Jung Joon Young and Suh Young Eun‘s “Sympathy” is one of the better ballads I’ve heard in a while, and even though the music video is in a movie format, it’s definitely worth the extra time.
“Sympathy” is an easy listen, even with the harsh drum interlude, and while it’s a slow starter, there’s definitely a build that has a payoff. Joon Young has an unforgettable rich and full quality to his voice, and he uses it to capacity in order to both impress the listener and project his feelings through his tone shifts. Similarly, Young Eun’s vocals are filled with emotion and serve as an excellent balance, and she effectively expresses her devastation with what transpires in the narrative.
And while the vocal performances are wonderful, it’s what transpires in the story they tell through the lyrics and the music video that really helped sell this ballad.
The music video is beautiful and uses warm/cold colors to express the tonal difference between the two. And while I’m not usually a fan of the flashback in a music video, this is definitely an instance where it’s done well because it reveals a lot of information about how their lives were and who they were as people. Most importantly, it tells us that they were fun, crazy, and completely in love with each other.
That’s an important narrative to build because it sets up the emotional tone shift that stems from a bar incident in which Joon Young pushes away Young Eun after getting his ass beat. Joon Young’s life spirals downwards following that, and he can’t get a woman he saw at the bar out of his head. Eventually he ends up cheating on Young Eun at the bar with some random.
At that point, the entire pace of the song changes, because it’s no longer about carefree lovers or the relationship between the two, but rather about how things have gone south and about Joon Young’s betrayal of Young Eun, one that she eventually discovers.
“Sympathy” is a track that’s narrated by the singers as they take the listeners through the emotional journey of their relationship, and Jung Joon Young and Suh Young Eun both fulfilled their roles to the fullest by making the listener feel the narrative dynamic changes in their vocal performances. The raw emotion is palpable throughout the track, and when they finally come together at the end, it completes a powerful and beautiful journey.