Four months after her cool summer release Op.22 Y-Waltz: in Major, Jo Yuri has returned with the ‘minor’ edition of her latest record, filled with a warmth and comfort that’s perfect for the chilly autumn weather. While the former Iz One member touched a bit on the concept of self-love in her previous single “Love Shhh!,” showing strength and confidence even after a breakup, she delves deeper into the topic in the tracks on Op.22 Y-Waltz: in Minor.

“Loveable,” the title track of the album, is a cute pop-rock song that conveys an earnest message that everyone is loveable, including all the flaws that one might detest about themselves. Indeed, such imperfections are what make us even more charming:

You’re not bad

But rather good, what’s so wrong about being clumsy?

It’s not fault

Just show it to me

That you’re so good

It’s okay if it’s hard


Remember these words

Going along with this theme, the music video for “Loveable” features a short story that has Yuri helping the downcast residents of a small neighborhood. In its opening chapter, we see Yuri calmly enjoying a beverage in a European-like village. Covering her face with a scarf and sunglasses in a chic style, she gives off a composed air of indifference. Near the table she’s seated at is a quaint carnival cart with a balloon pop game that attracts a young boy into trying his hand at winning the giant teddy bear grand prize.

After several failed attempts, Yuri leaves for her home and she drops the nonchalant facade, assisting the boy in the game without any of the villagers knowing. Even though the flashy pink gun she uses to shoot the balloons is a little cheesy, Yuri’s smugness and excitement is very endearing.

In the second chapter of the story, we see a disheartened man trudging along the street with his spirits low enough not to notice the greeting from his elderly neighbor. By the looks of the suit he’s wearing, perhaps he had an exhausting day at the office, or he could be a job seeker having trouble finding a suitable position. Whatever the case, he piques Yuri’s interest, leading her to discover the man’s innocent joy for bubbles. Some people might consider this childlike trait a flaw, and with the man cautiously looking around before taking out the bubble blower, he also seems to think that it’s something to hide and conceal from others.

Matching the tune’s lyrical sentiments, Yuri gets to work straight away as she makes a soapy concoction to pour into the local water fountain and sneakily delivers invitations to the residents. The grand finale brings us to the story’s closing chapter where Yuri reveals the spectacular bubble spectacle she planned. It’s a heartwarming sight, and the once gloomy village soon becomes brighter and livelier.

Musically, the song’s gentle guitar riffs in the verses and energetic percussion during the chorus work together to create a powerful yet tender ambience that can reach people of all kinds. Additionally, the catchy “Ah-na-na-na-na-na-nas” in the post-chorus seem almost tailor-made for concert and festivalgoers to sing along together. It’s not a tune meant to blow minds or take a person’s breath away, but rather created to provide a snug and cozy place to motivate listeners.

Yuri continues with the self-love theme in pop R&B number “Blank.” Here, she compares herself to a blank where she can fill the space with her own unique charms instead of others’ expectations:

Love is shh, everything was tailored to you

Now I’m chill, toss out the “me” from yesterday

I know what I want, it’s wonderful, now I’m good

I’m not trying anymore

With a combination of bouncy synths, trap-like percussion, and playful orchestral string sounds, the track is both soothing and exciting. The brightest highlight of the song is the fun, dynamic vocal arrangement with various vocal runs and riffs all throughout the tune. Out of Yuri’s upbeat numbers, “Blank” is probably the most effective at showcasing the singer’s distinct vocal color.

Concluding the album is the ethereal, fairy tale-like track “Favorite Part.” The radio sound effects give the song a slight retro appeal, and the hazy synths create a delightful, dreamlike atmosphere. Regretfully though, the tune follows in the footsteps of Op.22 Y-Waltz: in Major’s “Round and Around” at being only about a minute and a half long despite its mesmerizing melody. However, looking at the record as a whole, “Favorite Part” still works nicely as a pleasant outro for the album, as well as the entire ‘Opus’ series.

Overall, while Op.22 Y-Waltz: in Minor is not the most striking of releases, it has the power to appeal to listeners of all ages. With the autumn weather getting colder, the comfort and warm energy from the tracks makes this album a sweet and heartfelt addition to Yuri’s discography.

(YouTube [1][2]. Lyrics via Genius [1][2]. Images via Wake One Entertainment.)