YG Entertainment’s Kim Ji Eun has finally debuted. Her debut has been pushed forward for quite some time now, making this album all the more anticipated. As most die-hard YG fans already know, she gained fame through appearances on other artist’s albums (Jinusean, Taebin, Wheesung, and Lexy to name a few) stealing people’s hearts with her sweet and strong vocals.
First of all, there’s nothing atrociously bad on this album. However, there’s nothing to rave about either. I barely sat through the entire album on my first listen. Nothing commanded my attention. She has a great voice so I thought I’d give it another chance. I came to the same conclusion after listening to the whole album more than once – it’s tedious and uninspired.
Why a more impactful song wasn’t chosen as the opening track is a mystery to me. My heart sank quickly at the end of the first track. Most of the songs on this album are bland, forgettable R&B ballads, namely tracks #1, 3, 7, 8, 9, and 10. Wow. That’s a huge portion of the album. Yawn. Wherever you are, make sure you have a pillow and blanket with you just in case you fall asleep. The only ballad I somewhat enjoyed on this album was the title track #2 ‘Rain.’ Even this song gets old after a few listens though. This blandness doesn’t apply solely to the albums ballads but to the more upbeat songs as well. #4 ‘Seontaek’ is a mid-tempo track featuring Wheesung that starts off with promise with its subtle input of acoustic guitars but ends up as another repetitive piece of drivel. Wheesung’s little out-of-place rap doesn’t help. I’ve noticed that Wheesung usually appears on other artists’ albums as a rapper. I wish this weren’t so. He’s an amazing vocalist and he needs to show this off. It would have been nice if it were a duet instead. On track #5 ‘One Night Lover’ with Song Baek Kyung of 1TYM, Ji Eun trades her R&B diva status for that of a pop princesses.’ One word description? Flat. A lot of her songs sound like they came from a big pool of ready-made songs that weren’t made with a particular artist in mind. Track #6 ‘I’m Sorry’ and #12 ‘Geunyeowa Na Sai’ are slightly better because they have catchy choruses. Did they strike a chord with me? Again, the answer is no.
I can’t help but feel disappointed with this album. I was hoping for something a little a more inspired, a little more creative, with a little more… oomph. What I got instead was stale, cookie-cutter, and ho hum. The problem lies not with her vocal abilities but with her songwriters and producers. Ji Eun clearly has potential. You can hear it in her voice… but great vocalists are a dime a dozen in the Korean music industry. What she needs to do is set herself apart from every other singer out there with a style she can call her own. I’m sorry for the lack of description in this review because there’s not much to describe. Let’s hope this gloomy weather passes quickly to make room for sunnier skies.
This review originally appeared in Jenny’s own blog, Gravity, and is reproduced with permission