[Review] From the “First Line”, Shin Yong Jae brings us all the feels

Shin Yong Jae‘s newest release “First Line” shows us it doesn’t matter whether he’s melting our hearts with 4Men or belting it out as a solo independent artist – this man can sing! Oh my!

Previously with MAJOR9 (some may remember it as Vibe Entertainment), Shin Yong Jae makes his debut as a newly signed artist under Million Market – a division of SM Entertainment. Did I get that right?

As per usual in the genre, the song starts off very delicate as Shin Yong Jae enters with a lovely combination of breathy tone and vibrato in his voice. Even the moments when it becomes almost nothing more than a whisper, not only does his voice remain stable but the emotion and feeling he’s trying to convey becomes clear as day.

Slowly building as orchestral strings add more texture underneath the musical accompaniment, the chorus’s appearance showcases a really beautiful melody. As is usually used in the most well-crafted ballads (in my opinion) the first appearance of the chorus is slightly ‘bigger’ than the verse and pre-chorus that just preceded it, but still quite light in accompaniment. This is just a really good strategy to use as it sets up the choruses that follow that will surely feel even more enormous in their execution.

What’s really interesting is that the second verse doesn’t even exist! Immediately after the first chorus it goes back to a much ‘larger’ version of the pre-chorus and hitting even harder for the second chorus – as expected! Wait for one more. But what is that?! The second chorus then begins to transition into the bridge of the song. It’s really fascinating because the song is really driving along. It kind of threw away the expected form of a ballad where the second verse, second pre-chorus, and second chorus are all played with louder dynamics and thicker accompaniment the second time through. Instead, the typical direction of the ballad is detoured, as mentioned earlier, but it really doesn’t take away from the piece either. What’s important is the transitions that are used are done so masterfully.

Before we know it we’re modulating between different keys, another chorus appears, and Shin Yong Jae is blessing us with his God-given power. I am not even going to begin to explain all the crazy harmonic changes applied to this final chorus but see if you can notice the new chord progression. Just a maniac!

Honestly, I’m almost physically tired after listening to this song. I know what just happened but at the same time, I have no idea what just happened. It started off so sweet and predictable but then I blinked and Shin Yong Jae was melting my brain. This might be a song that you appreciate more and more after listening to it a few times – which is exactly what happened in my case. This song is really really good, man. What a singer!


IATFB’s Note: Don’t mean to step on any toes here, but this was fortuitous timing as here he is blowing the minds of kids doing karaoke, lol.

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I may seem smart, but I am really just an idiot like everyone else.