Single of the Week: Kyuhyun (Super Junior) and Tiffany (SNSD) - "To The Beautiful You"

Knowing SM's history and lack of brain cells for some of the most important and potentially amazing projects, I wasn't head-over-heels excited for the Tiffany-Kyuhyun duet. I didn't jump to listen to it, and I actually got this part of the "To The Beautiful You" OST for the KRY song. Let's just say that I forgot about KRY and drooled over this masterpiece for an entire day yesterday. And I'm still drooling over it.

I first heard "To The Beautiful You" last Thursday, when I was about to work on this huge report for one of my classes. I was generally really stressed and tired from the exams and papers I had to get done during the previous days, and I thought I'd last maybe an hour before collapsing and not getting the report done. But then this song came on and not only was I shocked that it wasn't a ballad, but for some reason it managed to get me through three and a half hours of schoolwork, when I was running on two painkillers, a huge glass of milk tea, and pizza for dinner.

Because it's a damn good song.

It's no secret that I adore Kyuhyun and Tiffany's vocals, and that I think they're one of the best, if not the best, in their respective groups, but I never really thought of what they would sound like together. Little did I know that they made magic. Apart from the obvious fact that both of them can really sing, they work really well together. Though not as obvious on this track as it is in "Twinkle", Tiffany's voice seems to be aging backwards. While she still has hints of the timbre, her technique is changing, and her regular delivery (i.e., when she's not belting) is moving away from the slightly husky but feminine, towards the thin, slightly shrill -- it just so happens that it's also what contrasts Kyuhyun's very rich vocals. But when Tiffany start's belting, oh dear the belting -- gorgeous.

Vocals really do take center stage on "To The Beautiful You", but it also plays around with the dynamics of the duet part. I love the unison parts, because it's not like other K-Pop duets where the two people just do their thing for their parts of the song, then have a screaming match at the end. They have solos, of course, but they sound phenomenal when they come in together and they know when to hold back just enough so they can both be heard.

As far as the song itself is concerned, I really have nothing but praises for it. That melody is gorgeous, and we finally have vocals that can counter, and carry, the otherwise flat production. The arrangement and transitions are really, really, smooth, and they chose the right mix of instruments -- they're sure of themselves, sure in being a hybrid of K-Pop and Motown. I love those little piano lines in between too, I never thought I'd use this to describe a part of a song, but they're adorable.

This was the kind of graceful kick I was looking for in "Twinkle" -- it's like they finally took out the pillow that was between the kick-er and kick-ee for "To The Beautiful You". What we get is a well-done song overflowing with attitude, but at the same time melodic, with just a pinch of swing for good measure. See what a chemistry and a little attitude do to a song?


Here I go again disappearing on you guys, for the same reasons as before. These past few weeks, this last one in particular, have been really stressful and bloody, complete with typhoons and monsoon rains in between. And, like all those other times, I just couldn't bring myself to write. I tried, a lot, but well, you all know what happened. Also, I said this over Twitter, but I also got a position at Popjustice, which was so unbelievable that I spend several days staring into space and pondering on the meaning of life because really, how did someone like me get a job like that? Popjustice was one of my "okay after I graduate maybe I can move there and try to get a job there", but now I have it. And I haven't even graduated!

Speaking of milestones, while I was away, you guys managed to get together and get Pop Reviews Now to over ONE MILLION pageviews! I know these days 1 million is a small number for big sites, and it's long-overdue considering that it's been a little over four years since I started, but I guess this really is the epitome of working from the ground up. Despite my long absences (which most of you should be used to now), thank you so much for sticking with me, and actually noticing me in the first place! Here's to two million? I promise to stick around. :D


  1. Hit it out of the ballpark, they did.

  2. I haven't listened to the song yet, but I adore Kyuhyun's vocals. He is one of my favourites in Kpop!

    I love Tiffany's vocals as well, but her technique really isn't the greatest sometimes. Sometimes she loses control of her voice and she has a bad habit of hitting high notes in a way where they sound so nasally. She could be really good actually, she just needs some more training.


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