Jessi is one of those artists that you either love or hate. You either love her voice, her personality and her all round persona, or you just can’t stand her. Personally, I love her, and was so excited to hear that she was going to have a comeback. Jessi has had an interesting relationship with Kpop as a whole. Being born in New York City, and growing up in New Jersey, she moved to South Korea when she was fifteen. She debuted a couple of years later, but not the traditional way. She did pass several agency auditions, including SM Entertainment, but Jessi ultimately turned them down as she felt they didn’t represent her musically, or the way she wanted her music to be promoted. Whilst her first song was well received, it didn’t really launch her career in the way she wanted it to.Spending a couple of years having some really hard times (including being homeless), Jessi decided to take some time off and returned to the States to heal. Making a comeback in 2015, Jessi had some incredibly strong songs, without compromising her music, and this brought her new fame, and lots of new fans. Her new song “Don’t make me cry” has just been released so let’s take a look at it.
Don’t make me cry
I love that Jessi constantly surprises me. I never know what sort of song she is going to release next. Will it be a hard hitting rap song about not bending to society’s rules concerning what being a woman is? Will it be a soft, sad ballad about losing love and not wanting to? Whilst I love both styles Jessi does, I am an absolute sucker for a slow ballad, so I was thrilled the moment I heard the opening notes of this song,
Her voice is just the right timbre for this. She has a deep voice that echoes the pain she is singing about so beautifully, It seems to pull you in and wrap you up. I wonder if her voice was made just for this song, I can’t stop listening to it. It’s unhurried and almost tentative to what she is singing. The pain and hurt of the possible rejection of her opening her heart to this person is tangible in this.She is frightened of how vulnerable she needs to be in order to show her love. Her insistence that her prospective partner doesn’t make her cry, or doesn’t hurt her, is so earnest that I can’t help but want to protect her too. She speaks about being older, and it doesn’t matter, as she is still young in love, and that her heart doesn’t know the difference. The lyrics are beautiful and perfect for this song. It’s not overly sappy or dramatic. Just an earnest plea, and a tentative wish. My favourite being:
“I pretend to be strong, but eventually I collapse
I’m not young but, I have a sensitive heart
In front of you”
The music itself echoes the feeling of the song. It’s slow, and methodical. Accompanied by a piano and a drumbeat; the song is simple. It doesn’t need anything else. The music seems to convey a much less hopeful tone than the words that Jessi is singing. The music sounds as though it knows exactly how her new relationship is going to end, and it’s not well. It evokes a sadness that doesn’t seem to gel well with the song at first, but the more it goes on, the more the two feelings intertwine and we are left with something complicated and beautiful. The music implies that Jessi already knows this person will make her cry, no matter how much she wishes otherwise.
The video for this song brings another dimension to the direction of the song. Whilst Jessi’s lyrics are vulnerably hopeful, and the music is foreshadowing failure, the MV is telling a different, complete story. The MV shows the beginning and end of her relationship with her boyfriend. It shows the good times, and the bad, and the very end of it all. The song takes on a different tone here, a much more nostalgic one, for the good times.
The MV shows us the strong Jessi, working on her own, and slowly letting a man into her life. It’s good, great even, for a short period of time, but slowly the cracks appear until she has nothing left, except herself. She has let this man into her heart, and he has broken it. She goes about her days as normal, until he shows up once more. Her resolve is tested, and she serves him like she would any customer at her bar.
The video is the perfect complement to this song. I can’t imagine any other way it could have been done. Jessi looks equally strong, beautiful and exposed in this video. Everything about it just works, and it’s a shame it isn’t getting more love.
Incredible comeback by one of the most unique voices in the business. Cannot love this song enough, and want to only listen to Jessi’s music for the next little bit.