As one of K-pop’s biggest stars, every Taeyeon feels like a real moment. She’s cultivated a massive fandom both domestically and internationally, both as a member of the legendary Girls Generation as well as a soloist, resulting in massive commercial success. But despite her incredible voice, her solo efforts have usually been more mid-tempo fair, favouring laid back beats or hearty melodies that are strong but quite safe. And though it’s an approach that has resulted in some honestly incredible work, most of her output has just hasn’t been for me. However, sometimes all you need is one killer track to reel me back in, and the sleek, house influenced INVU is exactly that.
In many ways, INVU reminds me a lot of Key’s Bad Love from last year. No, it’s no where near as revolutionary or as instantly gripping but it represents a newfound sound and concept that’s a perfect match with its artist. No other artist could pull off Bad Love with as much pathos and personality as Key and no other artist could imbue INVU with so much weight and beauty as Taeyeon. She absolutely kills it, imbuing both the quieter and louder moments of the track with so much gravitas and charisma that INVU manages to feel like a real MOMENT. It’s Taeyeon at her absolute peak, blending the best parts of her softer tracks with her powerful, weighty vocals to showcase a performance that allows her to really come into her own.
But as with any great track, the production plays an equally important role in selling the overall package. The dull electric throb and airy synths that power the track are atmospheric in ways that many tracks attempt but never quite get, creating a soundscape that feels suitably evocative whilst also nailing its hypnotic, trance inspired approach. This creates a production that feels full-bodied and complete, free of any mood killing diversions that may dull further listens, As such, INVU has had an immense amount of staying power over the past few weeks. And while the track does threaten to drag during its verses, the potent pre-chorus and endlessly replay-able hook are always just around the corner to make sure that INVU stands as Taeyeon’s strongest effort in ages.
Final Rating: 9 / 10