20% of the country’s population tuning in.

When the first piano chords sound on “Someday, The Boy,” it sounds like something straight out of the Adele songbook, like choppy waves within recognizable harmonic structures that tell of turmoil and of trouble in love. What better tone for a series that heads directly into such themes? No doubt, the song will be utilized for the more dramatic moments in the series, to accompany fall-outs and bad decisions. It has also been acting as an emblem of the show as it climbs higher and higher in the charts.

Watch 그때 그 아인 (Someday, The Boy)

 

[MV] ZICO(지코) _ Any song(아무노래)

zico any songWith “Any Song,” Zico is channeling the introverted side of his fanbase. In amongst laughing, dancing, drinking games and general raucousness, he sticks out like a sore thumb, clearly not enjoying himself, clearly not knowing how to act. Whether it is a passing mood or a permanent temperament, Zico is forcing himself to be there, and it would seem that many fans can relate to the situation that he is experiencing. Comments sections are full of similar sentiments being expressed: “I never bored when I’m alone but I’m bored when I’m with others,” “feeling alone in a crowd,” “There is nothing wrong with being an introvert.”

But for a song that you could describe as ‘anti-party,’ rather than ‘dance-floor’ jam, there are a lot of good vibes and a lot of color in the instrumentation. We kick things off with fruity, bouncy piano chords before horns come in to accompany the synths on the chorus. Also, there are a lot of shifts in the song’s sections, and it certainly doesn’t follow a strict structure. All these points towards another idea, that of the personal party, where just because your rhythm doesn’t match with everyone else around you, that shouldn’t mean that it isn’t a cracker of a tune.

Again, fans seem to agree, with one describing their experience of the song like this: “me walking to school with a black hoodie looking depressed. My headphones: … ” When seen through this lens, it isn’t surprising that the track has gotten so much traction, with each individual fan able to relate to it on their own terms. With nearly 35 million views since it was uploaded a couple of months ago, it seems the only way is up for Zico, and for his brand of individualism. 

Watch [MV] ZICO(지코) _ Any song(아무노래)

 

[MV] Yoon Mi Rae (윤미래) – Flower (Crash Landing On You OST Part 2 _ 사랑의 불시착 OST Part 2)

yoon mi rae flower“Crash Landing On You” is the name of one of the biggest TV dramas in Asia. It is the second-highest rated in Korean cable history, and it’s 16 episodes have been seen by a larch chunk of the country’s population. Were it not for the general divide between East and West when it comes to the series’ we consume, it wouldn’t be surprising if “Crash Landing On You” were to have gained series traction internationally. Indeed, it has a premise that would interest anyone: star-crossed lovers are brought together, one from South Korea and one from North Korea when Yoon Se-ri’s paraglider is blown off course by a tornado, dragging her from her side of the border into a forbidden forest in the De-militarized zone of the North Korean side.

It sounds like Romeo and Juliet transposed onto a very different setting – and makes for the kind of story that is always going to draw attention. A recent trend in Korean TV has been for the producers to call upon K-pop stars in order to bolster the soundtrack. The chosen one for “Crash Landing On You” is Yoon Mi Rae, an American born artist who is part of the trio MFBTY. Her voice has been roundly praised for evoking the purity of the story’s message.

The official video for the song is matched with visuals from the series, which picture Yoon Mi Rae wondering through the countryside looking battered and bruised. As the track, “Flower,” is part 2 of the soundtrack, we can assume that it features early on, and as such, the meeting between the fallen woman and her love interest, Ri Jeong-hyuk, also takes center stage. All in all, it is a story that has really grabbed people’s attention, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see it gain traction further afield.

Watch [MV] Yoon Mi Rae (윤미래) – Flower (Crash Landing On You OST Part 2

 

Kane Brown, John Legend – Last Time I Say Sorry

kane brown, john legend - last time i say sorryCatharsis is built into the tone of both male singers on “Last Time I Say Sorry” by Kane Brown and John Legend. Indeed, they combine perfectly, as many fans have noted in the comments sections. With Brown taking the low notes, and Legend weaving his magic on top, they might have just found that special formula, one that heals and relieves listeners, no matter where they are from.

Released less than a day ago, this track is destined for the big time, and its universal themes mean that all those who connect with it are able to do so on their own terms. After all, if we think about it hard enough, we probably all have someone who deserves an apology.

But the lyrics are more ambiguous than simple wrongdoings. Both people in the situation the song describes have likely made mistakes. Instead, the track focuses on making changes for the greater good, on taking the high road for the benefit of both parties. A scene is sketched out: “The first time I slept on the couch was our first New Year’s Eve / I heard words come out my mouth that I still can’t believe”

In resolving the situation, the speaker of the song realizes that saying sorry isn’t enough – in fact, it can become counter-productive very quickly. Demonstrable change is what’s called for, and that can only come through action instead of words. “I hope the last time I said sorry, is the last time I’ll say sorry, to you.”

Listeners have responded by reflecting on their own situations, with comments sections flooded by individuals who reveal their desire to resolve certain situations through stories of their own. Whether it be in relation to a father who has left for war under difficult circumstances, or a late husband who used his final words to apologize, people are clearly taking “Last Time I Say Sorry” to heart.

Watch Kane Brown, John Legend – Last Time I Say Sorry

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