Compared to the dearth of YG releases last year, 2014 has been exploding with debuts, comebacks, solos, and sub-units. One such sub-unit is the youthful Hi Suhyun, consisting (obviously) of Lee Hi and Akdong Musicians’ Lee Suhyun, with a guest appearance from iKon’s Bobby on their debut single “I’m Different.”
Lee Hi and Suhyun are a wonderful choice for a YG subunit. Everything about them just goes together in ways that they don’t with other YG artists. Both have stronger, jazzier voices with great range, and a bubbly, youthful energy. Bobby isn’t strictly needed in the song, but he does add a fun male counterpoint to the song.
“I’m Different” is unlike anything YG has released this year, except possibly AkMu’s Play. However, this is a lot more pop than folk and is just delightful to hear. It utilizes Suhyun’s and Lee Hi’s rich voices with an indie-pop-jazz fusion that is the epitome of “it shouldn’t work, but it does.”
The composition does a great job of utilizing both girls voices, letting Suhyun’s airier, lighter voice mix and meld with Lee Hi’s jazzier, richer tone. Both of their voices complement each other and having them sing counterpoint really flaunts what they’ve got. The semi-rap that serves as a pre-chorus does an excellent job of building the momentum of the chorus, where it gets pleasantly mellow.
The message of the song is enjoyable as well, with Lee Hi and Suhyun making it clear that they are not going to sit on their ass, waiting to be noticed. They, the two proclaim with confidence, are different. They will not tolerate some jackass playing hot and cold. Of course, then we get a word from that jackass in the form of Bobby. He makes the claim that all girls are the same, while he’s the special one, but the teasing delivery removes any real bite from his words.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zwTaT0JeOY]
“I’m Different”s MV is absolutely delightful to watch, and I think it may be the literal definition of adorkable. Lee Hi and Suhyun take the roles of a pair of girlfriends crushing on Bobby, the cute boy next door. We get treated to a downright adorable montage of daydreams, overly-casual interactions, and the “I’m not looking at you” game — although Suhuyn fails pretty hard with those binoculars. Alas, it turns out to be all for naught when both girls show up to carnival, ready to confess their love, only to find out that he already has an adorable girlfriend. Cue the death glares!
I really enjoyed the MV for “I’m Different”. For once, the school concept actually makes sense, as Suhyun, Lee Hi, and Bobby are young enough to actually be in school. They also all look very natural on screen. Yes, even Lee Hi. Apparently, she spent this absent year learning how to visibly emote. I feel that was a good choice. It’s not a groundbreaking MV by any means, but it fills you up with warm, fuzzy feelings.
“I’m Different” is a wonderfully enjoyable song that gives two of YG’s more unusual artists a chance to work together. I just hope that Hi Suhyun ends up as more than a one-off project.
(Images via YG Entertainment, YouTube)