There’s an excess of confidence on Taeyeon’s sophomore solo mini album, and it sounds absolutely thrilling – both sonically and artistically.
From a 180 degree shift in sound to an even more impressive display of vocal prowess, the Girls’ Generation leader certainly has something special brewing with this seven-track record.
The 27-year-old singer explores a bolder and glossier pop landscape on opener and title track Why, flirting with EDM influences and tropical house stylings for that international flair.
Now, there’s been much debate about K-pop embracing a decidedly more American sound lately. But Taeyeon’s neon-coloured title track works more as a progressive evolution instead of simply emulating a global pop template.
The deliberately turn-up moment in the song – with the typical swirling synths and electronic drip-drops – doesn’t sound remotely awkward. In fact, it helps in showcasing the Jeonju native as an incredibly dynamic performer.
The following Starlight gives more hints regarding Taeyeon’s pop dynamism. Employing the help of R&B newcomer Dean for some sweet harmonies, the mid-tempo number is a summer perfect jam thanks to its buoyant melodies and lovesick intonations.
Elsewhere, WHY sees the singer experimenting with a multitude of genres. The collaboration with fellow bandmate Hyoyeon – despite being one of the more lacklustre numbers – is made interesting with its 1960s jazz undertone.
The rest of the album gets by with impressive melodies and a general feel-good vibe. As a follow-up to her debut I, WHY is a super solid statement.