If you have read almost any of my posts in the last year or listened to Stephanie on the podcast when my musical tastes pop up, you will know that I reserve the absolute softest part of my heart for Jeong Sewoon. He is one of the brightest diamonds in a field of gems. But as a solo artist in the world of Kpop, the likelihood of my getting to see him on tour in the US is very, very slim. I didn’t even think to consider him for my list of two artists I would see this year if they come to the US. And now that I say that, it breaks my heart.
When it was announced that Sewoon would be releasing a comeback in March, Plus Minus Zero or +-0, my chest tightened at the idea that we might see him when we went to MCountdown. When the date was officially pinned down as March 19 (after the show) I thought we might get tickets for the comeback stage and I was momentarily giddy at the thought. When it sold out to members of the fan club in minutes, I thought for sure I’d at least get to buy the new mini album while we were in Seoul. Damned if it wasn’t released until the day we left and it wasn’t available among the limited number of albums at the airport. It’s like even Korea is trying to stop me from connecting with him.
But he continues to put out music so outside of my wheelhouse and yet so perfectly in tune with what my little ears and soul desire that I can’t stay upset. And this time, one of my fav rappers is featured on the title track. It’s like he knows exactly how to keep me invested. The track, The Feeling, harkens back to those upbeat pop songs that he’s so, so good at. Guitar over the backing track, strong vocals with a little falsetto, head bobbing, and a shoulder wiggle. And he’s grown so well since his comeback last year. He’s maturing into quite the gorgeous young man, filling out in the chest, slimming out in the face, tall and lean. It is both glorious and painful to watch him.
At the break in the song, where Penomeco pops in with his rap, the music shifts to almost a Latin beat for just that moment. At first, I admit that it felt a bit Frankenstein, a bit cobbled together. But it works. It really works. Their voices are similar enough that they rub together beautifully and their styles are different enough that the shift in tone actually serves to highlight their individual singer-songwriter styles. Because though he’s the rapper on this track, Penomeco is a talented singer-songwriter all on his very own.
I may also just be insanely biased toward both of them.
Feeling, Jeong Sewoon (ft. Penomeco)
The second single released with an MV is called My Ocean. It’s soft ballad telling a lonely love story. The video is gorgeous and slow with shots of tea flowers in water, Sewoon staring at the ocean, a reel to reel voice recorder, a fireplace. It’s the epitome of every long lost love you’ve ever wept over in your room late at night when you should be sleeping. I DON’T LIKE SONGS LIKE THIS. I love it so much.
My Ocean, Jeong Sewoon