The second song, titled “Set Me Free“, hits a little harder than the title track, and in some ways, gets a lot of things right that “Tarantallegra” got wrong. For starters, the rap section (delivered by Bizzy) functions properly and effectively. It’s not dropping in between verses as a poor, looped transitional tool, but rather aids the flow and intensity of the song in all the right places without becoming repetitive.
The song reminds me of a remastered male version of Britney Spears‘ “Womanizer“. The propelling backbeat and pulsating synths weaken my knees when I listen to it, and Junsu’s auto-tuned falsetto ad-libs only intensify the Brit-Brit comparisons. You could literally perform the choreography of “Womanizer” to this song, that’s how great of a carbon copy it is.
It’s a decent warm-up club banger at best, and that’s more than anything I can say about the lead single, so this one’s a winner among the up-tempo tracks in the album.
“No Gain” is the first of several mid-tempos. It’s a simple vocal-piano accompaniment with a generic drumkit. While the arrangement is nothing new (verging on dull), this is what Junsu has become over the years. He likes these R&B/power pop songs with a lot of drama and smooth qualities, and this song possesses both.
Unfortunately, the generic-ness of it all didn’t do much to help this song stand out, even with Junsu giving me all of that lush, whiny singing that I love to hear*.
*Was it just me or did Yoochun appear a few times in this song?
Then the album really hits the breaks with the OST track, “사랑이 싫다구요“. Thus far, the prettiest thing on the album. Junsu is one of a few singers that I love to hear on ballads as equally as I do on up-tempos. A lot of idols are fit for only one side of the coin, and that’s perfectly fine, but Junsu’s range and vocal depth is so fucking profound that he can sing anything to perfection. He has the very rare quality of making you melt with his voice, and he does that with flying colors on this song.
Considering that this is indeed an OST track, it explains why the production is a tad more complex than anything we’ve heard so far. It’s gentle, perfectly paced, and the chorus soars. All of the intricate elements in the instrumental really complement Junsu’s delicate vocal performance, like the subtle whistles in the background and the small glides of the electric guitar. All of these details keep the song interesting, which is always nice to hear in a ballad, because the last thing you want is a slow song that bores rather than captivates.
“돌고 돌아도” follows the lead of “사랑이 싫다구요” and delivers yet another gorgeous ballad. This one hits me a lot stronger than the previous one, as it welcomes a refreshing choir of female voices (unless that’s also Junsu; I wouldn’t doubt it) that break up the listening experience for me. I always like to hear sweeps of freshness in a song, kind of like that feeling of relief when you take off your headphones after an hour or so of wearing them, and that’s what these female voices do for me in this song.
One of the best tracks on the album, definitely.