Monday, November 26, 2012

[Review] [Single] Lee Hi 'Scarecrow'

November has turned out to be a huge month for Lee Hi, the adorable 16 year old YG soulster. On the eve of Scarecrow's release, Lee Hi danced, albeit awkwardly, to win the Triple Crown on Mnet's M! Countdown. 1,2,3,4 achieved monstrous success on the monthly chart and proved the rookie powerhouse was here to stay. On a more softer and mysterious note, YG had previously no plans for a second single release until CEO Yang Hyun Suk decided he had found the right person that could carry a JYP produced, circa 2008, song originally reserved as a solo debut song for Park Bom

Was Scarecrow an appropriate release after the success of 1,2,3,4 and who were those singing choir girls that were heard right near the end of the track? All I can say is, Lalisa Manoban danced her way expertly to the top to be one of them.

Part I - Scarecrow (허수아비) Review

Artist : Lee Hi (이하이)
Release Date : 22.11.2012
Producer/Composer: JYP

"You may think that I forgot about you 
You may think that I am happy with someone else 
But I still can't forget you like this 
Like a scarecrow, who stands alone even after everyone leaves"

It didn't take long before the success of 1,2,3,4 propelled YG to get another, albeit old, material ready for Lee Hi to show off her vocal chops. YG Entertainment artists have always been the first ones to push the envelope and start an innovation but times are changing. New faces are getting ready to make their mark. Scarecrow is charmingly soft to the ears but doesn't captivate or blow everyone away like 1,2,3,4 did. The sound and overall feel is a total reversal from the previous release and follows the usual road K-Ballads take. The impact is much smaller yet if the track were to have been released as part of an OST for a drama, it would have easily been one of its stronger tracks.

Had Lee Hi signed with JYP Entertainment like fellow SBS 'K-pop Star' alum Baek Ah Yeon and Park Ji Min, she would have definitely released a song along the lines of Scarecrow. Had YG released Scarecrow prior to 1,2,3,4, Lee Hi would not have achieved the huge success she did inside Korea and internationally, because with 1,2,3,4, YG took a huge gamble by not going the traditional route as JYP did with aforementioned artists. Scarecrow almost seems like a tease to JYP - a song JYP wrote for Lee Hi without him even knowing and almost ironic in a way. Other than that, JYP has been good to YG this year and even gave his self-composed song When I Can't Sing to Se7en.

YG Entertainment

Scarecrow is the complete opposite of 1,2,3,4, which was all about soul 'n sass and yet it works by shedding a more innocent light on the young singer and shows off her vocal chops. The clear weakness is its slow development and even with being a strong release with its use of Lee Hi vocals and soothing instrumentals, it doesn't capture and demand a response like 1,2,3,4 did. If you're not really into K-Ballads, then this release will not make any impression on you yet this track is a treat for people who like tracks with simplicity and minimal arrangements.

Bonus: Around 3:23, hear the 7 members of yet to debut YG New Girl Group sing in unison as a choir, sounding strong even though it's hard to distinguish each voice.

Following is a fan video, dating back to a 2007 at a Big Bang concert, where you can hear Park Bom singing a little part of Scarecrow. Bom's vocal adds a different level of dynamic to the song not evident in Lee Hi's version yet both show command over unique vocals that are exceptionally hard to find. 

Seeing as how this track also managed to rank high on the charts upon its release, it seems as though YG can do no wrong with its releases this year. It is also a testament to how much people are truly enchanted by Lee Hi's vocals.

It's also funny how YG randomly squeaked in the girls from the yet to debut girl group without any sort of information. They sound extremely young yet do a good job as a choir and add a different dynamic to the overall feel of the song.

  • Simplistic enough yet subtle in its effect, perfect for the quiet autumn
  • A soft leap forward for Lee Hi after 1,2,3,4
  • Second ballad JYP has given YG after When I Can't Sing, more please
  • 7 members of yet to debut YG New Girl Group complement well in the choir
Rating - 4.1/5.0

*Credit to HanabiTomoLyrics for the snippet of the lyrics.

[Info Source: Komca]
[Video Source: hanabitomolyrics, agmoonnight]
[Photo Source: YG Family]

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