Updated: Aug 1, 2022
Libby asked me the other day, "Who is Hynn?"
My response: "A queen."
That's it. That's the post.
Do you guys even understand how stupid excited I have been for this album to come out?
An intro and master post will definitely be coming for her, so I won't expose all of that info and such here, but know that I have been a fan of her music for a while now and I preordered this album as soon as it was available because I knew it would be an automatic love. (sidebar: I was super right). A basic run down, though, for those who are 100% unfamiliar is Park Hyewon, aka Hynn, is a singer and songwriter who specializes in the ballad genre. She debuted in 2018 and is incredible. 😌
It feels like it's been a while since we've heard from her, but it really hasn't been. She's put out quite a handful of (wonderful) singles, but I think fans are often greedy and crave albums from their faves - me included. Fortunately, Hynn blessed us with this treasure and I am just bouncing off the walls waiting for my copy to come in!
Below is the track list provided in her promotions for this album. In case it wasn't clear yet, this post will be reviewing Hynn's recent To You album, her 3rd EP.
SING ME A SONG OR A HYMN, MY LOVE
"My Love" is a duet with Car, the garden and it's such a gentle opening to this album. Unlike most artists, Hynn let Jungwon (Car, the garden's actual name) take the beginning of the track. Usually with feature artists, you expect them to come in on the chorus or in the second verse, but that pattern was broken here, which I loved.
The melody is a bit whimsical, a bit dreamy, and Jungwon's voice is so soothing. I love the light taps of the piano keys and the way the song builds up to Hynn's entrance into the song; she sounds like an actual angel. Her voice is so breathy and soft but when she puts a bit of push or power behind it, either behind a belt or a falsetto, I get goosebumps and I want to snuggle under a mountain of pillows and squeal. When Jungwon comes back in towards the end and they begin to harmonize, my soul SOARS. It is such an exquisite way to open up this album and it made me so excited to keep listening.
Our second track, "To You", as we can tell by the gorgeous graphic above (not the meme, although that is also 🤌🏻), is produced by JUNGKEY, a standout producer and composer. He never misses, y'all. And he proved it again here.
This song is... absolutely? beautiful???? I'm? If you guys can't tell by now, her voice is really out of this world and this is the song to highlight that. Her vocal range, starting from the low range in the opening, to brightening up and getting so sweet in the chorus? S T U N N I NG. Her vocals are so stable, no matter what she decides to do to make the sound more interesting, and I love.
I think this song might be my favorite track on the album and it makes sense why she chose it to be the title. AND WE KNOW WHAT TITLE TRACKS MEAN, RIGHT? THAT'S RIGHT, CHICKADEES! MUSIC VIDEOS AND PERFORMANCES!
Also, another side note: I love this pink hair on her so much.
"If I..." is a beautiful song. I liked it a lot. But did I like it enough to "heart" it on my Spotify? No. At least, that's what I foolishly thought until I got literally 34 seconds in and she made me feel like an idiot for doubting her, even for those few seconds. I'm sorry, I'll never do it again.
Anyway, "If I...", with the cadence of the notes and rhythm she uses, reminds me of rain, for some reason. Almost like each time she sings in certain sections, since it's like a smooth staccato, each word is a rain drop. And I have such wonderful visuals of a soft, lush, rich green forest where it just rained and everything smells fresh and clean. Each little rain drop falling off a leaf is her voice, the piano swelling and fading in the background is the wind. I'm in the mountains; everything is peace.
Towards the end of the song, her voice fades off after a bit of a cry but the music still sounds hopeful in the way it sparkles, almost like the sun coming out after a nice rain, bright and warm and glittering over the top of a mountain stream. She ends the song softly, and the image remains.
Sorry, "To You". "If I..." might be my new favorite song on the album.
Now, look. You can't just throw acoustic guitars at me like that. This is rude. "Promenade" opens up with acoustic guitars and then Hynn's breathy voice comes in actually dropping fairy dust and powdered sugar. I love the switch up with the sound, since the first half of the album focused primarily on piano instrumentals.
I really enjoyed "Promenade", but I didn't mark it as a love in Spotify. I think, however, as an entire album, it needed a song like this placed in it to break up a sound that might be considered too unvaried, especially if you're used to listening to more standard kpop albums where you get a massive variety of genre, instruments, tones, rhythms, melodies, and harmonies. It's brighter and a little more cheery sounding compared to the rest of the album, and while most would argue that it maybe shouldn't be a part of this track list, I appreciated the variation and the slight divergence "Promenade" gave us.
The album ends (unofficially, since each track is also paired with an instrumental version of itself) with "Lullaby" and this track is what I wanted "Promenade" to be. "Lullaby" is like "Promenade"'s more serious older sister and she is my BFF. The guitar chords here are deeper, darker, and much slower compared to the brighter picking and strumming that "Promenade" offered. I'm actually pretty obsessed with the instrumentals in this one. Hynn keeps her voice mellow, low, soft - even her high notes.
I sincerely appreciate "Lullaby", especially the beautiful fluctuations she gives her voice in the chorus. The song, and her performance of it, feels so intimate because of how she sings it. There is a bit of a burst at the end, but it still feels like floating on a cloud of fairy wings. She picked a perfect song to end the album with, except for the fact that "Lullaby" made me not want the album to end.
In case it wasn't obvious, this album is 254897/10, A1, why are you not buying it yet.
Y'know, I never really thought about it, but this type of experience might be one of my favorite things about ballads and why I'm so passionate about them. It's very common for me to be transported by these pieces of music because the emotion is so raw and I can move my mind to a place that is just pure serenity for me. Before, I would just kind of flail around and make dinosaur noises when I tried to explain why it was so good to me (and don't worry, that still happens and still happens frequently). Now, I can try to be a little more human with my explanations.
That's all for this one! This week, I'm unconsciously focusing on soloists so expect another review very soon!