[#39] Song Ji Eun - "Twenty-Five"

From: "Twenty-Five"
Released: October
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Entries: 2013: [#33] "Vintage"
Other notable song(s) from 2014: n/a

I liked Ji Eun's first solo release last year, mainly because I think she pulled off the R&B sound well and it was a welcome break from the way Secret's repertoire was degenerating into cutesy releases with little substance (as opposed to their early cutesy stuff like "Shy Boy"). But I also enjoyed this year's release -- not as much as "Vintage," but enough to save Ji Eun a place on my Top 50.

Like pretty much all the other songs on the countdown, "Twenty-Five" is well-produced (that's one my basic requirements, actually) -- but two things set it apart and secure it's spot. First, the song shows off the strengths of Ji Eun's vocals -- it's in a mid-range with a spattering of belting, but for the most part it's in a range where her voice sounds not only comfortable, but proficient. The verses bring out the pretty timbre of her vocals, the bridge takes advantage of her girly falsetto-esque side, and the chorus provides enough dynamics between her higher and mid-ranges.

And second, "Twenty-Five" is unashamedly pop. From the potentially cheesy trumpet line, to the repetitive hook and the pseudo-"Latin" motif, it embraces them instead of being pretentious about their use. What you get is a confident, no-nonsense fun track that isn't a drag to listen to. "Twenty-Five" is well-done, effortless-sounding, fun.


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