As part of their year-long “re;code” music project to remake songs off their discography, the band 2LSON have joined up with powerhouse vocalist Ailee for a remake of their fifth song, “I’m in Love”. It is worth noting that beyond simply having Ailee cover the original, the lyrics have also been rewritten to be in Korean (with a few English phrases peppering throughout) while the original was entirely in English.
For some context, 2LSON are a band consisting of composers LE and Jason, lyricist Noel and vocalist Hyo Bin. With the composers of the band graduating from Berklee College of Music, they have already made an impact on the music scene writing songs like Kim Bo-kyung’s “I Go” and soundtracks for various dramas like “Queen of Housewives.”[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s6K_R9B9Mc]
The MV begins in monochrome with actors Seo Kang-jun and Park Soo-jin, as well as SNS star Dave speaking about love, ending with Dave expressing his love for the Korean people. The MV then begins proper, opening with the rooftop scene where the band and an actress— who lip-syncs Ailee’s vocals— are gathered. While this MV is not the first time someone else has filled in to lip-sync over Ailee’s singing, “I’m in Love” probably showcases some of the most awkward lip-syncing ever. The rest of the MV cuts between the rooftop scene and various scenes of people reuniting at the airport, or little acts of kindness and affection that go on in everyday life, such as a young lady helping an elderly woman cross the street.
The MV certainly embodies an uplifting message of love, kindness and affection, and it is refreshing to see that the focus is not on romantic love, but on love shared between friends, family, or even between strangers. Also, the MV has taken great care to show what appears to be candid acts of kindness and love rather than any grand, staged declarations through the use of “security camera footage”. While it doubtlessly adds to the feeling of authenticity, I personally could not help but be reminded of “Big Brother is Watching” through the ever-seeing eye of the cameras, even if what Big Brother is watching are everyday acts of kindness.
It has been said that 2LSON changed the original English lyrics into Korean to “better deliver the message.” Listening to the original version of “I’m in Love”, one cannot help being struck by the awkward English pronunciation of Hyo Bin, which might help explain a Korean version might prove more friendly to the ears, even if Ailee would have no problems tackling the English pronunciation. In terms of vocal prowess, while it may be unfair to compare then-18-year-old Hyo Bin with Ailee, Ailee certainly has a richer tone and more subtle technical control over her voice, which adds to the emotional depth of the song.
In all, the song is worth checking out for Ailee’s vocal delivery, but nothing much else in terms of the MV itself— the lip-syncing of the actress was simply awkward, and while the other scenes portraying a warm, caring society are definitely heartwarming, they are also (dare I say it) run-of-the-mill and bring nothing new to the table artistically. Whatever it is, though, this is definitely a great song to listen to when one needs a pick-me-up, or is simply feeling rather melancholy.
MV Rating: 2.75/5
(Images via LOEN Entertainment, YMC Entertainment, YouTube)