Leave it to the maknae (Korean for youngest member) to release one of the most tantalising solo releases from a girl group. Don’t Say No – the first mini album from Girls’ Generation’s Seohyun – is a sizzling hot affair.
The singer wastes no time expressing that all-grown-up front, delivering a confident performance on the dance-pop title track (which also serves as the lead single).
For the longest time, Seohyun has been known as the innocent and shy one in the mega K-pop ensemble. To see the 25-year-old shedding that image for one that’s much sexier and more mature is a pleasantly unexpected audio-visual experience indeed.
That racy concept reaches a satisfying climax on the sultry Magic. On the jazz-inspired number, the Seoul songstress coos and whispers through unapologetically sensual melodies. Another standout which follows this sexy template is the deliciously devious Bad Love, which takes its time escalating to a dramatic hook.
This is up for contention really, but I’m of the opinion that Seohyun has the most dynamic vocal range in Girls’ Generation after Taeyeon. Her experience performing in theatre can be credited for this prowess. And those solid vocals shine through on this seven-track collection (six of which are independently written by the singer herself).
The brassy Love & Affection – despite a questionably bizarre chorus – showcases the singer’s higher registers to a tee. Elsewhere, Seohyun regresses with the sweet, but ultimately lacklustre, duet Hello with Eric Nam.
But all is forgiven on the album closer Moonlight, an R&B-stylised gem that highlights immaculate vocal precision. That’s testament of a veteran girl group member who knows her K-pop craft.
Don’t Say No