Yubin - Lady
Yubin is a former member of the Wonder Girls, one of my fondest and most favorite of all K-pop groups. When it was announced that she would finally be getting a solo debut, I was really excited to see what kind of style she would try to go for. Not too long ago we found out that she would be delivering a city pop track, which is a bit of a surprise. I really thought that she would try to cultivate her rap a bit more, but I was also interested in hearing more of her singing voice since it was seldom used in Wonder Girls tracks.
Pretty much everything in this song is likely to subvert any expectations that anyone who is familiar with Yubin might have. The entirety of the song only features her singing, and there's no rap (jarring or otherwise) to break that up, and that really surprised me. While her singing capabilities are still a bit hampered and obviously not the strongest in the business, the lower tone of her natural voice blends in well enough to the style of music that it doesn't end up negatively impacting the song in any way.
The track is decently catchy, though I wouldn't say it has a fierce bite or strong pull inherent to it. There's enough to string you along and keep you there for the duration, but I don't know if it's something that will have you wanting to come back for more after. I appreciated that she went for a retrofitted style here, especially because it's not just comprised of the commonly used spry synths to prop it up as such, and instead the whole song feels very distinct and different. I really don't think that I'll be searching for this track very often, but if it happened to pop on randomly, I certainly wouldn't be quick to hit skip.
Nearly every bit of the aesthetics in this video really call back and reflect the retro concept in a way that just keeps everything feeling consistent and coherent. I love the faded out tone of it all - it really helps to solidify the idea that this is a song from a different era. On top of that, it allowed for the video to feature an absolute plethora of vivid and wild colors without overwhelming the eyes like a lot of other videos are currently doing.
Obviously Yubin looked absolutely fantastic throughout this entire video. There were a few shots that shook me up a bit, though, because she seriously looked exactly like Sunmi at a few points in this video. That aside, I loved all of the outfits simply due to how well they fit into the scenes and meshed with the concept. They certainly aren't the most fashionable things to be wearing by today's standards, but that's exactly the point. They sell the concept just as much as anything else in this comeback, and it's pretty fantastic. The video is memorable due to the drowned out color palette (mostly due to how that compares to most mainstream videos right now) and the extremely different representation of the era that Yubin brings, and I really enjoyed getting something new out of this concept after so long.
While many have attempted to replicate the stylings that eventually became staples of the 80's, Yubin managed to nail down every aspect effortlessly. The aesthetics, the simulated quality, the color schemes, the tone of her voice and the song overall - all of it is an incredibly believable modern take on that time period. If you dig a less aggressive style of retro, disco vibes then this is likely going to be a solid release for you.