Musician-turned-actor Choi Youngjae of the popular South Korean group GOT7, is the last one amongst the members to have finally gone the solo way. Following the group’s departure earlier this year from their former company JYP Entertainment, all seven of them found new representations to take their solo careers forward while still being members of GOT7. On October 5, Youngjae released his solo album COLORS from Ars. He presented the fans with seven tracks, each with a unique trace of its own. Youngjae, whose pseudonym is Ars, co-wrote, arranged, and composed the songs for his solo album. He is the fourth member of GOT7 to release an album this year while rest three members have released singles.
COLORS from Ars is a colorful presentation of music and lyrics for emotions like love, loss, and hope. Youngjae proved his musical versatility once again with his solo debut mini-album. Let’s take a closer look at this musical picture painted by Youngjae.
The album begins with ‘Beautiful’, a delicate and chill track. It also sets the tone for the forthcoming songs. It is a soft track that plays on bringing out the beauty of Youngjae’s vocals. It features minimal instruments which a just apt for a warm and fuzzy song like ‘Beautiful’. It will make you feel you are beautiful and loved right from the moment it begins – “Beautiful girl in this beautiful world/ So will you look at me too?”
‘Tasty’ does not leave any space to miss out on the food puns. From strawberries to cream, champagne to the margarita, there is not one flavour or food that is missed to express the infatuation. With lyrics like “We’ll be poppin’ champagne or margarita / You and I’ll be getting love drunk, yeah” the song is cheesy, breezy, and flavourful and that’s what makes it a fun listen. The mixture of pop and R&B genres will leave you wanting more!
The title track of the album, ‘Vibin’, is a smooth dance-pop track with house beats. The vibe of the song is quite rustic and laid back. It is all about indulging in the attraction between two souls. The song features Youngjae going on a long ride in sunny weather while crooning the groovy track followed by a beautiful dance sequence with a female partner. The dance-pop song features lovable lyrics like “Keep it going now / It’s our own love song.”
The next three tracks from Youngjae’s solo album are ‘Roses’, ‘Eternal’ and ‘Moonlight’. He puts the REM in “REM Sleep” with these tracks. Each track is soft and somber, making it a perfect jam on a late night when you are looking to unwind with a set of soulful music. The minimal instruments and Youngjae’s soulful vocals are just the sounds you need to fall into a happy trance. Like one needs REM sleep for sound health, one definitely needs these tracks for a sound music experience!
A classic lo-fi track with synth beats, ‘Roses’ creates a smooth atmosphere. The layering in the chorus vocals surrounded with tap-tap-tap beats lends a hypnotic feel. Be ready to be transported in a rose-filled trance with this song, more so when he sings “Our colors are spreading like / Light breeze, feeling higher/ We bloom, roses / Pretty roses that resemble you.”
‘Eternal’ begins with piano notes that ready the listeners for what comes next. Once again falling back to minimalistic piano tunes, Youngjae belts out a harmonious ballad when he sings “Time flies so fast / When we look at each other / I still have a lot to say / There’s a lot to say”.‘ It is a bitter-sweet love ballad that laments about time passing fast and expresses the desire to have an eternity with one’s loved one.
‘Moonlight’ is yet another ballad offering from this album. The music is more prominent and steady-paced to support the almost flowing vocals. The momentary pauses in the song feels incomplete, but the feeling is soon gone as Youngjae begins singing again after the lines– “We’re slow dancing under / Moonlight, moonlight, moonlight”. The live version of ‘Moonlight’ will definitely give goosebumps.
Youngjae first sang ‘Lonely’ at the 501 Levi’s Online Concert in May 2021. Soon after his performance video was released, Ahgases (fandom name) took to social media to express their joy and appreciation for ‘Lonely’. It was only natural for the song to receive the love once again in his solo debut album. Lyrically speaking, it is quite different from its album predecessors, but the song leaves an impact nonetheless. The mild synth and lo-fi beats compliment the lyrics “I comfort myself alone / I’m lonely like this every day” and thus, produce a hauntingly beautiful effect.
When heard separately, the songs hold out on their own, but when put together in an album, they just fit together and form a dynamic hue. Like John Green wrote in his book The Fault in our Stars – “…I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”– it also applies to Youngjae’s album COLORS from Ars. As he sings the opening track Beautiful, and by the time one reaches the final track ‘Lonely’, you realize you’re already in love with the songs. If one were to pick a tint for Youngjae’s album, then it would be a difficult choice, because each song has a shade of its own that paints the listener in its vibrant music.
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