20160126_seoulbeats_crushOn January 21st one of my personal favourites, suave singer Crush, returned to the K-pop scene to sprinkle the new year with glittery snow, heavy sentimentalism and a beautifully rendered softness that emphasizes the wintertime romanticism we cannot help but love when embroidered into the warmth of K-pop. His single “Don’t Forget” features the beloved vocals of Girls Generation leader Taeyeon, who also enjoyed immense success with the release of her first solo album I last October. While fans anticipated her appearance in the MV, Taeyeon’s vocals alone allot the overall composition a privately delicate air of freshness that accompanies Crush’s silvery falsetto quite nicely.

With evident competition looming in the form a duet between EXO’s Baekhyun and Miss A’s Suzy, I find “Don’t Forget” a much more seasonally apt and inspiring piece of artistry. The uplifting instrumentals endow the song with balance and quiet passion while the MV’s cinematography carries a subtly saturated nature, and the overarching harmony of the two vocals as they meld together in a haze of dreaminess creates an MV to remember.

The MV greets us with a tints of ivory and ice, sunlight and snow and frigidity that encases a comfortable-looking Crush in snowbanks of nostalgia. Quite frankly, it appears to me that he could be walking down my neighbourhood and not the streets of Sapporo in Japan with the snow-capped evergreen trees and glowing green lights. Yet, the reality of the MV suggests that Crush is a wayfarer roaming Sapporo with thoughts of nature and love on his mind.

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Correlating with the MV, the acoustic guitar in the background plated with a lush piano melody and milquetoast electronic beats is a sound emulating that which might be heard in an urban paradise, and Crush’s R&B vocals immediately dive in to dust it all with a hazy gold euphony.

What captures me the most in relation to the MV concept is simply how humanly forlorn Crush looks and how the lyrics are able to perfectly demonstrate his emotions while providing solace; with his melodic voice playing in the background as he strolls serenely, Crush narrates a promise he has made with the one he loves and through the senses of touch, sound and sight he recalls sweet memories he wants to protect from the transient sweep of time.

Your face that fills my eyes

Your face that’s fast asleep in my arms

I wish time would stop right now

Never let go of these hands

The forthcoming bridge of the song is indicated by a prominent swirl in Crush’s pitch which emphasizes and accentuates the stream of brief English lyrics inserted amongst the Korean lyrics. Simultaneously in the MV, the lonely night has transitioned into a hopeful day and a very little Crush is situated amongst the very vast vivacity of Hokkaido Greenland Amusement Park. In the midst of being fascinated with the scenery we are accosted by the gradual entry of the song’s bridge — Taeyeon’s lucent and mature vocals offer a symphonic interlude that is sweet and short but pleasingly highlights Crush’s raspy and subdued vocals.

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Towards the end of the song the harmonization of both their vocals under the umbrella of the euphoric instrumentals and chromatic MV shifts into the inverse of the urban paradise melody; it becomes the melody of a jazzy timberland. Crush’s final parting is sung beautifully midst the frigid colours of the amusement park; he urges his love to not forget this song while effectively convincing us to keep listening to it over and over again.

In “Don’t Forget” we are entreated by Crush to enter his winter wonderland and travel the streets of Sapporo with him while cultivating intense reminiscence in our hearts; the song overall is an impeccable testament to the feelings we associate with winter and our desire to hope and grow with the dawn of a new spring. I would recommend this song to lovers of R&B and those who are looking for a perfect melody to keep both their ears and hearts warm this winter.

Readers, what do you like about “Don’t Forget”?

Rating: 3.8/5

(YouTube [1] [2], Pop!gasa. Images via Amoeba Culture)