Powerhouse vocalist Ailee has finally started to push beyond her ‘Korean Beyonce‘ impression this year, and I couldn’t be happier. “Home” is her latest effort, and the R&B influenced pop song doesn’t fail to deliver.
I love the title of this comeback single as it definitely feels like Ailee is finally coming into her own as a singer with this release. Unlike a lot of her past title tracks, “Home” doesn’t bombard you with diva-like sass from the first note to the last. It still has little nuances of attitude sprinkled throughout, but it hardly feels campy or forced as it has in the past. The song overall has a solid and well structured build from the verses to the chorus, and peaks off just at the right moment. This is certainly not my favourite K-pop song ever, or even this year, but I’m just extremely happy to see Ailee doing something that feels really right for her.
It was particularly refreshing to not hear her attack an entire song with belted high note after high note. This song hardly lacked drama or range, but hearing more use of her falsetto and control within the melody is definitely appreciated. Previously, her singles often felt like the vocal representation of ‘porn without plot.’ Here, those bigger moments significantly add in taking the song to the climax. It’s clear and purposeful, and she appears to be an infinitely more mature vocalist as a result of it.
The perfectly fit feature from Yoon Mi Rae didn’t hurt one bit, either. It was actually a pleasant surprise given her hesitancy to get back into rapping outside of MFBTY, and it figured that this would be a vocal featuring, but Yoon Mi Rae slipped right back into what she does best with an expert showing that meshed well with the song.
Ailee looking the best she ever has in a music video, though, may hurt some of you in all the good kind of ways. I wasn’t crazy about every style choice, but I can’t deny that she looked absolutely gorgeous.
(I like to pretend this is her saying her final goodbyes to her Beyonce persona. RIP.)
My only complaint is that as much as Ailee arching her back and doing splits is cool, I just don’t find her dancing all that convincing. They were really my least favourite shots, and considering the choreography looked like it was meant to be a major focus here, that’s probably a bad thing. It just looked awkward and out of place to me, honestly.
Minor complaints aside, at the end of the day, “Home” still has plenty of drama, showcases Ailee’s fantastic power and range, and gives her the diva moments she’s fully capable of without feeling like a lesser version of someone else’s song. Until now, it always felt like Ailee was stuck behind the shadow of her own reputation of a singer, but with “Home” she’s definitely taken a confident step away from that and has started to come into her own.
‘A New Empire’