Taeyeon, 'Into the Unknown'

309KTYSS 2020. 2. 10. 19:10


I remember many words were exchanged over the Digital Grand Prize (Digital Daesang) won by Girls' Generation member Taeyeon at the 29th Seoul Music Awards that was held last month. With the absence of the candidate with the most potential for the Daesang, there were some who suspected the Digital Daesang was a ‘last minute creation’ by Seoul Music Awards, an award show that kept to ‘one Daesang’ since the beginning. There were also some who suspected the ‘relationship’ between big corporations and the organizer played a role in awarding the high-profile digital daesang.


There is no telling what the judges’ intentions are. However, it is only natural that Taeyeon’s achievements cannot be regarded with merely the box office hits ‘Four Seasons’, ‘All About You’, and ‘Spark’ released last year. Since she first released her solo album in 2015, while boasting high levels of completeness, Taeyeon has consistently released music that was well-received by the public. It seems like a reasonable responsibility for a popular singer, but no musician can do it easily. This is an achievement that has been omitted by the modifier 'Digital Queen', but it's an achievement that deserves to be praised.


Kim Youngdae, a music critic, said on his Youtube broadcast, “Taeyeon is a highly trusted artist in that she has consistently shown a high level of competence within music.” In particular, he highly regarded her second full-length album ‘Purpose’, released in October of last year, as “the most mature album Taeyeon has ever released.” This means that [the album] inherits the merits of the first album ‘My Voice’, which is armed with colorful pop sounds, but shows more complex, delicate, and multilayered emotions. To be more technical, music critic Jung Minjae said, “A comfortable tone, a dense expression of emotion, and a wide vocal range are Taeyeon’s advantages.” Based on these outstanding analyses, every song has its own vocal management and is of various genres including pop, jazz, rock, blues and more. 



‘Purpose’ functions as Taeyeon’s own story, not only as a work of music. It’s meaningful that the name of the title song is ‘Spark’, rather than ‘Fire’ or ‘Flame’. In order for the fire, which is still nothing but a small spark, to finally burn into flames, time is needed to listen attentively to “my words” even in the midst of “there’s so much of myself in me, my nights are noisy". (1) There should also be a tenacity that she “tries to cover up, but doesn’t turn off”. (2) This is the growing pain of Taeyeon, who has been in a constant desire for self-reliance and emergency through ‘I’ and ‘Feel So Fine’. Instead of shouting 'hope' outright, Taeyeon awakens after actively and specifically looking into herself.


Perhaps it is inevitable that the song chosen as the title song for the republished ‘Purpose’ album is ‘Dear Me’. The lyrics that ask to believe in the “Me who has endured through the long darkness” and that she “Won’t hide, even if the night comes” are no different from any other ‘growth song’. However the songs in ‘Purpose’, where Taeyeon sings through the bitter, sweet, and salty emotions, have a different trajectory from any other growth song. If you were touched by this song, it is most likely because you felt the traces of Taeyeon that were buried in it rather than the beauty of the song itself. 


The title song of the movie ‘Frozen 2’, which is sung by Taeyeon, is ‘Into the Unknown’. Although it has been translated to ‘숨겨진 세상 (Hidden World)’ in Korea, the literal meaning of the title is ‘Into the Unknown’. And this is also the expression that best suits Taeyeon’s steps going forward. There was a phrase written on Taeyeon’s stage at her concert ‘The Unseen’ that was held last month. It said, ‘Even if something changes me, eventually that also becomes me’, and ‘I will find a more expanded version of myself instead of being replaced’. Beyond the original 'girl next door' familiarity at her debut, Taeyeon, who grew up embracing depression and cynicism, is still moving on right now. Into the unknown world of ‘Me'.


(1) The writer uses the lyrics from 'Spark' as a metaphor. They compare the slow burning of a 'spark' to Taeyeon's constant search for her 'self'. 

(2) A 'spark' is compared to her tenacity (determination) which she tries to hide but can't conceal in her songs.


Source: Kukinews

Translated by @309KTYSS

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