[Review] “Pink Magic” is a welcome change-up from Super Junior’s Yesung

Super Junior’s Yesung first debuted as a soloist in 2016, and pretty much all of his Korean work has gone down the same emotional ballad route. He’s an excellent vocalist, for sure, but my favorite Yesung track is actually 2017’s “Splash,” an uptempo J-pop single that positioned him as an easy-listening, funk-pop performer. Thankfully, “Pink Magic” brings a similar style to his Korean discography. Its amiable sound won’t set the industry on fire, but it’s a welcome departure from the melancholic work that has weighted him down in the past.

Written by a cavalcade of composers (most notably Ryan S. Jhun), “Pink Magic” has a breezy, uncluttered arrangement. It takes influence from the mid-to-late 80’s, delivering a synth-fueled instrumental that feels at once hazy and buoyant. This aesthetic suits the summer months well, though not in the same bombastic way as a song like WJSN’s “Boogie Up. Each of the track’s elements feels refined, including Yesung’s smooth, slyly confident performance. There aren’t any climactic peaks or breathtaking builds, but “Pink Magic” gets by on classic pop song craft.

The track’s verses are largely forgettable, but I like how they set up the bubbly chorus. You almost have to have a more subdued beginning to get the full rush of the funk guitar-fueled hook. The melody here feels instantly familiar, though not in an annoying way. Instead, the track stakes most of its appeal on a sense of nostalgia. Yesung is at a point in his career where he doesn’t need to compete with his younger peers. “Pink Magic” doesn’t adhere to current trends, but it’s all the more refreshing for it.

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