20141711_seoulbeats_hyorinxjooyoung2Continuing the trend of pairing a lesser known artist and an idol, Starship Entertainment’s latest duo has been revealed to be Hyorin from Sistar and singer-songwriter Joo Young. While Joo Young is known in indie circles, he has yet to receive mainstream recognition despite his talent. Pairing him with a known idol serves to increase his recognition and hopefully set the stage for a similar rise to JunggiGo’s popularity following his duets.

Of course, that will only occur if the song is any good. So, is it?

“Erase’s” intro features a slow buildup that sets the stage for a sensuous song, well matched by the different shots of the bar and bartender Takuya (from Cross Gene). A wide shot emphasizes the distance between Hyorin and Joo Young and incorporates and embodies the lyrics without being too conspicuous.

The lyrics are about the aftermath of a break-up in which the couple tries to move on

I’ll erase my love for you (erase) you
I’ll erase your number (erase) secretly
We can’t ever be, no no
That’s how we always were, yeah

and the MV follows this by flashing back to the couple’s happier times and contrasting those scenes with the distance between Hyorin and Joo Young.

One of the best things about the music video is its direction. As mentioned earlier, the way the scenes are shot add depth to the lyrics. The flashbacks feature Hyorin and Joo Young in white and cream colors while the current Hyorin and Joo Young are dressed in red and black, highlighting not just the time change but the contrast in emotions.

20141125_seoulbeats_jooyoungThis is further demonstrated at the end of the video when a second Hyorin sits beside Joo Young. With her bangs and hair down, she represents the Hyorin Joo Young used to know and love, especially as her only line in the song is “that’s how we always were.”

However, the MV was not perfect. Joo Young looks utterly awkward in the dance scenes with Hyorin. And even with her back facing the camera, Hyorin has more presence than Joo Young.

The inclusion of Hyorin is obviously to drum up publicity for Joo Young, as he is still relatively unknown despite having collaborated with many artists, but her voice does not fit in with the song at times. This isn’t her fault, but rather that Joo Young’s voice has a warm quality to it that contrasts with Hyorin’s airy voice. Had she sung the song by herself there would be no problem, but next to Joo Young’s voice, hers feels out of place.

Overall, “Erase” is a decent collaboration between Hyorin and Joo Young. The MV has great direction despite a few flaws and the actual song has charm with its smooth R&B influence, although it probably won’t live up to JunggiGo and Soyu’s “Some.” Hopefully “Erase” will serve its purpose in increasing interest in Joo Young and, if it did for you, I’d suggest checking out his mini-album From Me to You which is even better than “Erase.”

MV Score: 3.5/5

Readers, did you like “Erase?” Was your interest in Joo Young piqued?

(Starship Entertainment, YouTube [1])