By Centerspread Editor Ashley Chang
South Korean singer Taeyeon released her first full-length album, My Voice, on February 28 after recently launching her solo career with two EP’s and several singles. Taeyeon is popular worldwide, as she is a member of the well-known girl group Girls’ Generation. She demonstrates her individual prowess in My Voice, which has already garnered the No. 1 spot on iTunes in more than 10 countries. A mixture of pop and R&B, the album shows off Taeyeon’s sweet vocals and is no doubt an outstanding start for the rising solo artist.
The title track “Fine,” an airy and elegant pop ballad, sets the tone for the rest of the album. It tells of the lingering emotions after a painful break up, emphasized by the dramatic chorus and its main line “It’s not fine.” Despite the seemingly heavy topic, the melody still manages to stay light and graceful, which complements Taeyeon’s voice as well as her overall image. “Fine” is definitely the centerpiece of the album, as it lives up to its status as the main track and is clearly one of the highlights in My Voice.
There’s a relatively consistent style throughout the rest of the album, but it’s not at all repetitive. For the most part, the songs are soft and sweet, such as “Time Lapse,” “Love in Color,” and “When I Was Young.” They have a more laidback and relaxed feeling than “Fine” and offer balance to the more hard-hitting songs later in the album. Taeyeon demonstrates her willingness to venture into slightly different tones in her urban R&B track “I Got Love.” Its sultry melody and sensual lyrics are unexpected coming from her considering her innocent and so-called “fairy-like” image. Nevertheless, it’s refreshing and introduces variety in the album. Her other songs, like “Feel So Fine” and “Cover Up,” are more upbeat and lean towards the pop dance genre. Their bubbly tempos and her bright vocals are reminiscent of her 2016 single “Why.”
My Voice (a suiting title) definitely feels like Taeyeon’s declaration of individuality. Displaying her distinct lyrical vocal style yet simultaneous versatility, she proves her ability to stand alone as a solo artist. There’s something in the album for everyone — from ballads to dance tracks, from chill to chic. Even for those who have never listened to K-pop before, My Voice is a solid introduction to the genre (way more than just “fine”) and certainly does not disappoint. The album provides a universal innocence that reminds us of all of our own firsts and leaves us anticipating what her next chapter will bring.
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