Sometimes music pushes on your heart like pressing your tongue on a sore tooth. It hurts so much, but you can’t stop. You actually kinda like it. Just like that, you’ve suddenly turned a normal, blah day into a second adolescence full of angst and feelings. Shiver. It’s kind of amazing how quickly just the right song can make that happen.
When I’m feeling the need for some solid ‘I wish I could cry’ time, there’s one Kpop song that hits the mark every time. And if I’m not mistaken, it does the same for a friend or two that I’ve shared it with. Highlight’s song It’s Still Beautiful touches a chord deep inside of me and I’m not sure if it’s the simple, sad lyrics over the stark piano, if it’s the rhythm, or the key, or the abrupt end. Likely, it’s all of it rolled up into one neat package. The MV is sad too, but I actually choose to assign my own scenario to the song rather than rely on their interpretation.
For those unfamiliar with Highlight, let me catch you up. The group debuted in 2009 as Beast to some mixed reviews. They were frequently dissed as being “a group of recycled material,” meaning they weren’t original and deserved their position as a mediocre product in a sea of talented idols. But as time has gone by, as they’ve worked their asses off, they’ve become one of the most lauded and awarded boy groups in the industry. Beast started off with six members, but in 2016 Jang Hyun Seung, of Troublemaker fame, left proclaiming a difference in musical styles from the other members. In December of 2016, the remaining members left Cube Entertainment and rebranded in 2017 as Highlight under the management of Around Us Entertainment. They’ve managed the transition beautifully and been able to keep the public’s attention and put out decent tunes on a regular basis.
It’s Still Beautiful was the pre-release track on the 9th EP released by the group (counting the Beast releases), Can You Feel It?. This was the first album put out after the re-branding. The song that kills me on the regular was co-written and co-produced by member Yong Jun-Hyung and producer Kim Tae Joo. Looking at his list of songs, it’s pretty easy to conclude that this particular producer is responsible for much of Beast’s/Highlight’s sound throughout their entire career. Bravo, sir.
It’s Still Beautiful, Highlight