[This review was written and scheduled a few months back in preparation for my absence in December. The standard posts for the end of the year (comebacks I have missed in November & December, the end of year charts + KPOPreviewed awards) will be written and posted after my return. No weekly charts will be uploaded for the last week of November and all of December.]
Ailee released If You as a pre-release single off her latest mini-album, A New Empire. This release occurred on the 23rd of August this year. This ended up being her first release since her comeback in 2015.
This ballad is. by far, one of the best ballads of the year. The song fits the Summer season (when it was initially released) perfectly. When it comes to the words Ballad and Summer are in the same sentence, this song’s instrumental is what you expect. Throw in Ailee’s vocal work and you have a pretty good song. It just lacks impact. All of Ailee’s songs (and even Ailee’s Home, which I deemed lacking as well) are hard-hitting. This just doesn’t reach that peak. But still, it is a pretty nice song to listen to. Actually, the combination of vocals and instrumental sounds like a happy tune from a gospel choir or like one of those beautiful sounding soulful songs. The way she opens each chorus was “If You~” sounds effortlessly amazing and it stays in my head every single time I hear the song. Her ad-libs towards the end were amazing as well.
The video features Nayoung from I.O.I. She plays the female in the video. Not sure who the male is. The video is a little confusing to understand, but you do get it in the end. Essentially, everything she sees is flashbacks of her past relationships. She has to leave them behind (i.e. enter a new door) to get over them. So the video is like her journey. In the end, she reaches her goal of getting past her old relationships (because clearly, she doesn’t want those memories to be repeated with her current boyfriend) and embraces her current boyfriend. The plot ties in nicely with the lyrics. Not really liking the acting in the video. Her face seems a little frozen. If her facial expressions were more expressive, I think I would have liked the video a little bit more. But overall, the video is nice to watch.
Rating – 9/10