Puer Kim previously caught my attention with satirical releases like her debut “Manyo Maash” and “Bank.” She’s now come back with the three-song single, ‘Gem‘, whose title track, “Pearls“, is a severe departure from her previous sound for multiple reasons.
The most obvious difference in this release from her previous efforts is the strong electronic sound. Dream pop (or shoegaze) is obviously a big influence in “Pearls“, and the laid-back-yet-hypnotizing instrumental pairs extremely well with her mysterious and sultry vocals.
The other obvious change is that she’s singing in English. Unfortunately, this happened to be a downfall for me rather than an exciting new discovery. Honestly, I had no idea what she was saying until I looked it up, and when I did the lyrics themselves seemed vague in a “I’m trying really hard to sound artistic here” kind of way. The ideas are very disjointed, and while I think it’s admirable when anyone tries to speak outside of their native tongue, considering her lyrics have always held significant meaning within her previous releases I found it an odd choice. The pronunciation is not so much of a problem for me as the content itself. I can’t help but feel that her message probably would’ve been better received if it were written in Korean.
Just to be clear before anyone misunderstands me, if Puer Kim sang songs like “Wiggle Wiggle“, I wouldn’t bother touching on lyrical content. However, even Puer herself knows her lyricism is unique and therefore important to her songwriting.
Perhaps I’m being unfair by constantly comparing this to her previous work, but even the music video was extremely bland in both imagery and concept in contrast.
And, not surprisingly, people were more interested in talking about whether or not her breasts were real in the comments.
While I applaud Puer Kim for continuing to want to evolve stylistically and explore new avenues of songwriting, I ultimately found myself disappointed. I much preferred her lyrical content that took a stab at society or corporations (specifically idol companies), as well as the corresponding music videos that emphasized these themes. While I don’t expect her to constantly discuss that every time, I don’t think I’d consider this a growth in her music, but a regression.