Taeyeon is the leader of the queens of Kpop, Girls’ Generation. Having debuted in 2007, selling millions of albums, and selling out countless stadiums, Girls’ Generation have solidified themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Taeyeon debuted as a soloist in 2015.. All of Taeyeon’s singles have been incredible, and her soulful voice has only gotten better and better. She has recently released her first full length album, and “Fine” is the title track off it.
I absolutely love this song. From the lyrics to the music, to Taeyeon’s voice, everything is perfection. It highlights everything that Taeyeon excels at. The lyrics are poignant and bitter in a lost way. She sings as though she has lost everything, and I completely believe the pain in her voice when she tells me that she’s not fine. There isn’t flowery language in this. There are no overdone metaphors, just the realisation that the pain of losing a relationship is still there, even though she feels that she should be ok by now. Time is irrelevant, the pain still aches as raw as it ever was. Taeyeon is known for her emotive singing, and it certainly shows here. Her voice itself is gorgeous in this, as it always is with Taeyeon. It suits this style of music so well; a sad, pain filled ballad. My favourite lyrics in this are the simple ones:
“With my hair tightly tied up
I’m cleaning up my messy room
I’m looking for something’ new
Sometimes, I get this overwhelming feeling
Of having to do something
So I move around for no reason”
I love the sense of unease and loss of knowing what to do that is portrayed here.
The music itself isn’t out of place, there is nothing jarring and no sudden changes in tone. It’s a sombre piano and a nostalgic guitar that work so well together. The whole sound stimulates a “wistful memory’, even without listening to the vocals. It has a warm tone, that seems to indicate better times in the past
Taeyeon opts for rather simple MV’s for a lot of her singles. There doesn’t tend to be a complicated story or flashy images. The imagery chosen is always wonderful, and compliments both the song and Taeyeon perfectly. This MV is no exception,
We see Taeyeon initially get a phone call whilst at a store, and that’s when she realises she is not fine. She appears to go on auto-pilot and doesn’t really take in a lot of the images in front of her. Her vision distorts and we see other people through a contorted vision. This imagery plays into Taeyeon’s confusion over the situation she finds herself in. It is hard to discern if what we are seeing is current or in the past, and this is precisely the feeling I believe that Taeyeon was looking to achieve. We follow her as she meanders through the streets, and we slowly start to feel as lost as she does. Even street signs don’t look familiar to her. All of this places the feeling of loss and turmoil on us, the viewers, and we can empathise better with Taeyeon’s state of mind.
I adore the effects in this MV. The paper- like crumbling away of the second toothbrush, the blanket, the photographs. It reminds us that nothing is permanent and that things that we take for granted, including people, can easily be torn from us. The spray paint distortions of Taeyeon’s partner is reminiscent of the marks made on photographs with ex-lovers. It hints at a more personal note than just simply getting rid of the pictures. Taeyeon can’t bring herself to do this, and even her memories of this person start to have the distortion in them too. It is unclear if this is intentional, as a way of trying to ease her heartbreak, but it works really well.
The lighting in this video is superb. We are treated to mostly natural lighting (or at least, the appearance of natural lighting). This helps to show Taeyeon as a little more vulnerable (compare it to the lighting in her pre-release track, “I Got Love”). It makes her human and helps again to get us to sympathise with what she is going through.
The “Cut!” in the middle of the MV, with Taeyeon appearing to break down serves its purpose wonderfully in this. As mentioned before, Taeyeon is a very emotional singer, and gets lost easily in the feelings of her own work. This couple of seconds of footage helps to solidify this and brings it to a new personal level for the viewers. We are left with questions as to the origin of this song. Perhaps Taeyeon isn’t fine at all? Perhaps she is suffering heartache in her personal life too?
I am thrilled that this is the lead single from Taeyeon’s album. It suits her so well. Everything works so in sync here and I can only imagine how much more successful she is going to be with this!