[#12] ZhouMi - "Rewind" (feat. Tao/Chanyeol of EXO)

From: "Rewind"
Released: October
Territory: China/South Korea
Previous Best of Entries: first appearance
Other notable song(s) from 2014: "Why (Color Blind)"

I don't pay attention to Super Junior M's Chinese members much (also because I don't pay attention much to SuJu as a whole anymore), so when ZhouMi's solo release was announced I was half surprised at SM's choice of solo release but also half neutral towards what was happening. I wasn't really interested, mainly because I hadn't seen enough of ZhouMi as a musical act to be able to form expectations.

But I guess a blank slate was good, because "Rewind" (the song) blew me away. The late 90s/early 2000s sound is on-point -- I like "Rewind" most probably because I'm a 90s kid and my foundations in pop are the 90s Max Martin/Maratone/Swedish releases. So it wasn't really a surprise when I found out that Daniel Klein, one of the composers, was also behind material for the Sugababes, JLS, and also Blue's "Breathe Easy" and "Bubblin." (Most people forget I used to be that kind of pop blogger, and honestly most of the time I forget too.)

A big part of what makes "Rewind" "so 90s" is the sharp "beat" -- if you know your Britney or Christina (or BSB and Blue), most of the time there's a beat/bass/percussion line that sounds more like snapping than it does a "proper" bass line. You hear this in something like the opening chorus of "Come On Over," and it's usually accompanied by a very raw-sounding (as opposed to graceful and girly) piano line. That's where "Rewind" turns into an "updated 90s" track of sorts -- because the raw element isn't a piano line, it's an actual bass line which is actually just as prominent as the sharp beat. The actual bass line first serves as a buffer to contrast the cutting snapping, but in the process gives a sense of sophistication because of the "cool" nature of the bass line.

But the most prominent part of that 90's Swedish sound is, of course, the melody. The catchy vocal lines that perfected the melodic hook -- the kinds of choruses you sing-scream out loud in the car with your friends. "Rewind" has slightly less of the "scream" in favor of more singing, which reinforces that more "sophisticated 90s pop" sound -- less drama, less kitsch, more melody, real instruments, but a hook that just as catchy.


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