Despite only being home to two artists, MNH Entertainment has kicked off a digital platform similar to SM Entertainment’s Station. New.wav mirrors Station’s execution, if not its scope, offering a chance for the agency’s artists to showcase strengths that might not usually poke through in their title tracks. For girl group BVNDIT, that meant tackling a retro English-language pop track that was as addictive as it was cheesy. For Chungha, it means going down the ballad route.
Chungha has recorded a few ballads before, but they often get placed on the tail end of her albums. As a performer more famous for her skills as a dancer, it’s appealing to hear songs that focus solely on her vocals. I’ve been critical of this aspect in past title tracks. I feel like her music too often forces her to sing in a higher key than it should. But, a song like Everybody Has (솔직히 지친다) proves that she’s got chops. The song places her in a comfortable range, playing to her strengths and resulting in a satisfying ballad.
Unfortunately, Everybody Has is still a ballad – or to be more accurate, a mid-tempo. And, it’s a pretty run-of-the-mill midtempo, at that. Korea is flush with this kind of material, especially if you look at the digital charts. The arrangement and melody are very subdued, even with the injection of OST-style strings. The instrumental feels muted, perfectly designed for coffee shops and rainy days. As solid as Chungha’s performance is, it’s hard to feel immersed in the song’s languid melody. Structurally and aesthetically, it all blends together like a watercolor. If that’s your thing, Everybody Has will likely have long-term appeal. For me, the song is more showcase than standout.
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