VIXX LR – “Whisper” Review

(Music Video) / (Dance Practice)

VIXX LR – Whisper

Reviewed on October 28, 2017

So, unlike the many fans and listeners who praise VIXX LR’s latest song, I argue the opposite: that, if we move beyond stylistic preferences, we will find that “Whisper” is an incredibly incoherent song. That lack of organization is why I struggle to critically enjoy the song—even if, as many have said, the vocals and the like are rather appealing.

Personal Message:
It has been an
entire month without any reviews, and I greatly apologize for this. While
better time management would have prevented this situation, I had to pause
writing reviews and subtitling videos for the sake of keeping up with my
studies. However, all is going well in my life and I hope to better allocate my
time so that I can maintain a consistent schedule with reviews. After all, my
university life is only going to get busier
in the future—not less. So, I hope and plan to develop a schedule that will
allow reviews to carry on, and of course, to be more concise with reviews.

Regarding this
review, it finally addresses a one-month-old (if not more) request. To the
requester, I apologize for the massive delay (and likewise to the reader who
also requested Sunmi’s “Gashina”). As of now, I believe I might have to
temporarily stop accepting requests—or at least, I will have to put a
disclaimer on their finished dates. That said, if reviews become far shorter to
write, this dilemma toward requests might be unnecessary.

On topic, however,
VIXX LR—a sub-unit of VIXX—will be the artist we focus on. “Whisper,” while no
longer quite a newer song, is at least still VIXX LR’s latest song. Many fans
and listeners cherish the song: comments from various sources appear to praise
the duo’s vocals, and regarding the song’s composition and production, many
also favor the song’s “chill” stylistic approach. Although stylistic
preferences are certainly acceptable and are by no means wrong to have, I
personally question—challenge, even—many listeners’ and fans’ take to
“Whisper.” A song’s style is not sufficient for determining whether a song is
excellent in quality or not; we need to go deeper and account for the composition
at play. Unfortunately, though, analyzing “Whisper” in this aspect brings many
concerns. So, unlike the many fans and listeners who praise VIXX LR’s latest
song, I argue the opposite: that, if we move beyond stylistic preferences, we
will find that “Whisper” is an incredibly incoherent song. That lack of
organization is why I struggle to critically enjoy the song—even if, as many
have said, the vocals and the like are rather appealing.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 5/10
(5.25/10 raw score) – “Average”


Vocals: 6/10


Sections: 5/10
(4.86/10 raw score)

Introduction, Rap,
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Rap, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Conclusion
(Post-Chorus)

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Rap: 6/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 4/10

4.     Chorus: 3/10

5.     Post-Chorus: 4/10

6.     Bridge: 5/10

7.     Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 6/10


Instrumental: 4/10


Lyrics: 6/10

Tell me your love
to the point where I melt
Tickle my heart
Show me your love
Yeah we’re burnin’ up, baby
Whisper yourself into my heart

Especially more so today
Time seems to freeze when I see you
I can’t handle you, it transcends narcissism
My instincts have already gone up
I try to calm down my excited heart but it breaks down
Calm down, down, down
My body is slowing down right now, now
No limit, limit, what is your limit?
Tell me ahead of time
Everything has levels
But you’ve erased that process
You are my song, yeah baby
I’m different from the other wolves
who only look for you at night
I look for you every moment of every day, girl

You can have all of me, it’s alright
Do you know what I want?
Carefully, right now

Softly, whisper to me, girl
Whisper to me
It’s quiet but it feels dangerous
You have me specifically flexin’
It’s a secret sign
Our own party without anyone knowing
Whisper language

I can use both arms and legs
but I can’t fully express everything
I don’t care about a party filled with losers
My focus is on you
Chillin’-chillin’ we need a secret
This is something that happens on a screen
I’m feelin’ like a Gosling
I’m sure of this feeling
Love you, love you, love you, love you, love you
Really love you
I can’t figure you out
but my head is already there
I hope at least half of my predictions
will be the answer
I hope this night connects us
We can be quiet
Because I think this is strangely more fun

You can have all of me, it’s alright
Do you know what I want?
Carefully, right now

Softly, whisper to me, girl
Whisper to me
It’s quiet but it feels dangerous
You have me specifically flexin’
It’s a secret sign
Our own party without anyone knowing
Whisper language

Whisper
Yeah tell me, tell me your love
Whisper
Yeah I can even hear your breath, love
Whisper
Yeah tell me, tell me your love
Whisper
Yeah I can even touch your voice, real love

Don’t hesitate anymore, feel your vibe
However you feel, movin’
Falling into the black hole, my black hole
You don’t care about the meaning of beauty
But you just show yourself to me
I’ve already gone crazy but you drive me crazy again
You make me fly until the end

Once again, whisper to me, girl
Whisper to me
Burn me up, like you’re testing me
You analyze me like you’re flexin’
It’s a secret sign
Our own party without anyone knowing
Whisper language

Whisper
Yeah tell me, tell me your love
Whisper
Yeah I can even hear your breath, love
Whisper
Yeah tell me, tell me your love
Whisper
Yeah I can even touch your voice, real love

_______________________________________________________

Analysis:
Before boldly critiquing the composers’ work, I find that we still need to
acknowledge what many fans and listeners have established: sonically, “Whisper”
pleases our ears. We find this sentiment supported by individually focusing on
each section. For example, the rapping sections are rather developed. If we
listen to the first rap section that occurs, we should notice that Ravi’s part
is more than just a straightforward, typical, rhythm-based rap. The composers
also introduced moments where the rap drastically slows down and instead adds
in tune versus rhythm—this being clearly heard with the pitch-enhanced (or pitch-edited)
bits that are dispersed throughout. This all works in favor, though, of
creating rap sections that function more than as a song’s break. After all,
notice how in many K-Pop songs the rap sections tend to provide a mere change
of pace in a song. But, in “Whisper,” with the rapping being rather flexible and
complex—and later in the song, also being mixed in with Leo’s singing—this
allows listeners to interpret the rapping as a main core of the song’s aural
appeal.

But,
all of that said, “Whisper” as an entire
song
is incoherent—and sadly, no amount of individual, aural appeal can
compensate for the song’s lack of organization. Consider the song in this
manner: as if it was an essay. Yes, I can already hear the skepticism with this
analogy: “This makes no sense; the only thing we see is your teacher-side
showing.” But, bear with it for a few more moments. Imagining that “Whisper” is
an essay, we can understand that its individual aspects—its individual
paragraphs—are beautifully and thoughtfully written. However, we notice a
problem with this essay: Although each paragraph is strong individually, none
of the paragraphs make sense when we put them together to form an actual essay.
One paragraph focuses on a certain topic, but the next paragraph switches to an
entirely new topic—and again, individually we acknowledge that those single
paragraphs are perfect. The same applies to “Whisper.” While its individual
aspects are solid—such as the singing or the rapping—none of these aspects
easily connects to the other. As individual chunks of a song, “Whisper” is
great; as a unified, single song, “Whisper” is not great.

Diving
into examples of this incoherence, let us focus specifically on the conflict
that occurs between the rapping and singing. Again, both on an individual level
are excellent but the song lacks in relating the two together. This is why the
choruses are structurally jarring
despite how Leo’s singing soothes us. When the choruses arrive, listeners are
disorientated by the sudden changes: despite a rap section building up to the choruses,
rather than a chorus that builds off that hyping, it instead begins from a new
beginning. In other words, given that the rapping and even the pre-choruses
seem to be working together toward a climactic point, it is odd that the
choruses fail to follow through. Instead of the choruses being a notable,
climaxing point where the rap sections and pre-choruses come together, it
appears as if the choruses completely begin its own song. The instrumental at
the choruses, for example, are not similar to the rap or pre-chorus sections
and instead take a sudden calm approach. Furthermore, Leo’s singing style—while
definitely serene and beautiful—does not complement Ravi’s rougher rap lines.

What
would have been preferable, I argue, is if the duo’s vocals were similar in
style or perhaps even alternating in a dynamic fashion. Towards the latter half
of the song, post-choruses are introduced and these sections take on an
interesting form: a blend of both Leo and Ravi—a blend of singing and rapping.
If this was established sooner in the song, I foresee this incoherence problem
being prevented. Or, as mentioned as well, if the two vocal styles were able to
relate directly this would be another potential solution. If Leo’s singing at
the chorus, for example, was slightly rougher and focused on intensity so that
it would match Ravi’s rapping style, there could have been a clear connection
there. The opposite holds as well: if Leo’s softer, graceful singing is to be
kept, then Ravi’s rapping could have followed a softer demeanor to match.
Overall, without having an aspect that relates the two’s rapping and singing,
it leaves “Whisper” sounding divided. In these duo situations of blending in
rapping and singing, I find that Mad Clown’s and Soyou’s duo song of “Stupid in
Love” provides a strong example of balancing the two different vocal
performances. In “Stupid in Love,” Mad Clown’s rapping is definitely of a
faster and more intense style. However, Soyou’s singing style still matches due
to an instrumental that remained consistent and how, even if her pacing is
slower, her own vocals were kept in a more direct, rough manner versus being
airy and soft.

All
in all, if not for this lack of cohesion in the song, I would predict “Whisper”
excelling due to not only having solid rapping and singing, but also due to a
powerful chemistry between those two aspects. As it stands, though, that is not
the case. Without that cohesion—that sense of connecting the song into smooth,
single piece—it does not matter how brilliant the rapping or singing are. Fans
should definitely still enjoy the song for its “chill” style, but in terms of
discussing the composers’ decisions and analyzing the song in this critical
manner, I argue “Whisper” is a relatively weaker song—or at least, it lost a
lot of its potential. Of course, however, disagreements can and should occur—this is why I write
reviews, after all. For discussions. For creating a space where fans can
critically and maturely discuss why
they believe a song is strong or weak. And, in the end, “Whisper” still manages
to hold onto a five—a rating that indicates that, overall, the song is not
exactly bad, but neither is it
necessarily good.

_______________________________________________________

Whether
this was a smart decision or not, I decided to use some of my usual “homework
time” to instead write this review—but, I find that this was a worthy decision.
Sunmi’s “Gashina” should be finished soon, and afterwards, I will see if I can
realistically end October with two more reviews. Six posts has been my goal and
I intend to keep it that way, but perhaps four might be more plausible for the next
few months.

Once
again I apologize to requesters and readers for the lack of content, but I do greatly
appreciate any time given towards this blog. Until then, look forward to—hopefully—October
ending with Sunmi’s “Gashina” and “[w]hisper to me” that I need to fix my work
habits.