Due to the very nature of music, there are going to be songs that many of us will have very strong personal connections to. They might be songs that we adore purely on musical merit or they might be tied to memories or moments that linger within our minds every time the track replays. With this segment, I’ll feature some tracks that connect with me at a very personal level and shed some light on how and why I think they’re great.
Though it may seem to those who read my reviews that my favourite kinds of tracks are those relentlessly upbeat, synth infused bangers (and yes I do love them very much), I should confess that my absolute favourite songs are those that embrace the more melancholic and nostalgic side of pop music. These are tracks that usually stick with me the most and given how the other two tracks featured on this feature so far are both songs heavily tinged with melancholy, it shouldn’t be surprising that Woozi’s incredible Simple follows a similar soundscape. It’s not a track that many would instantly tout as their favourite Seventeen or Seventeen adjacent track but while it has very stiff competition from the likes of Very Nice, Adore You and Mansae, there’s just something about Simple that not only makes it my favourite Seventeen song, but one of my all time favourite songs in any language period.
From its opening piano and synth laden backdrop to its climactic guitar solo, there’s not a single moment in Simple‘s flawless brew that feels undercooked, overlong or boring. This is a perfect pop song latched onto its perfect performer and the results are just sublime. Woozi has always been a great vocalist and his presence in the groups fantastic discography has always been one of the groups greatest pulls. But he’s a completely different beast in Simple. He carries every moment of an already weighty track with so much pathos and emotion that it helps make an already potent package into something truly transcendent. The soft rock instrumental is the perfect companion, lending a real sense of emotion and grandeur to the gorgeous melody that Woozi delivers with a true sense of emotion. All at once powerful yet frail. I adore the extended guitar solo’s that follow each chorus. They really open the track up and give a sense of freedom and warmth whilst also lending it an almost epic feel.
But what really makes Simple one of my absolute favourite songs of all time is the stunning chorus. I just love love love how there’s a small moment of silence in the instrumental before the instrumental just explodes as the truly stunning melody just washes over you like a wave. The melody here just soars, transforming into something that feels absolutely magical. It’s the complete antithesis of many modern day K-pop tracks, putting a perfect, pop melody at the forefront and letting it just carry the track. It’s all at once cathartic, nostalgic, hopeful and sad, coming together for an extended sequence that is instantly memorable and just gets better and better the more you listen. Simple isn’t a track that’s quick to lay out all its tricks. It takes its time, going through many repetitions of its chorus and unveiling new tricks before it climaxes in an absolutely euphoric finale. It’s retro but at the same time modern. It’s sad but at the same time uplifting. But more than anything, it’s a song that really hits me unlike many others. And that’s why I consider to be such a classic.
Final Rating: 10/ 10