Music Quickspins


 YUJU lets herself fly solo with her new EP  

YUJU is back with a new EP for the new year! The K-pop artist released [REC.], her first material besides singles since she left the group GFriend. The girl group formed in 2015 and were active until they disbanded last year in May for multiple reasons, the main factor being COVID-19. YUJU of course is her stage name, her real name being Choi Yu-na.

The first track is “Bad Blood (Intro),” which would have benefited from being longer. YUJU comes in with a generic pop-y guitar after a reverse gated reverb effect. It’s a song about revenge, and includes original Korean lyrics such as “The violent word that became a knife, This is the recording I leave for you, oh” Clearly to YUJU, sharp words definitely hurt more than sticks and stones, and the instruments in the background are also in tune with that message. Once the chorus comes in,  the edginess ramps up with the compressed BABYMETAL-esque guitars.   

Though the first track is short-lived, it’s followed by a smooth transition into “Play.” YUJU takes elements of well-known pop artists to mix into this song. With the same chord progression and timbre, it almost sounds like a slowed-down version of “Love Again” by Dua Lipa. She even uses vocal trills and isms similar to those of Ariana Grande. 

“Cold Winter” is the only song from the record that includes a feature, courtesy of Mad Clown, a Korean rapper. This song truly feels like it’s about relationships during the winter, what with keeping each other warm as Mad Clown raps in Korean “I’m your consonant and you’re my eternal vowel, if you’re cold, I’ll put my fingers together.” With the ballad-like atmosphere, the duo mesh well together, creating a 2010 pop/rap ballad.        

The piano from the previous song is switched up with guitar and the BPM is anted up in “The Killa.” In this song, she recycles the same drum machine samples from “Bad Blood” and follows through with the same message: her lover is a bad boy and she likes to compare him to her drink of tequila which is suspiciously roofied…?

The finale is a nice twist. “Blue Nostalgia” sounds like Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry” was turned into an anime outro, feeling ever more nostalgic. In this song, YUJU is  currently passing time alone, and she’s upset that she can’t relive the past, but there is hope because her lover isn’t far off, calling them her “blue, blue butterfly.”  

Even though [REC.] was an EP release, it would have been better if she were able to actually “extend” the running time. In the music industry, it is normal to have almost 30 minutes if not (more than) that for half an album. Unfortunately, 15 minutes is hardly enough for fans to enjoy the music she put together.       


Score: 6.5/10

Trial track: Bad Blood


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