[Digital Single] Song Ji Eun – Tell Me

Tell Me is the seventh digital single released by Song Ji Eun.

Released: March 28, 2017
1. Tell Me
2. Tell Me (Eng. Ver.)
3. Tell Me (Inst.)

When I first heard that Ji Eun had a new single, I was really excited. I was expecting something a bit more on the daring side, as her last promotional song was much darker and sexier than her previous ones. Unfortunately, despite Tell Me being a decent song, it just comes off forgettable. It’s a nice midtempo pop tune that works well in a Korean coffee shop. That’s not necessarily bad as there are some charming points to it such as the cool guitar and touches of synth, however, the overall song just doesn’t have much impact. The melody isn’t particularly strong on the hooks. Ji Eun’s voice sounds great, but she could better utilize it for something more daring.

Overall: Compared to a lot of her material, this is a bit of a forgettable tune. It has some nice points, but I was hoping for something a bit more exciting. I hope she releases something along the lines of Bobby Doll or Pretty At 25 next time.


[Mini-Album] Song Ji Eun – Bobby Doll

Bobby Doll is Song Ji Eun’s second mini-album. The title track was used as the promotional song.

Released: September 20, 2016
1. I Wanna Fall in Love
2. Bobby Doll (바비돌) [MV]
3. Off the Record
4. Oasis (오아시스)
5. It’s Okay (괜찮아요)
6. Bobby Doll (Inst.)

I Wanna Fall in Love is a bouncy pop tune with some R&B elements to it. The chorus is quite repetitive, but it is still very catchy and the music sounds great. The beat is quite strong and there is this underlying piano that makes it a little bit more lighthearted. Ji Eun also sounds fantastic. I also enjoy how the song just doesn’t seem to give the listener a break. Great starter.

Bobby Doll is fantastic. It keeps the upbeat nature of her last promo song, but infuses it with the darker sound that she tends to release. It’s probably her sexiest title track as well. My favourite parts are the pre-choruses where she does a bit of rapping as well. The choruses are especially catchy and I love the wicked guitar in the background that blends with the odd beat and touch of piano. The use of the background vocals is also excellent.

Off the Record is a slow, relaxing acoustic ballad. While these can sometimes be a bit boring, the melody is very nice and Ji Eun sounds really good. Her sweet tone fits the song very well. I also like how the song adds a bit of percussion by the end, so it isn’t entirely one note. Beautiful.

I love Oasis. It brings back that slightly darker sound that Ji Eun does best. It’s like Bobby Doll’s midtempo sister. The beat is fantastic and there is a bit of funk in the chorus due to the nice guitar. The chorus is a bit repetitive, but it is done in a well-executed manner. It’s catchy and fits so well with the smooth music.

It’s Okay is probably the most lighthearted song on the mini. I like how jumpy the beat is and it works really well with the touches of brass that pop up. It’s a bit jazzier than the other songs. I’m not totally buying the hooks in the chorus, but they are still moderately catchy and the music sounds fantastic. Not bad and a good ending.

Overall: I only expect the best from Ji Eun and she once again delivers. This is another fantastic mini-album. I love how there is variety in her songs, but she always seems to pick some great songs. They all have good melodies and the music is often full and well-produced. Great.


[Mini-Album] Song Ji Eun – 25

25 is the first mini-album released by Secret’s Song Ji Eun. Pretty At Age 25 was used as the promotional track, although Don’t Look At Me was released as a digital single prior to the mini’s release.

Released: October 14, 2014
1. Janus (Intro.)
2. Pretty At Age 25 (예쁜 나이 25살) [MV]
3. Don’t Look At Me (쳐다보지마) [MV]
4. La Boum
5. Star (별)

I wish Janus (Intro.) was a full song. It is probably the most aggressive tune that Song Ji Eun has released and it’s really strong. Unfortunately, it is only a minute long. The vocals sound great and the melody is really catchy.

Right after, we are swung into Pretty At Age 25, one of my favourite K-Pop songs. Unlike the intro, this one maintains the upbeat sound but in a much more lighthearted way. I love the saxophone refrain used during the instrumental breakdowns as it gives the song a bit of life. The arrangement is quite fun as I love the clap-beats of the verses that blends with a few other different sounds and explodes with the saxophone and heavy beat in chorus. The chorus is definitely the highlight and the hooks are clearly divided into two parts, but everything pieces together surprisingly well. Amazing.

I already reviewed Don’t Look At Me, but it brings us what Ji Eun does best. This emotional ballad is reminiscent of her hit song, Going Crazy. The heavy beat tied with the haunting quality of the synths and Ji Eun’s voice really help to express the emotion in the lyrics. It’s a strong song.

La Boum is a nice change of pace. Here we are given a fast-paced pop-rock inspired tune. The quality of this song is really high and could’ve easily been the promo track as well. I love the attitude that Ji Eun gives and everything flows together well. The cool guitar riffs tied with the strong percussion really keeps the song moving. I love how catchy the chorus melody is, but I do wish the music here was a bit stronger. The song also has this really weird dance break part, but it surprisingly ties into the song well. Very solid.

Star is the calmer ballad and is probably the best song to match with Ji Eun’s sweet voice. It’s primarily acoustic driven, but it does bring does gain some steam as it progresses. It does sound a bit empty at first, but the melody really gets up there when the chorus comes in. A great way to end the album.

Overall: I was pleasantly surprised with this mini-album. It is literally K-Pop perfection. Every song is really strong, even the intro (which I wish was a full song)! The best part was that there was so much variety, but each song was of high-quality. I love Ji Eun’s sweet voice and she really showed that she can bring some variety. She might not be a powerhouse vocalist, but she knows what works with her voice. One of my favourite K-Pop releases.


[Digital Single] Song Ji Eun – Don’t Look At Me

Don’t Look At Me is the fifth digital single released by Song Ji Eun. It was released right before her first mini-album, 25.

Released: September 24, 2014
1. Don’t Look At Me (쳐다보지마) [MV]

Don’t Look At Me is pretty much a follow-up to Ji Eun’s 2011 smash, Going Crazy. The music is pretty much in a similar vein with it’s dramatic atmosphere, except this time we don’t have Bang Yong Guk to pair her off. Despite that, she pulls of this song quite well. I love how heavy the beat it and I really love how the song goes in such slow way that it almost feels like the melody is dragging along. It really works well with the music. While I do feel Ji Eun gets a bit overshadowed by how powerful the music is, her sweet tone provides an interesting contrast and she is able to express the emotion of the song well.

Overall: An excellent follow-up to her other material. It keeps up the whole dramatic and dark feel of her previous releases, but keeps it fresh. The song does get a bit slow at times, but it’s all well put together and a solid example of what she is capable of.


[Single] Song Ji Eun – False Hope

False Hope is the first single released by Secret’s Ji Eun. The title track was used as the promotional song.

Released: September 30, 2013
1. Vintage (feat. ZELO)
2. False Hope (희망고문) [MV]

The single opens with Vintage, a midtempo R&B/hip-hop tune featuring B.A.P’s ZELO. This is a great opener. It has an oldschool 90s R&B vibes to it and is a real head bopper. The English additions in the lyrics are not jarringly awkward and the inclusion of ZELO was actually a nicely done move. His raps are quite enjoyable and he doesn’t overpower the song despite being heard throughout its entirety. While I do love Ji Eun’s vocals, I do feel as though someone else could work this song to its max potential. Her voice is a bit too thin at times, although she is able to hold her own.

Upon first listen, I really enjoyed False Hope. A depressing midtempo R&B ballad, it reminds me of some K-R&B ballads from the early 2000s. Although I do really enjoy it, I was wondering why they chose this over Vintage as the promotional song. It’s a great listen, but there does seem to be something missing from it. Ji Eun sounds great and she actually fits this style far better, but something about the melody just doesn’t seem to push it enough. An enjoyable listen regardless.

I love DATE MATE. A disco-inspired pop tune, Ji Eun shows that she can actually pull off upbeat songs just as well as slower ones. It’s just an overall fun song with the funky guitar, gentle percussion and lighthearted lyrics. Not to mention, the girl sounds amazing singing this.

Overall: I wasn’t sure how I would enjoy the single as a whole, but it is a very solid release. All three songs are quite good each has its one character and edge to it. I was actually surprised that the two B-sides were actually stronger than the promoted song.


[Digital Single] Song Ji Eun – Take Care of Us, Captain OST Part. 2

Take Care of Us, Captain OST Part. 2 is the third digital single released by Secret’s lead vocalist, Song Ji Eun. It was used as a theme song to the drama, Take Care of Us, Captain.

Released: January 19, 2012
1. It’s Cold (추워요)
2. It’s Cold (Instrumental)

It’s Cold is a slow piano ballad that fits its drama ties. It’s pretty gorgeous and much better than her last “typical” ballad, Yesterday, because the melody is much stronger here. This mixed with the use of strings and twinkles in the back give it a relaxing feel that also makes it sounds as though it has some trot influence in there. I especially enjoy the ending where the song proceeds to take it up a notch. Ji Eun really shines here and her voice fits perfectly for this type of song. My favourite part is definitely the middle 8 where she shows her control by switching from falsetto to her chest voice.

Overall: It’s a pretty simple ballad and not something that isn’t unheard of when it comes to drama tie-ins, but there’s something about it that is charming. Maybe it’s because Ji Eun just has the voice made for this type of music, but the melody itself was also quite captivating.


[Digital Single] Song Ji Eun – Going Crazy

Going Crazy is the second digital single released by Secret’s lead vocalist, Song Ji Eun.

Released: March 3, 2011
1. Going Crazy (feat. Bang Yong Guk) (미친거니) [MV]
2. Going Crazy (Instrumental)

Going Crazy is a melodramatic pop ballad that features B.A.P’s leader Bang Yong Guk on the rapping parts. The piece is pretty much a duet between the two because Yong Guk plays such a large part of the song that even at times it feels like he has more lines than Ji Eun. Anyways, it’s a striking pop ballad with a strong beat and clean piano line. The lines are thrown back and forth from the singer and the rapper and the lyrics really help make it feel like a conversation between the two is going on. I’m not a big fan of BYG’s rapping as it’s too heavy for me, but for some reason who provides a good balance to Ji Eun’s light, piercing vocals. The last chorus is certainly my favourite as Ji Eun makes good use of her vocals and belts out a few notes.

Overall: A haunting piece that is a stellar collaboration between the two TS Entertainment labelmates. This was one of my favourite songs in 2011 and it gives me hope that Ji Eun will return in the future with another stellar song. She certainly stepped it up from her last solo release.