With a new single, new album and an accompanying music video released, fans of Seattle-based Korean singer Jay Park couldn’t get enough of the 24-year-old, as he brought ‘Abandoned’ to them in style.
Within less than a week, views for the music video rose to a million and debuted on South Korea’s Gaon chart at #6, the highest so far for a track produced from outside the peninsula.
YouTube user aznflipboijayke19 called Park “Korean Usher”, referring to the 7-time Grammy Award-winning R&B singer of African-American descent.
As if that was not enough, Park released yet another video for his 2nd single – ‘오늘밤’ (Tonight), this one mustering only a third of views compared to ‘Abandoned’.
Still, what is it about the former leader of 2PM that keeps fans and netizens on their feet, wanting more? The UrbanWire Takes a Deeper Look – literally, at hype surrounding him and his album of the same title, ‘Taking a Deeper Look’.
Joining the lonely hearts club band – ‘Abandoned’
‘Abandoned’ is a sultry and rather heartbreaking ballad about, well, a girl’s abandoning of her man (Park, in this instance) and how her departure has affected him. Park has no hesitation about jumping straight into the topic, starting with the first verse “니가 떠난 날 믿기질 않았어 (I couldn’t believe you have left me)”.
The game of disbelief and denial continues throughout, “말도 안돼 어떻게 니가 떠나/ 난 영원할 줄 알았단 말이야 이게 어떻게 된 사랑이야 (No way you could have left me/ I thought it was forever / What happened to our love?)”.
But it’s not just the lyrics that make Park’s act a convincing one. Park, who released singles like ‘Bestie’ prior to this album, is known for his forceful and precise diction. Gnarling away at every heart-wrenching verse, listeners will agree that even they feel the pain of abandonment inherent throughout Park’s song.
Could this possibly be an allegory to his departure from his former band 2PM, which once consisted of 7 members? Park was left emotionally devastated after his contract termination with JYP Entertainment in late 2009. Unless he says so, we may never know.
The music video incorporates movement dance style, with a cameo from America’s Best Dance Crew finalist SoReal Cru‘s Andrew Baterina, whose Texas-based crew earned fame as the first runner-up in the 2nd season of the reality dance competition in 2008 and guest rapper Dok2, who casually strolls through his verses.
Letting hair down and love go – ‘Tonight’
Stripping off the melancholy of ‘Abandoned’, ‘Tonight’ is a complete turnaround of emotions. With a thumping party beat similar to ‘I Gotta Feeling‘ by The Black Eyed Peas and uplifting lyrics, ‘Tonight’ is the perfect feel-good song to dance to. Fans who love watching dance practice clips of Park and his Art of Movement crew are in for a treat this time, as the music video sequence featuring choreographer Haw from South Korean hip-hop crew is included as the intro.
Like the first single, ‘Abandoned’, Park includes a cameo – this time with star power, in the form of Davichi member Kang Min Kyung.
Amusingly, the lyrics seem to echo that of what is though to be the worst song ever – Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday‘. “샤워를 하고 난 후 말끔히 입고 난 후 (Gotta get fresh, gotta dress up)”, kind of goes along the lines of “gotta get fresh, gotta go downstairs”, don’t you think?
Nonetheless, the standard of production by Cha Cha Malone and the music video are sure to put a smile on fans’ faces and potentially match up to the hype of an earlier released song of the same name – ‘Tonight’ by Big Bang.
Jay Park – Similar to Big Bang’s Taeyang?
Amidst the excitement, there was a growing number of comments on the music video of Abandoned. These comments were in the vein of “Is it just me or does he kind of reminds [sic] you of Taeyang in this video?”
Such seemingly harmless statements of this nature, have been the focal point of conflict among fans of Jay and those loyal to Big Bang’s R&B maestro, with mudslinging and exchanges of strong language witnessed on the comments section itself.
Most of the comments ranged from Jay Park sporting a new mohawk – a signature hairstyle of the 23-year-old Taeyang for more than 3 years – to his dress style, donning tight T-shirts and shades to pull off a ‘cool boy swag’.
Thankfully, among the hecklers came rational, level-headed YouTubers who were quick to stifle any argument. “Let(‘)s not start the whole Jay & Taeyang thing alright? Both of them are good in different ways.” Well said, YouTuber mickey1605.
We give Jay Park’s comeback 4 stars for superb choreography, impressive use of English as a native speaker as well as the fact that this rapper has been able to turn detractors, those who expressed hatred towards him in the past, into accepting him.
Most certainly, Jay Park’s myspace comment scandal which led to his ejection from 2PM has become a thing of the past, as he moves on with a new crew, new style and new type of swag. With victories on Korean music chart-show Music Bank, there is much to look forward to from Jay Park. Rock on.