Son Dambi - Can't U See

When I listened to Can't U See this morning, I had no intention of gauging it on any musical criteria - I was pissed and I needed a nice mellow song to lift my spirits. It did the job, but I think any song would've been able to do that given my degree is distress and piss-off-ed-ness (LOL), so I better start getting musical now.

Son Dambi was one of the first kpop acts I stumbled upon when I was first introduced to the industry last year and the only song I really liked from her was Bad Boy. (I can't believe it's been over a year already, time flies!) She's under Pledis entertainment, home of my now-second favorite girl group, After School, and she most definitely looks and sounds like she's from Pledis.

A number of people have asked me which smaller talent company I think should be included in the big three, making it a big four, and for a while my answer was Cube, but I completely forgot that Pledis existed. However my argument is this - SME, JYPE and YGE are the "big three" companies for a reason, because apart from earning the most money they all one, put out outstanding talent and two, have very, very, VERY distinct sounds, so until any one of the smaller companies does those and does them well, they're not worthy just yet.

But anyway, my point is this. Pledis have the possibility to expand more because they have a certain sound, a certain aesthetic all their acts possess, and surprisingly they do it well. My only problem with Pledis is the talent - there are talented people in Pledis, but not enough to sustain them and make them a leading talent company.

Son Dambi is like the epitome of what Pledis is. She's not the most talented singer you've ever heard, but she's competent, and apparently she dances well. She gets mostly good songs that just happen to really sound like a Pledis-masterminded song(mostly.) and now she's gotten one of those.

I was saying when I saw the teaser yesterday that Son Dambi's comeback might be one I'll be eagerly awaiting this year, which is a surprise, but after seeing the teaser and hearing the entire song, I'm excited. For the other material, which better be good.

Can't U See isn't the best song ever, but it isn't crap. It sounds very classy and very sophisticated, and reminds me a bit of After School's Because Of You in terms of feel and possible image choices. The percussion part is very clean, and the running piano part is very crisp, so to say. Son Dambi's vocals lean towards the airy side, so it gives a nice contrast to the very tight and clean backdrop.

The melody is pretty, and even if the instrumentation doesn't go far, the song manages to keep my attention on it for the entire three-and-a-half minutes. I think it's 'coz it really is a pretty song.

I can't really say whether it sounds better live or recorded yet, I'll have to save those for my music show recaps, but with the recorded version it sounds pretty good. I like.



  1. When I first heard this song I thought it was really refreshing. And you're right, it is a really pretty song.

  2. I'll vouch for Fluxus Music, which I don't consider a 'smaller' company at all.

    If we're using outstanding talent and very distinct sounds as the criteria for judging companies other than the B3 in Korea, Fluxus passes with soaring colors in my opinion.

    Perhaps to you (and to me as well), Fluxus - who put out trendy/indie/pop music and have been since 2002 - is irrelevant because they're just not as pimped out as the other three. The thing is, though, In Korea there is a huge (read HUGE!) indie following. Western indie music isn't remotely close to what Korean-indie has achieved. Or at least they're two very distinct pieces of the same puzzle.

    Although artist such as Clazziquai Project, Lee Seung Hwan or ALEX mean little to you (not you, specifically, just sayin) or people who are glued to the surface of Kpop, these artists are worshiped and admired by the Koreans. Fluxus is veered towards a more sophisticated audience, if you will, but they certainly are recognized. At least in Korea, they are.

    I know you blog about pop as in what's popular (most of the time), I just had to throw in a company that has its accolades in its respective field and is very much 'pop' as the other three on the homeland.

    Anyway, as for Son Dambi's song: I agree that the melody is very pretty, but that instrumentation is so generic. It kind of drags it down for me.

    Pretty much agree with all your other commentary on her and the song :)

  3. Maybe it was the version that I was listening to, but I thought the percussion was a bit too loud, especially in the beginning.

    I must say, though, I love how her vocals sound. You hit it on the head when you mentioned the contrast between her singing and the rest of the song. The instruments complement her voice nicely :)

    Anyways, this is the first time I've heard her so no idea how she's gonna be live haha

  4. Mister Dynamite - it's really pretty. :)

    Arnold - I do know about Clazziquai and Alex and Fluxus in general, and I do give them "props" for making the music they make and how they deliver it, but I haven't found something I personally like or feel strongly about. And for an overseas fan from third-world Philippines, it's not very easy to find information on them - sometimes I even have a hard time finding information on older, but very mainstream, acts. Music is easier, even if I don't want to pirate it I have no choice. But finding lineages and history is a completely different story, and I need those to be able to write something that won't get attacked by swarms of angry kpop fans. Just because I've never mentioned them doesn't mean I don't know or care.

    Daniella - Pledis people aren't really known for good live vocals, so I wouldn't expect a lot.


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