The B-Sides: Taeyeon (Ballads)

Before I begin, some of you may be asking, what are B-sides? Well, Wikipedia provides the following definition for A-sides:

The A-side usually featured the recording that the artist, record producer, or the record company intended to receive the initial promotional effort and then receive radio airplay, hopefully, to become a “hit record”.

Based on this definition, the B-sides of an album are the songs which are NOT promoted, and they are usually the songs without music videos.

I am starting a thread of blog entries titled “The B-sides” in order to bring attention to the underrated songs of a certain artist. The B-sides of an album are often overlooked by the songs with music videos, and I hope to change this even in the slightest way. Also, this has the underlying purpose of introducing you to a different side of a certain artist. Maybe you don’t like the title tracks of a group, but you might like the B-sides instead!

(Anyway, let’s get started on the actual thing, shall we?)

Whether you like it or not, Taeyeon is one of the most popular female solo artists in Korea at the moment. Charismatic and talented leader of Girls’ Generation, she has an awe-inspiring vocal range and even has the visuals that Koreans love. She is the whole package. Also, it is truly amazing how diverse her solo discography is. There is definitely at least one song from her that you will find to be your type. From high-energy rock songs to R&B jams, take your pick! But her discography can be mostly divided into main categories: ballads and non-ballads. I define ballads to be slow and emotional songs. Ballads are usually sad, but there are a few which are hopeful or happy. Non-ballads are exactly the opposite; they are upbeat and lively. I will start with a list of ballads first, and I will release a list of non-ballads in a few days’ time!

(For your information, most of Taeyeon’s songs that top the Korean music charts are ballads, so you can be guaranteed of their quality >_<)

(Also, her songs are available on Spotify so you can listen to her songs without paying extra money 🙂 her songs are available on Apple Music too! But to be honest, most K-pop artists are…)

1. Time Lapse (Album: My Voice)

Time Lapse is definitely my favorite ballad from her. It is a song that simply overwhelms you. As the song progresses, the instrumentals gradually increase in loudness and intensity until they almost drown out Taeyeon’s voice. Take a break from your stressful life with this powerful rock ballad. After I listened to this song for this first time, I was left stunned and amazed. My breath was taken away. And yours should be too.

2. Night (Album: Why)

Night is the only ballad on her second EP Why, which is acceptable considering that the album is meant to fit the mood of summer. I find this to be most modern of her ballads, as it incorporates a few features of contemporary R&B. Muffled piano chords are the foundation of this song; rhythmic hand claps and persistent drum beats join in into the song. Also notable about this song it is not overwhelmingly sad or emotional, but it is more of melancholic. If you need a song that can help you stay awake in the darkest hours of night, this is the one.

3. Secret (digital single; released as the B-side of Rain)

Secret is a literal secret; it is often overshadowed by Rain. However, I prefer the former because of how quiet it is. While Rain features a massive and grand orchestra of instruments, Secret makes things simple with just the piano and violin. Secret has a fragile beauty to it, as though Taeyeon’s emotions can break even with the slightest touch, and I absolutely love that. A typically structured ballad, but the effect of Taeyeon’s voice on this song is almost magical.

4. Sweet Love (Album: My Voice)

Probably the only happy song in this list, Sweet Love is, well, sweet. Taste a dose of heaven as you fly along with Taeyeon’s high notes, which are easily the emotional climaxes of the song. It is truly a pleasant addition to Taeyeon’s discography, the light piano-based melody proving that. The classic love song that you simply can’t help but appreciate.

5. Gemini (Album: I)

Gemini is an R&B ballad with a jazzy flair. It stands out from the rest of Taeyeon’s ballads in terms of how fancy and sophisticated it sounds. I can definitely imagine running into this song at a hotel lobby or a comfy lounge. Dynamically produced, Gemini relaxes your senses with sounds that are soft on the ears and glide seamlessly over one another.

6. U R (Album: I)

It can be argued that U R is Taeyeon’s most popular B-side, and there’s good reason why. People of all ages, young and old, are simply amazed whenever Taeyeon performs this live. And I would be too. The vocal range that is displayed here is just jaw-dropping. She can pull off extremely powerful ballads like these pretty easily, and that’s what impresses me a LOT. It is an epic song with epic instrumentals that ends this list on a high and epic note.

(P.S: Do you have any suggestions on who I should review next? Comment and I will consider your opinions!)

 

 

 

 

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