[#44] J-Min - "Stand Up"

From: "OST - "To The Beautiful You""
Format: Original Soundtrack
Released: August
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Appearances: First Appearance

J-Min's debut single which doubled as part of the OST for "To The Beautiful You", follows in the footsteps of the likes of Younha (who we'll be getting to -- eventually!), something I'm extremely excited about. First because SM finally let her out of their dungeon after giving her a track on last year's Winter album and moving her from Avex to Nayutawave, and second because they gave her a damn good song!

The melody matters in this, yes, and when it gets gorgeous it's really something, but what matters more on this track is the instrumental. You listen to the melody, and even if it's a nice melody, that alone is not enough to carry an entire song. Plus the fact that J-Min doesn't have a spectacular timbre or heart-wrenching technique -- she sings well, yes, but to carry an entire song on her own isn't exactly a walk in the park. Which is why even if they get progressively heavier, the arrangement and the instruments, like the guitar line and the cymbals, take the spotlight from the very beginning. Even the song's loop isn't sung -- it's that loop at the beginning before the first verse.

"Stand Up" was arranged in such a way that the singing parts J-Min got were carried by the instrumental. The main element in the first verse are the drum and guitar lines, the main element at the chorus is that explosion, that transition from bare to epic. The second verses let the melody step up a little, but you'll notice that it's a very simple melody, and short since it's the second verse, so that by the time the song explodes again for the second chorus, that becomes the focal point. The middle 8/breakdown is gorgeous and really the height of the epic, with all the pop/rock band conventions you can possibly have all crammed into several measures.

What I like most about "Stand Up" is that it's confident -- it knows exactly what it is, what it should be, and it delivers, J-Min delivers. But unlike some of the previous tracks on the list, this is the type of song that carries the act, and not the other way around. J-Min isn't the most charismatic performer out there, she's actually kind of flat when you watch her, and SM knows that, which is why they gave her a song that could hide her flaws while bringing out her strong points.

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