Vromance – “She” Review

Vromance – She (Music Video)

Vromance – She

Reviewed
on August 2, 2016

“And now a reader might further
question this point, and this brings us to the ultimate takeaway: because of
“She” ‘s specific progression form and
that said form is brilliantly executed, the result is that all of the sections differ from one other. To note, “all sections”
is connoting that each individual section—not just section types (choruses, pre-choruses, etc.)—is different from one another.
Thus, it is through this interesting progression style, and of which derives
from the sections, that “She” flourishes.”

Personal Message:
To the requester of this review,
thank you once again for sending it in. Furthermore, I also apologize for the
delay—though I hope to finish this review quite soon. On a random note, as with
my prior review, I am now entirely convinced to
never excessively drag on a social digression. This is not to say that I no
longer care or have passion for sociological topics; that is not true since, if
not clear from the past review’s example, I can become quite zealous and
indeed, when social topics arise in pop culture I assert that discussions have
to take place. The issue, however, is that I went to the extent of overly
explaining and, while that may be beneficial for discussion, in terms of
focusing on the review itself and relating the sociological topics to K-Pop, I
did lose that aspect in the last review if I may critique myself. (And of
course, another issue is potential burn-out; the past review felt as if I wrote
three in terms of length, and thus that is lost energy for other potential
reviews.) And given that this is ultimately a music review blog and not a
sociology-applied-to-pop-culture blog (though that is always very much
interesting), it serves the best interest of readers and even myself to
allocate more time—or more likely, an equal amount—for the review itself than
digressions. Overall, finding a balance is what is crucial as both types of
readers—those into music reviews or those intrigued on the sociological
side—can then benefit.

Focusing on the review now, for some
technical clarifications, solely the music video is being used as I will be
excluding the choreography. Reason for that is not due to “She” lacking a
dance; there is definitely a dance with the song based on live performances.
The peculiar reason, then, is that said dance should just be considered
choreography; the “dancing” is the men shifting in place and working with their
standing microphones. Essentially that is still a dance, but because it is one
that would not be appropriately scored based on the current review outline (as
this outline does have a bias for the more general K-Pop dances—ones where
idols are moving around a stage instead of nearly standing still), I will
exclude it for fairness. For a final point to clarify, the lyrics included are
also not necessarily the most accurate, though arrogantly said I do find them
the most balanced. To explain, after looking through three translation sources (emphasis:
three) and applying my own limited knowledge, I have in many ways
“cherry-picked” the lyrics that are seen as there has been so much variations
on the lyrics. But of course, the differences are marginal; the difference
between, for example, “I will be a man” and “I’ll man up” is what I had to
decide on—nothing plot-changing at all. Nonetheless, it took a surprisingly
vast amount of effort to finally have the lyrics as is and this once again goes
to show the unreliable of being able to directly translate between languages.

Finally discussing the men of
Vromance and “She,” I have been pondering over whether to review this song, and
thankfully with a request sent in, I now have purpose to do so. Personally, for
why “She” was of interest, I have found this song to be the best example of how
“good vocals” is not synonymous at all to “explosive, powerful note holds.” Although
this is partially leaking the review, Vromance’s vocals are spectacular despite
never showcasing power at all in their singing. Thus, once again to remind
readers, vocal quality is never on what
vocals are delivered, but rather on how
the vocals are delivered. In Vromance’s case, the men do a fabulous job with
their vocals, even if they never replicate a vocal style that, for example,
MAMAMOO does—Vromance’s “sister” group. With MAMAMOO being mentioned,
especially with Vromance finally debuting, many have begun to affectionately
label the group as the boy-group-version of MAMAMOO. To that, I agree if we are
gauging solely vocal skills. Based on what we know with “She” and what we do not know with the men more individually
and their personalities (they have yet to have much camera-time, for example),
having equal vocal skills is the only viable comparison currently. Regardless,
I do believe the men to likewise flourish as MAMAMOO, and while it is desired
to see them act akin to MAMAMOO and to start releasing powerful vocals, we all
must remember that Vromance is merely the brother group of MAMAMOO and are not
MAMAMOO themselves. (RBW Entertainment, though, seems to have some secret with
training very skilled vocalists.)

Without digressing further, let us
focus on “She.” Admittedly, this song is not a personal preference; as shared
before, I prefer song styles that are similar to Fiestar’s “You’re Pitiful” and
GFriend’s “Navillera”—both of which are drastically different from “She” ‘s
style. Nonetheless, this is the first time where despite not preferring a
song’s style, its overall quality has infatuated me to the degree that I even
forget I personally dislike the style to “She.” That already should be
indicative of how potent the song is: a song that covers up preference biases
due to how outstanding the quality itself is. With all this praising, however,
let us take a more critical view to “She.” Obviously I may be surprised at the
result, but even then, there are most likely to still be flaws—or, if “She” in
a critical lens is sincerely fantastic, we should closely analyze why that is the case.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 7/10
(7.20/10 raw score) – “Above
average”


Vocals: 8/10


Sections: 7/10
(6.83/10 raw score)

Introduction, Verse,
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge (Pre-Chorus), Conclusion
(Chorus)

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Verse: 6/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 7/10

4.     Chorus: 7/10

5.     Bridge (Pre-Chorus): 7/10

6.     Conclusion (Chorus): 8/10


Instrumental: 6/10


Section Distribution: 8/10

Hyunkyu:
Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus (Total: 6)

Chandong:
Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Chorus (Total: 5)

Hyunseok:
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Chorus (Total: 4)

Janghyun:
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Chorus (Total: 4)

All:
Bridge (Pre-Chorus), Conclusion (Chorus)

Equal Value: 4.75 sections per
member.  


Lyrics: 7/10

Hi
My name is Park Hyunkyu
Hello, hello, hello, hello
Let me introduce my close friends here
Hello, hello, hello, hello

One, a comfortable friend
Two, someone who understands me very well
That’s you, a lady friend
And why is it that you look so pretty today
My heart is racing
What is wrong with me?
One, two, three, action

Something is different, she
Even her ankle is beautiful, she
The vague expression you make
You are an easygoing lady friend
who makes me feel comfortable
You, you, that was you
But you seem more than that now, she
Makes me laugh, she
I keep falling in you
I’m not a friend who is a boy but a boyfriend
What do you think about it?
How about me?

Hi
Nice to see us meet again
Hello, hello, hello, hello
Let me introduce myself
Hello, hello, hello, hello

One, so caring
Two, so understanding
That’s me, your boyfriend
What do you think?
My friends ask what is going on between us
My heart is racing
What is wrong with me?
One, two, three, action

Something is different, she
Even her ankle is beautiful, she
The vague expression you make
You are an easygoing lady friend
who makes me feel comfortable
You, you, that was you
But you seem more than that now, she
Makes me laugh, she
I keep falling in you
I’m not a friend who is a boy but a boyfriend
What do you think about it?
How about me?

Hello, hello, hello, hello
I think I sometimes get confused too
Are we just friends or
is there something more between us?
You and me
I’ll be a man and confess my love today
Get ready, I’ll tell you
One, two, three
(Woo)
Action

You make me crazy, you
(You)
No matter how hard I think about it, you
(You, you, you)
You’re an easygoing lady friend
For me for me, I said so
But see, I’m in love with you
I smile because of you, you
I fell into you
Not a friend who is a boy but boyfriend
What do you think about it?
One, two, three
What about me?

Choreography Score: */10 (*/10 raw score)

– Syncing: */10

– Key Points: */10

Overall Score: */10
(*/10 raw score)

_______________________________________________________

Analysis:
Vromance clearly outdid themselves. For a debut song and group to score at
above average, it is rather daunting—or at least, to other artists since it is
stunning for us viewers. What else will they be capable of in the future as
they continue to improve? Personal remarks aside, for this review we will
follow a rather different approach than usual protocols. For purposes of
organization, “She” would be best explained by going through the sections, and
from there as we discuss how the sections function, to have everything follow: the
vocals, the instrumental, and finally the lyrics and section distribution.
Intriguingly for why this peculiar analysis style is being used, the sections
provide the foundation to the song, as we will now uncover.

First
let us focus on the sections in a very general, open sense in order to understand
my prior point of them serving as foundation for all the other categories
(vocals, instrumental, etc.). Arguably what provides “She” its best asset is
the unique and excellent progression of the song. Specifically, “She” is a song
that continually builds up without ever halting. Indeed, it is a progression
form seldom seen in pop songs and is moreover familiar in ballad, but
nonetheless this is the form of “She.” (And on a side note, this does disprove
my earlier thought that the song would be very linear.) Before getting further,
this agreeably might sound confusing; I am not using official if at all any
musical theory terms. With that, let us have a brief moment to discuss
“progression” in songs.

When
it comes the standard K-Pop song (and many other countries’ pop music), the
progression tends to be that of a “hill”: there are exciting peaks—typically
the choruses—that are followed by resting periods such as verses or raps, and
of course the average pop song tends to have a “buildup” through sections such
as the pre-chorus. Think of Taeyeon’s
“Why”
for example. The verses in that song begin the
song’s momentum, and later that is followed up by pre-choruses that ultimately
hype the song, and from there the choruses occur as a peaking point—a climactic
point. In fact, I suggest readers trying this song out for every pop song—be it
Korean, American, and so forth. Personally, I have applied this to American Pop
and, without surprise, this same form holds for many. After all, this form is
arguably the most “public friendly” as seldom can a person dislike this form—at most one could just not like it. (And yes,
there is a difference between not liking and disliking.) On topic, though, this
is what I mean by “progression”; by this term I am referring to, quite
literally, how a song progresses throughout its run. Now of course, this “hill”
progression is not the only one at all in the world of pop music, let alone
music in its entirety. There are other forms. Another example in mind is the
one I have affectionately called the “linear” form. Fei’s
“Fantasy”
is a song that showcases this: overall, it is
unchanging in intensity. From the verses to even the concluding chorus,
although the final chorus is shifted in pitch, as noticed the overall calm,
simple flow remains the same throughout. And so, with readers hopefully having
a better sense of my reference to “progression,” let us return to “She” and see
how this all applies.

In
the case of Vromance’s song, its progression is neither “linear” nor a “hill”;
the progression for “She” is, for another newly created term, a “slope.” Think
of—perhaps for some, dreadful—algebra; a slope means that a line is constantly
on the rise (or fall). (And if I completely butcher what slope is, please
correct me as I personally lack in the sciences and math.) Likewise, this
explains “She” ‘s progression—though in rise and not decline. But
now a reader might ask: so what? How is it relevant that its form is this? In
reply, although progression forms are indeed just styles to song, Vromance’s
“She” differs in that its ability to excellently execute its specific form—that
of a “slope”—is what brings the song its main charms. Consider, for example,
that because of its form and how it is properly executed (we will get to why I
assert that later), “She” is always becoming more intense as the song progresses.
After all, the first pre-chorus for example is not matched by the second
pre-chorus since the latter includes two-part singing and slightly more amped
up vocals. And now a reader might further question this point, and this brings
us to the ultimate takeaway: because of “She” ‘s specific progression form and that said form is brilliantly
executed, the result is that all of
the sections differ from one other. To note, “all sections” is connoting that
each individual section—not just section types
(choruses, pre-choruses, etc.)—is different from one another. Thus, it is
through this interesting progression style, and of which derives from the
sections, that “She” flourishes. Now let us take a look at the how the sections
positively affect the other categories, and from there, to see how the sections
themselves hold.

When
considering the vocals, two main reasons exist for why Vromance has earned
arguably the highest score possible (since nines are very rare and that tens
are essentially impossible minus for section distributions): diversity of
vocals and that said vocals are extremely refined in terms of their sonic
appeal. Regarding why this is the case, as mentioned earlier, the sections are
to be credited along with the song’s progression. First, when it comes to the
vocals being diverse, each section contains its own specific form of singing.
The first verse, for example, may follow a soothing vocal style, but once the
choruses occur, another style is in place. Factoring in that this occurs beyond
sections types and that the first verse and second verse, for examples, also
differ in vocals—and more importantly, that it is all cohesive (since it takes
more than just different vocal
styles)—and indeed, the result is a song that remains constantly appealing with
its singing. Furthermore, in terms of the actual refined sound I referred to, this
is due to the mechanical aspects seen: the extremely high yet precisely
controlled note towards the end; the pleasant sound of smooth, lower pitched
vocals; the delivery of two-part singing that occurs from the second half of
the song; and of course, the minimal but influential vocal beltings that are
heard throughout. With all of these different pieces to the vocals—and many of
these points stemming from how the sections are formatted—the end result is a
score of eight: extremely pleasing, varied, solid singing.

In
terms of the sections themselves, rather than going into deep detail per each (though
that would be interesting as many of “She” ‘s strong qualities are in minor
details), I will provide a general overview. The verses and introduction both score
a six due to reasons as said in many reviews: sufficient in their roles, but
lacking in pushing beyond that. In other words, the verse does help progress
the song and the introduction does hook in listeners, but beyond that neither
the structure or sound to both are to a high degree—though sixes are still
admirable. Switching over to the pre-choruses, chorus, and bridge (though this
is, as labeled, the pre-chorus), all excel with form and sound. Admittedly,
though, the biggest factor to the three is that these sections are where the
bulk of the vocals appear; in the pre-choruses, chorus and bridge, Vromance’s
stellar vocals are finally unveiled. Whether it is the subtle two-part singing
that occurs in the second pre-chorus, the alluring and sharp vocal belting on the
word “she” or the beautiful, high yet tamed note hold in the bridge, these sections
greatly flourish vocally. Last of all, for the conclusion (and of which is a
reused chorus), a significant score is earned. Besides fulfilling usual roles
of ending the song without abrupt ends, this conclusion serves as an excellent example
of how execution matters much more than the content itself.

To
clarify what I mean, consider that “She” ‘s ending is merely that a
pitch-shifted ending; the conclusion is nothing more than the chorus being
replayed in a higher tune. In many cases, this form is oftentimes improperly
used, such as in Fei’s “Fantasy” as linked earlier. In Fei’s song, this type of
ending failed to deviate away from the other choruses and therefore, was
nothing more than adding redundancy to the song. On the other hand, with
Vromance’s case, the men’s song succeeds. But why is that the case if it is
exactly the same? Although the conclusion may be pitch-shifted to a higher
tune, there are additional features added—these being what is necessary, for
the most part, to have this type of ending thrive. For example, two-part
singing is constantly occurring and in comparison to the other choruses, this
is a new feature and thus redundancy is prevented. Also, with the vocal
intensity climaxing here as every member is contributing in some form, this
further helps wrap up the song. Overall, the sections to “She” are solid and
intriguingly, the successful parts to the sections are not in blatant details
but instead in the minor, almost unnoticeable details.

Quickly
addressing the instrumental, this one part may be where “She” slightly lacks.
Understandably, with Vromance’s vocals being the foremost attention, the
instrumental takes on a more passive role. The instrumental accommodates the
song and provides transition—any typical role, overall—but it does nothing
beyond that. It is not an attractive, individual instrumental that would be
pleasing on its own; instead, it relies on the addition of Vromance’s singing
to thrive. As for the section distribution, if Hyunkyu gave away one section to
the members who only had four, a nine would have been earned. As a result, with
just one section being at fault, an eight is earned. And indeed, regardless of
what statistics may claim, from a listening perspective it is well noted that
all the members are constantly contributing, such as in the background vocals.
Finally, for the lyrics, miraculously despite the rather typical plot of a
lover and their love-interest, it is the details that augment the story. We can
understand the main character’s feelings, for example, and understand why he is
even in love. Adding on, the lyrics are not repetitive; every section minus the
two choruses is of their own. That is rather impressive from both a musical
perspective (since syllables have to be equally matched—usually, that is—otherwise
melodies would be changed) and that of a plot perspective.

All
in all, Vromance’s “She” is a song that truly surprised me. Even if I had high
expectations for the men considering they are from MAMAMOO’s label company, I
am pleased to say they have not just met my expectations, but have exceeded
them. “She” is a song that provides a balanced,
vocal-orientated experience, and the most stunning aspect to the song
might have to be that despite never showcasing powerful note holds, I am still
equally shocked as if the men did in fact do that. Overall, this is definitely
an above average song (I would be skeptical to say it is more than that, however)
and considering it is a debut, it is one to watch out for. I look forward to
what else Vromance will release in the future and whether their musical style will
change at all.

_______________________________________________________

To
the requester, huge apologies for delays. I admittedly have been slacking and
have been finishing up an essay for a summer class. I hope, though, that the
wait was worth it. I also hope that this review provides a new perspective to
the song. In terms of the next review, GFriend’s “Navillera” will finally be
reviewed and more so as a reader was curious on whether I would review it. I plan
to get to it as soon as possible. And on that note, I also plan to write a few
more bonus show reviews that revolve around GFriend. Overall, there are many
reviews left to do and more to most likely come in this month. Given that I
return to university after this month, however, I might consider shortening
reviews so that I can write two in a single writing session, but more
experimenting will have to occur. On topic, for what I can confirm, GFriend’s “Navillera”
will certainly be reviewed. (And biasedly I am excited to review it considering
that it is now my favorite song of all-time.) Look forward for that review to
come. After all, “I smile because of you, you.” Nothing awkward, right?