Jessica Jung is probably one of the most famous idols in all of kpop. Having been an integral part of the absolutely iconic girl group, Girls’ Generation, gaining superstar level with them, and then the eventual controversy regarding her leaving the group in 2014, it’s safe to say that she has had a rollercoaster of a career. Being signed by SM Entertainment when she was 11 years old whilst on holiday from the US to South Korea, she trained for 7 years before debuting, becoming the first member of Girls’ Generation. The group gained massive popularity, both at home in the Korean market, and overseas, launching the young women into stratospheric popularity. Jessica not only founded her own design brand, but was often a steady guest on the carousel of variety shows that litter Korean tv. When her own business activities became her primary focus, by 2014.  her agency and her “decided to part ways”. How much of this was SM booting Jessica out and how much was her wanting to leave will never really be known. However, in 2016, Jessica announced that she had signed with Coridel Entertainment, a new agency created in 2015 based out of New York, United States. Her album, “With Love, J” was released in May 2016, with the title song, “Fly”. Jessica had worked on the majority of the songs on this album, and with her new comeback album, “Wonderland’, she has again had a lot of input in her music, which is just a delight. I love when kpop artists get to work on their own music, it makes it so much more personal, and they always seem so much more pleased with the output.

Now that you know who Jessica is, let’s have a look at her latest comeback, shall we?

Wonderland

Song

The song screams winter release, doesn’t it? In a sort of an unconventional way. It suits the release time perfectly but isn’t confined to being locked into being a Christmas song. It’s got a soft beat, a spiraling beat that seems really typical for this time of the year, without being too cliche. One of the things that really dates songs for me is when groups release something at a specific time of year, like Twice’s “”TT”, or Alphabat’s “Surprise Party” What I like about Wonderland is that it doesn’t really do that. Yes, it’s definitely a winter release, but I can totally see myself dancing around to this next summer at a bbq with friends and a few beers. Not so much for “Surprise Party”. The chorus is insanely catchy, and I find myself humming it hours after my last listen,, and it makes me smile each time I do. There is something infectious about this song and I love it.

The lyrics themselves aren’t much to write home about. The standard “I love you, you’re perfect, let’s make the world for the two of us” fare, really. But the melody and beat definitely make up for the otherwise weak lyrics. Maybe weak is too harsh, standard is probably better. Lyrics such as “You give me butterflies, shall I fly?” aren’t going to be winning any originality awards. It’s certainly not a bad song, lyrically, just similar to a thousand other things we’ve all heard a thousand times.

 

Video

This video is beautiful. No two ways about it. Jessica looks incredible in absolutely every outfit and hairstyle she has. She is always framed in a soft light that makes her look she is glowing, and her blonde hair compliments the lighting perfectly. The video itself seems to have been shot in a rustic village somewhere in Europe, with gorgeous backdrops from the stone cottage to the snow covered mountains.

There is no overarching deep meaningful plot in this. Jessica finds a postcard in an old book, and slowly begins to imagine what the vista would be like to experience. The video presents to us exquisite views of both Jessica and the breathtaking countryside. All images are shot to be presented as a fantasy, with floating books, and indoor snow. The cinematography in this is just stunning, with some of my favorite stills from any kpop video this year being in it. The one of Jessica standing on stone pier with the green sea around her makes what was already a great video into an almost perfect one.  


It’s the video that really sells this as being a Christmassy/Wintery song. With shots of Christmas lights decorating quaint streets and alluring shots of untouched mountainous snow, the whole video feels cosy and wintery, It makes me want to grab a blanket and a hot chocolate, whilst cuddled up on the sofa with my cats.

Comeback

As a comeback, this is certainly a good one. Perfect song for this time of year without being too tied to the season. Jessica looks and sounds incredible, and with her new agency giving her much more input in her music, I can only imagine that we are going to see more and more fantastic things from her. The sound of “Wonderland” is very in-keeping with the sound that she established in her first solo album earlier this year, so I’m intrigued to see if this is where she is going to go more musically or if it’s more of a production flair at the end. Definitely worth checking out especially as you won’t be seeing Jessica on any music shows promoting (a clause of her contract termination with SM Entertainment, I believe).