U-know’s ‘NOIR’ has quickly gone onto become one of my favourite mini albums of the year so far and while that might not mean much given that we’re only 20 odd days into January, I predict it will remain in heavy rotation for the foreseeable future. This is because the project is consistent all the way through with some real standouts like the atmospheric synth driven Need You Right Now. I could have easily featured that song on here but I really wanted to highlight the gorgeous RnB duet, La Rosa.
Now I know it’s abit weird to count La Rosa as a single since it wasn’t promoted in any way but my rules for a single are pretty much “if it gets an mv or short mv it counts” so I guess almost every track off U-know’s latest mini counts as a single. But enough of that, let’s get into my thoughts on the song.
When concerning a track titled La Rosa, I expected something consisting of heavy latin influences. And while the song does incorporate its fair share of latin inspired instrumental flourishes, the tracks entire melody and structure is more akin to what I would expect from a recent Bollywood mid-tempo. Now take what you will from that statement but personally that wouldn’t usually ring to me as a compliment. But for some reason I just adore it. There’s a real sense of organic movement from one segment to another and an emotive performance right up there with the best of them. The production knows when to pull back and when to elevate the drama for a track that manages to really feel impactful without stretching itself in many really big directions. And in reality, La Rosa is a very reserved and stately song, a quality that I think really will bode well for its longevity.
But I can’t really talk about La Rosa without mentioning the great chemistry and vocal performances by both Yunho and Yeeun. I always knew that Shin Yeeun was a great actor but I never thought that she would be such a talented vocalist. Her more rich tone is a great compliment to Yunho’s more rough vocals and the two come together for a truly engaging piece. The chorus especially is a great showcase for their skills as Yunho’s fast paced delivery contrasts the slower more delicate instrumental. It’s really compelling and even more so when Yeeun and Yunho’s harmonies become more pronounced as the track goes on. This is my kind of mid-tempo and one of the years best surprises.
Final Rating: 8.75 / 10