[Review] Sweater – Ailee

Ailee is nominated for Best Female Solo Artist in the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. To support Ailee and your other favourite artists, click here to vote before the 31st of December.

Earlier this year, Ailee made her long awaited comeback with Room Shaker. However, it was quickly forgotten due to lack of promotions and what was assumed to be conflict with her managing company. But since then, Ailee has signed with another company, making way for new releases in the future. She has also signed with an American company for future releases in the Western market. Her first release since signing on with different companies comes in the form of Sweater, a single released in both Korean and English.

Described as a Christmas ballad, Ailee draws our attention to Sweater in an effortless manner by appealing to our emotions through a beautiful and elegant sounding piece. Per usual, the ballad opts for a simple piano and violin instrumental, providing a very bare blank canvas for Ailee’s vocals to paint a picture on. And the image she manages to draw just sounds amazing. Her voice alone captivates and builds in a manner that makes the song as captivating as a dance track that builds perfectly into a dynamic piece. The only thing that changes between the two versions of the song are the language that the lyrics are in. I had expected there to be minute differences in the melody or overall audio aesthetics of the song (as often observed in Japanese version of Korean tracks and vice versa), but Ailee seems to have managed to polished both in a manner that these minute differences are well covered up or are non-existent.

Yes, you can feel the emotions when you listen to Ailee sing the song. But the music video just enhances the emotions you feel so that it is a lot more impact. Everyone we see in the music video has experienced loss. And from what I know, Christmas in Korea is more of a time to spend with your lover or friend, rather than family. So in this video, we see the first guy leave flowers by the intersection where his fiance was killed. The piano playing lady lost her husband and is counting down the days to his anniversary. The female student lost her mother, while the old man lost his wife. But each of these people have an item from their significant other. The guy has the two rings, the piano lady has a diary, the student has a key ring and old man has a notepad of his wife’s recipes. The saddest part is seeing them hold these items to themselves and watching them cry, as Ailee’s voice echoes in the background. In the end, we see them with their loved ones in a shop, showing the bond they had and still have during the Christmas period.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 10/10

Overall Rating – 10/10

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