GRAPHIC BY CAROL LI
By BELINDA KUO
Taeyeon’s new single will have you feeling “Blue” if you don’t listen during all “Four Seasons.”
Taeyeon, leader of the renowned Korean Pop (K-Pop) girl group Girls’ Generation, released a new single on March 24. Respected as a solo artist, Taeyeon’s new release allows her to embody the four seasons in one song. “Four Seasons” is also a metaphor for a relationship and its ups and downs. A mere several hours following the release, the single topped seven major real-time charts, including major Korean lists such as Melon, Genie, Bugs, Mnet, Naver, Soribada and Flo.
Accordingly, the accumulation of the single’s catchy beats, sentimental lyrics and beautiful cinematography combine to create an alluring collage of the four seasons.
Primarily, “Four Seasons” has its catchy beats and dropping bass. The song initially starts off soft, almost as if when first falling in love. The guitar is strummed, creating a very mellow and peaceful vibe. However, as the honeymoon period ends, the bass drops and the guitar sounds are hidden behind the stronger bass and electronic techno sounds. Essentially, Taeyeon’s initial ballad voice turns into a pop song, with her using stronger vocals to correspond with the change in tempo. By the end of the song, the tempo begins to slow down to what it was like in the beginning, symbolizing the continuation of the cycle and the four seasons, before the pickup in tempo yet again. The quick change in meter shows how unpredictable love can be and how quickly love can change, as soon as the four seasons come and go.
In addition, the song’s emotional and affectionate lyrics allow the audience to truly understand a relationship’s pinnacles and failures. For instance, the lyrics state, “The four seasons come and go, I gave you my winter and summer too, You were my world but I will let you go.” The lyrics compare the ups to summer and downs to winter, demonstrating the good and bad sides within a relationship. The lyrics also have lots of rhetorical questions, causing listeners to contemplate their own relationships and relate to the song. For example, the lyrics state, “When did it become spring? We could only see each other, Now I want something new.” This reflects that in good relationships, time passes quickly and is very enjoyable. However, over time, many relationships take a downfall, and partners end up wanting “something new,” foreshadowing a breakup or a new beginning. Overall, the song paints a realistic portrait of love through the dynamics of the four seasons.
Furthermore, the music video is complementary to the intense emotional appeal in the song itself. For instance, at the beginning of the song, Taeyeon is seen lying by mattresses in a room by herself, with sunlight shining on her body. She wears clothing that matches the feelings. The loneliness in the scene corresponds to the lyrics “You were my world but I will let you go.” Taeyeon wears a navy dress shirt in a dimly lit room to show her sadness. The lyric “Let’s shine again, the two seasons are changing,” symbolizes a new beginning and lots of happiness. The room is brightly lit with lots of white furniture, including sculptures. Taeyeon wears a long, white dress, looking like an angel. The constant juxtaposition of light and dark correlates with the many emotions that are part of a relationship, showing that Taeyeon can make listeners feel the “four seasons” within a relationship.
Ultimately, “Four Seasons” is the perfect comeback for Taeyeon as a solo artist. After a five-month hiatus, this song is truly a pleasure for all listeners. The song demonstrates Taeyeon’s ability to make listeners feel different emotions, as well as her beauty and genius. While the song and music video give a more retro vibe, this release comes to show that the K-Pop industry is everchanging, and Taeyeon is sure to continue dominating charts with her solo activities even after “Four Seasons” pass, time and time again.