In the hurry-hurry culture of K-pop, it’s easy for fans to expect quick debuts and comebacks. It has practically reached pizza delivery levels where everyone wants new material as soon as possible. Sometimes this results in haphazard MVs that suffer from confusing concepts that overshadow the artists and the song. Thankfully, JYP Entertainment understood that quality should never be rushed.
This moment took fifteen years of training, but it was worth it. G.Soul demonstrates what you can get if you work to fine tune your skills. While some may complain that “You” is too simplistic for a debut, it actually does a greater service to G.Soul by focusing attention solely on him. It would’ve been easy to turn such a sweet serenade into a romantic MV with a love interest and the typical fluffy date scenes, but that would’ve diminished what’s most important here.
Arguably, G.Soul could’ve debuted with just about anything from his album Coming Home. It was a solid album, but the title song is usually what convinces people whether or not buying the full album is worth it. “You” was a great choice for a number of reasons, but the biggest reason of all is G.Soul himself. His voice sold that song.
The video begins with a shot of G.Soul entering a darkened film set, listening to his headphones. He sits alone on a chair, removes his headphones and begins singing. It starts off slow with G.Soul’s smooth vocals that crescendo into a thrilling high note. The stirring of its raw emotion exhibits his feelings without any hesitation. This pattern flows throughout the song with low pitched verses interspersed in between high notes. Such simplicity would induce yawning from a mediocre singer, which is why this style fits G.Soul perfectly. He doesn’t need to hide his vocals underneath a cacophony of instrumentals. His voice stands out as the best instrument already.
The simplistic MV aids in showcasing that fact by avoiding any superfluous visuals. While most may find boredom in a video of a singer crooning inside of a dolly rig, there is more to the eye if one pays close attention. From the start, the video shrouds G.Soul in dark mystery, echoing his previous status as a fabled JYPE trainee. Even after he sits down, he keeps his head bowed as he sings of his frustration in expressing how to confess his love.
What should I say
And how should I say
No matter how hard I think
Just like this blank notepad
I just sit all day thinking
That sounds like an accurate description of how one feels when trying to write that dreaded confession letter. During this entire exchange, G.Soul’s face is lit very faintly. The director possibly intended for this to mimic the idea of hiding your feelings when you don’t know how to reveal them. The play of shadows and light on G.Soul’s face for this effect is quite smart if you consider that angle.
On the subject of angles, that was also used to deliberately portray various sides of the singer — literally. Clearly, G.Soul is a multi-dimensional artist, and the use of panning around him in a circle emphasizes this fact. Just as he kept focus for fifteen years on his dream to debut, the camera never lost its focus on him. It trains itself on him with flashes of lights and lens flares interjected sporadically.
And what is G.Soul doing during all of this? Dancing? Serenading a lover? Nope, he’s only singing. This risky move displays how much faith JYPE has in his ability. A weaker vocalist would’ve been exposed through the familiar camera mugging tricks to distract more superficial listeners from the fact that person wasn’t a strong singer. This is not the case here. G.Soul bares his soul — no pun intended — on a chair, unassisted by a choir or backup dancers. This confession is meant to reach only one person and that person is “You.” He doesn’t need any wingmen for this.
Lyrically, it doesn’t stray far from a lot of typical American R&B songs, but sometimes the best love songs don’t need complicated dialogue. Love is an enigmatic language, so why confuse the listener with words no one understands? The execution of these lyrics stood out more because the emotion came out musically. That was only possible because of G.Soul. It sounds like a lot of hype, but when an artist possesses strong talent, there is no denying it. Same can be said of love. When the emotion is real and strong, it can’t be denied. That’s the entire point of this song and video.
G.Soul took a huge gamble by training for fifteen years. JYPE took an equal leap of faith by introducing this artist in such a fashion. Their agency houses a number of strong vocalists, so they had a lot to lose in terms of reputation if this debut failed. Less than a month after it dropped, the MV currently has over a million views. Pretty impressive numbers for a video of a guy singing on a chair.
That should speak a lot about the effectiveness of this song and video. It should also prove that not all debuts, or comebacks, need to involve a huge flashy show to gain massive attention. No established names were attached to this rookie’s debut; it was just about him. And for him, this was just about “You.”
MV Rating: 4.5/5
Song Rating: 4/5
(YouTube, Images via JYP Entertainment)