The SM Station project keeps on giving us excellent songs, and this release is no exception. Onew is  the leader of SHINee, a five member male group under SM Entertainment. They have been giants in the Kpop industry since their debut in 2009, having released such iconic songs such as “Ring Ding Dong” and “Lucifer”, with more recent hits being “1 of 1” and “Tell Me What To Do”. Fans have been requesting Onew more solo material since the very beginning, but it has yet to be even confirmed that Onew will release a solo album. He has collaborated with other artists, but his own solo work releases are few and far between.

Rocoberry are actually a duo, a guy and girl, that are more active on the Korean Indie scene, so I had no idea who they were when I heard they were partnering with Onew for this release. They are under the CJ E&M Music Performance Division of CJ E&M. This is the same agency that also hosts Davicihi, Eric Nam, Heize and Gong Minzy. Rocoberry have been releasing music since 2014, and I’m glad they are getting a light shone upon them with this collaboration with Onew, as their music is beautiful. In this song, we never see Conan, the guy from Rocoberry, but I assume that the guitar we hear is him.

Lullaby

Song

The first thing you should know about this song, is that it’s actually a re-working of a Rocoberry song, also called “Lullaby”. The original version is more piano based, in the intro, rather than the guitar we hear with this version. Both versions are very representative of Rocoberry’s music. It’s very soft, and almost whispers at you to listen to it. It’s not forceful or loud. The gentleness of the melody is something that Rocoberry are very insistent on, they enjoy producing music that is easy for people to listen to. For this reason, I am glad that in this version, this hasn’t changed. The instruments have, but the tone hasn’t. It allows for the vocals to really become the star of the song.

The vocals in this are superb. Roco’s voice could not be more perfectly suited to this type of song, and when she harmonises with Onew, it’s gorgeous. A whole new side of this song is revealed through their harmonies. Onew especially adds a lot to this overall. His voice also matches this particular style of song. Hearing it makes me want to get cosy under a blanket. It’s such a soothing piece.



The lyrics also reinforce this idea of gentleness. They urge the listener to lay down their burdens, whatever they are, and to simply have a good night’s rest. It is something that is very deserved according to lyrics. There is an ambiguity about the lyrics. I was unsure if they were singing to me, or to each other, and that in itself is beautiful. It can be easily interpreted both ways, especially when they sing of the distance between them and the listener. It’s such a quiet song, and soothes the ears, and the heart, when you hear it.

Video

The video for this song matches the tone of the song really nicely. It has a “beach house” vibe. All the interior shots of Roco have her in white and blue rooms that have a very cold vibe to them, they emphasise the distance she has from Onew. We never see the two of them together in the video. The video takes on a slightly lonely feel because of this. Whilst the lyrics are sweet and tender, the video, and the lack of physical contact, makes the song seem a little more sad than it should be. Both Onew and Roco complete their daily tasks (listening to music, reading, brushing their teeth) without the other, and they both seem a little incomplete somehow. As if they are missing the other person, who will finally make them whole. This song is the best they can do in the meantime.

There is a filter in this video. It has a muted tone to it that helps to emphasize the wistfulness of the lyrics, and the earnest wish the singers have. It isn’t distracting or obtrusive, it fits really well with the overall aesthetic of the video.


In the middle of the video, we have a beautiful black and white modern dance scene that features neither Onew or Roco. Both dancers are very physically connected with the other, and it’s a stark contrast both visually and emotionally to the rest of the video. While this scene is in black and white, the dancers can touch. The rest of the video is more colourful, but Onew and Roco aren’t even in the same shot together. However, there is a sense of familiarity. Roco and Onew both end up in the same places, whether it’s in the forest, or staring out at the sea, even in the same house, but at different times.

Summary

A soft song that is despairingly wistful and a gentle reminder to leave your burdens down at sometimes. Both vocalists are phenomenal. This may not appeal to everyone, as its ballad roots are strong, but it’s the perfect chill out song for me. I love it, and cannot wait to hear more from Rocoberry and Onew, either separately or together.

If you want to hear Onew at his best, my personal recommendations are: “Rainy Blue”, “The Road to Me” and “Nessun Dorma”.

For Rocoberry, I suggest checking out “Console Myself”, “Always” and “I’m Fine”.