ZICO - SoulMate (Feat. IU)
ZICO is the leader of the boy group Block B, but he's been a pretty incredible solo artist with a great track record as well. When I first heard that him and IU would be teaming up for a song, I couldn't help but get a little giddy. The two of them individually are accomplished and seasoned artists, but a collaboration between the two sounded extraordinary. The teaser for the song sounded like a much more jazzy style that we haven't fully seen out of ZICO as of yet, so I was even more excited than before to check out this comeback.
The teaser really couldn't have painted a more accurate picture for this song. ZICO has been fairly experimental in the past, for instance with his most recent release prior to this "She's A Baby," so this exploration of a slightly jazzed up song with similarly chill vibes is perfect as a follow-up. The trumpets are a focal point instrumentally, though they never veer too far into the forefront of the song and allow for the other pieces to shine as well. In tandem with the serene guitar sweeps and plush vocals, everything in this track culminates into a harmonious and tranquil melody that just leaves you completely docile.
As should have been expected, IU's feature was wonderful. She had enough parts to feel like the feature was warranted, and her soothing tone was the perfect choice for a track like this. I don't think that I really have anything to complain about with this track. It nails what it was aiming for, and ZICO once more shows that he's a master at what he's doing. There's a very artistic authenticity to his music, and "SoulMate" is no different in that regard. There's no doubt that there's passion and love poured into the backend of the making for this song, and that only makes me appreciate it even more.
Similarly to the song, the video for this comeback takes a heavily creative approach to things. While I could have personally done without the whole thing being bogged down in that grainy filter to add a dated effect, I understand why it was used. It certainly matches the atmosphere of the song and makes sense logically, I'm just a tad tired of its overuse in general. That aside, there's a lot of really great moments spread throughout the less-than four minute video.
The whole thing is an exaggerated allegory for the struggles that a couple can face in a relationship, and how even through it all they're able to be overcome. From different sleep schedules, to poor weather, it really seems like everything is getting in the way of these two trying to be together, and by the end of the video they're laced together in a pseudo-shoe like two peas in a pod. The idea was lovely to begin with, but the unique execution is really what pushed it to greatness.
It was really interesting just how much mileage that they got out of such a limited set, though this time around it was obviously an artistic choice rather than a budget constraint. The set was incredibly simplistic, and yet it was used so well and to great effect that one would hardly even think about it. Crush's cameo was unexpected but entirely welcomed, and it was great to see him in here after ZICO had just helped him in "Cereal." His part along with the silly handshake nonsense also spiced this video up with just enough of a quirky flavor to keep it interesting without breaking the concept with a harsh tonal shift. Overall, the video was just as enjoyable to me as the song was.
(Side note: Does anybody else ship them a bit after this video?)
ZICO is without a doubt one of the great creative minds in the scene currently, and "SoulMate" exemplifies that unabashedly. IU's feature was a perfect choice to fully realize the effect that this song was going for, and it was fantastic to see a meeting of two incredible artists. If you like songs that are more relaxing, or are a fan of tracks with a jazzy influence, this is likely the best you'll hear from this year.