[#7] Hyorin (SISTAR) - "Falling"

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From: "Love & Hate"
Released: November
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Entries: First Appearance
Other notable song(s) from 2013: "OMG" (Feat. 릴보이 Of 긱스), "립스틱 짙게 바르고 (Red Lipstick)"(Feat. ZICO Of Block B), "Stalker" (Feat. 매드클라운)

I have a love-hate relationship with Hyorin's voice -- on one hand I can't deny that she can indeed sing, but on the other I just don't like how she sings most of the time. She tends to overdo things a lot, and as you may have already noticed I gauge ability not by how much a singer can sing, but by how well those are sung. A wide range means nothing to me if you don't have the rudiments mastered.

So while I did enjoy most of "Love & Hate" as straight-up pop material, "Falling" was the song that really caught my attention, mainly because of what it did for Hyorin's vocals. The melody is gorgeous, yes, but it was also structured in such a way that Hyorin has little room to overdo her vocals and add unnecessary technique. In other words, it's a very tight melody -- it has to be sung as straight as possible. And when Hyorin does add in bells and whistles, they're overpowered and covered up by something else on the song. But that doesn't mean the song becomes boring, because it's not. The melody itself is interesting enough, is dynamic enough, that you don't need frills to the execution anymore. The verses are understated but pretty, and the choruses soar primarily because of the melody. And you hear all of this because of the "faithful" vocals -- there's a chance for the melody to show itself off because of how the vocals were executed.

The instrumentation has a lot to do with the songs dynamics too, obviously, and that was what has sustained my attention. Beyond the beautiful melody, there's also a lot happening. The sharp, playful piano line is the most obvious, and it's what gives the song grace. At the verses it adds a sense of urgency because it's almost like it's prancing around, and at the same time it contributes to how gripping the song is. The drum and bass lines are also prominent, and aside from giving the song a sense of brevity, it also makes it sound much fuller. And of course, the explosion at the chorus is heightened by the brass line, the trumpet mainly, that makes everything sound grander and more show-y.

What I like most about "Falling" is how everything was put together. The explosions really sound like explosions because of their juxtaposition against the softer, but still urgent, verses. It's a beautiful song, honestly, something I imagine can be sung for reality show auditions a lot in a few years, but it's also very well-executed.

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