By: Claudia Siregar |
The long-awaited release from K-pop sensation Lee Hi, who is famous for her sultry, unusually mature voice is finally out. 24° C, Lee Hi’s first EP since her debut in 2012, was released under YG Entertainment on May 30, 2019. Taking on a soulful R&B direction, the EP proves to be Lee Hi’s finest release yet, with features from some of the hottest names in K-pop such as iKON’s B.I and K-R&B star G.Soul. Lee Hi herself is no stranger to collaborating with big stars in the industry, having worked with big names such as Epik High, Bobby of iKON, Suhyun of Akdong Musician, Code Kunst, and even the late Jonghyun of Shinee, who wrote her the single “Breathe”.
The first song off the EP is “No One”, an upbeat, charting track featuring iKON’s B.I, who participated in writing the lyrics as well. The song talks about loneliness and the desire to find a lover, with sensual R&B and tropical house-inspired beats inspired by 80’s Korean pop. Moving on, we have “No Way”, an R&B ballad featuring G.Soul. This piano-based track showcases Lee Hi harmonizing with G.Soul’s contrastingly high-pitched voice – an impressive duet at its best. The ballad theme continues with “Love Is Over”, a soulful ballad in which Lee Hi’s vocals shine throughout the track, singing about going through a bad breakup that causes her to lose hope in love.
However, the ballad theme ends with her collaborative track “1, 2”, singing alongside Choi Hyun Suk of YG’s upcoming boyband TREASURE. Coming back to the usual singer + rapper formula, this combination is somewhat reminiscent of the typical 90’s Western pop singer and rapper collab first trended by Mariah Carey with her hit “Fantasy”. “20Min”, the last track off the short yet memorable EP, proves to be a simple yet exceptional closing track in which Lee Hi sings softly over the sound of acoustic guitar, still retaining the same sensual theme that prevails throughout the EP. Overall, the EP doesn’t draw influences from a diverse range of musical styles (unlike Mino, another YG artist who has also recently released his first solo album), yet it doesn’t sound monotonous – quite the achievement, as creating an EP that sounds focused yet doesn’t bore the public itself is an art.
Overall rating: 8.2/10
Favourite track: Love Is Over
Listen to the EP here: