상상은 여권이 필요없는 여행이다
Henry, “Trap (feat. Taemin, Kyuhyun)”
Never let it be said that I do not like SM. You may say I don’t like the high sense of artificiality, superficiality, and insincerity that seems to ooze from everything they produce, just to start. But I do occasionally like stuff that SM releases, and Henry’s “Trap” definitely falls into this category.
I think it helps that Henry actually had a hand in the creation of at least some of the music for this album (or, at least, his music production team Noize Bank did), which is a very rare occurrence at SM. Henry is actually one of the few idols that SM has trusted in the past to help (he wrote, composed, and produced “表白” for SJM, in addition to helping Leeteuk with “진심”), and they have always done well by it. Henry is actually decently talented, and not just because he speaks about a bajillion languages and can play as many instruments.
I was *ahem* trapped from the very opening piano intro, and to be perfectly honest I think those 30 seconds are the best 30 seconds of the entire song. It was incredibly dynamic and (fuck I don’t know enough about music to be commenting on this but) either the way he wove between major and minor keys or simply the accidentals really created a tension that served beautifully to pique my interest.
The song itself was fairly catchy, and the strong piano at the beginning helped transition the listener from the intro into the main song while continuing to keep anticipation high.
I thought Taemin’s contribution flowed very naturally with Henry’s; they actually seem to have fairly similar vocals. But Kyuhyun’s addition, while fine, was totally unremarkable — he could have been replaced by any other backup singer and I wouldn’t have noticed. One of my friends pointed out that his range is so much higher than Henry’s, which possibly contributes to the backup-singer sensation. (I’m pretty sure someone just dumped Kyuhyun in there to use his popularity to ensure the success of Henry’s solo.) When simply listening to the song, this actually isn’t an issue that really stands out. But when watching the video, I felt a bit of dissonance because Kyuhyun got so much face-time in the video but didn’t contribute much to the song. His presence in the video was disproportionate to his presence in the song, so watching the video felt slightly off. It makes sense for Taemin to be featured as much as he is because 1. he comes in earlier, and 2. he’s a dancer so he contributes more visually.
The rest of the video was incredibly enjoyable. Blahblahblah EYK’s Weirdly-Lit Box-Room Boring Set rant, but uuuuuuh there were great portions of this mv that actually had that YG hip hop feel to it. The dance, while fairly simple because it’s a solo song, was very crisp and dynamic. I mean, come on! Even just a pinch of Taemin is enough to make any dance recipe fantastic (………..yes, Taemin is my 100% kpop dance bias >.>;;). The dance was inventive enough to keep my interest for the duration of the mv, although it doesn’t seem to hold up quite so well live.
I hope this solo helps build a stronger fanbase for Henry, because his previous lack of popularity completely baffles me. If you watch the live performance of “Trap” on MusicBank, I think the fans actually scream louder for Kyuhyun’s entrance than for Henry himself. Which is why Kyuhyun is featured in the first place but goddamn.
I wonder if his lack of popularity is in any way related to his lack of homeland ties. He’s kind of in no-man’s land: a Canadian born to HK/Taiwanese parents who belongs to a Korean group promoting in China. Do the Koreans support him because he’s kind of from a Korean group? Well fuck all that because of Forever 13 whatever bullshit he’s not actually a part of SuJu and kjanfojjajer. Do the Chinese support him because he’s promoting in China? Wellllllllllll he’s not really Chinese and OMG KYUHYUN IS SO HAWT! Do the Canadians support him because he’s from Canada? Fucked if they know who he is! Henry lacks any single base to which he can appeal for support. I hope, like Kyuhyun, people will come to recognize his talents and grow to accept him as a legitimate… idol.