I’ve been listening to Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ nonstop for the last couple of days, and finally there’s a song that breaks the chain.
I actually had a bit of a roller-coaster ride with this song again.
Usually I don’t watch teaser, because teaser is one thing and the actual final product can be something totally different. Two examples I can clearly remember on top of my mind right now are Sea of Moonlight – Fiestar ft. IU (teaser/song) and Step – Kara (teaser/song). They are not bad songs. Brilliant, in fact. It’s just that the feeling they create from the teaser is so much different with what the songs convey. When I watch the teaser and I really like it, my expectation is hanging up for something that might not be there. It easily meets with disappointment. I find it difficult to build up my feeling for the song again. Even if it’s good, it’s not what I expect.
But it was IU and I couldn’t stay away from the updates. I also needed to watch clips so I knew what I was talking about while translating news.
The first thing I watched was the pre-listening for Yoon Hyun Sang’s 1st mini-album ‘Pianoforte’.
I had to say that I loved that final song – the duet with IU (at 4:18). Although it was short and there was no singing, I loved every single bit of it. It also matched with what IU said about the song:
Fan: Give us a spoiler from your new song.. Will I get scolded again? Hehehe
Bangbaedongchick: Will the duet be a heart thumping concept like ‘Friday’?
IU: A sweet couple song that will make your heart explode from the butterflies ^^
The songs she sang recently give me the feeling that they had a close touch with the real world, so I really didn’t see what was coming next.
‘When Would It Be’ teaser.
This is the photo teaser for the song, and it caught me quite off-guard.
LOEN has created many MVs with fantasy theme and I’ve liked many of them (e.g. You & I, The Red Shoes). IU also said in one interview previously during Modern Times promotion about a year ago:
Next time, I want to do a ‘Rapunzel’ concept. I’ll be dragging my really long hair around on stage as I put on a fun performance. (x)
Imagine that, it would be fun. It was just… all so conflicting. Reality vs. fantasy, fun performance vs. soulful ballad, Rapunzel theme for IU’s own comeback vs. collaboration. My mind couldn’t put the pieces nicely together.
Then came the teaser.
It was even more confusing to me. So… this song and the song in the pre-listening, were they one? The harmony between the two didn’t sound very smooth either.
I’m not the type who finds everything about my bias is perfect. I think I made Keo surprised with that. But yeah, there are things I like and things I don’t, and I just choose to support them at best of my ability. Nobody is perfect anyway. Simply accept that and continue supporting them.
At this point, my expectation was rather low. Keo said it would be a long story ~ long MV like ‘You & I’, I said I wouldn’t eliminate the possibility that it wouldn’t be long. I wasn’t even sure I would like the song. There’s this quote though, “When you’re at the bottom, you have no other way but going up”. I don’t think they meant it to be something like this situation, just my mind wandering in web of connections. But anyway, eventually I was able to feel full song and the MV.
I have to admit that I didn’t put my full attention to it at the first time listening. It was because I had to post the news at the right time so that other people wouldn’t have chance to post it earlier than I did and that I could give away the virtual money on kites to create buzz for the news, reserving places for U’s and Keo’s comments on the first page – going back and forth between accounts and my laptop has been very easy to freeze for a while already, checking for English news to edit my original post which had only the MV without any information or descriptions. When those were settled down a little bit, I watched the MV but my mind was still a bit distracted.
I also experienced another deja vu. Just like with ‘My Old Story’, I thought it would be the first stage of a relationship where the feelings have just shyly blossomed. It would be the kind that makes your heart flutter and your stomach full of butterflies. But then again, it was a sad story where two of them separated and weren’t able to face each other again although they still had feelings for each other. Apparently my expectation is deadly.
The sparks from the first time watching would be when IU started singing. I was like, “Oh. my. god. Her voice is just… I can’t even…”. I know I say it all the time, but her voice is… wow. This familiar voice surprises me all the time, it brings such an emotion that is so mesmerizing and alluring. Visually, the moment that made me grasp for air was when she was sitting so small in a vastly foggy place, the wind and the hazy light was moving swiftly around her. Well, when I watched it again, I had a second thought though. It must be the reflection of the light on the water, it made more sense. And the moment at the end when IU was walking away and at one point she looked back, the wind blew through her hair which made them fly up then gently flowing down, her eyes blinked slowly, and the gaze… IU, take a drama project, please?
I fell for the song when everything got much calmer and so did my mind. It was when I closed my eyes, put my headphones on, played the music, and let it resonate within me. Staying still for a while, just me and the music, with their voices, with the emotions. IU’s angelic voice fascinated me as ever, and I appreciated Yoon Hyun Sang’s voice more. I especially love the bridge where it was like IU and Hyun Sang had a conversation back and forth, questioning, wondering, each of their own, then their voices blended in together and climbed up the climax at the end. That climax must be the same with the one in the teaser, but I didn’t feel as weird as before. I really seriously love that bridge part. At that moment, I understood why they released both the mini-album and the MV at midnight instead of releasing the MV during the day as usual. It needs to get in touch with your soul.
The tumble users who made gif-sets and screencaps and graphics from the MV contributed greatly to the way I see the details in it. When I watched it again, it appeared very clearly to me how incredibly beautiful it was made. All the shots were a piece of art in itself. I had so many more favorite scenes. And I love the idea of turning the mirror into the pond. How brilliant!
As for the story in the MV, I agree with weldud on YouTube that IU’s Rapunzel look means she was waiting for him. I’m not sure how to interpret the rest though. Maybe they were both waiting for each other in the fantasy world, then she stepped in the real world through the pond and saw his reflection in the old man playing piano just like him, which at the same time represented him getting older waiting for her, too? Sad and beautiful. It doesn’t always work out in reality, but sometimes a brave moment of encouragement would do.
When I watch the MV again now, I couldn’t help but admire this masterpiece. Seems like I’m late to the party, everyone was already in verge of, or actually in tears the first time they watched. I blame my expectation. But better late than never, I’m happy that I could finally enjoy the song wholeheartedly.
The song is gently charming in both rhythm and lyrics. I don’t think it’s ever easy to compose a song, so I really admire Yoon Hyun Sang for being able to compose, write the lyrics, co-arrange the songs, play the piano, and sing them all. He isn’t the typical handsome idol that steals the hearts of fangirls right away, but I hope people can recognize his talents and embrace his special charms. I wish him all the best.