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Katie: “Log” review -- a rising R&B star

By Yim Hyun-su

  • Published : May 22, 2019 - 13:51
  • Updated : May 22, 2019 - 13:51

With a mere 6 tracks, the soulful newcomer manages to show off catchiness, depth

It took nearly five years for Katie to release her first debut album after winning the fourth season of music competition show “K-pop Star.”

But it’s safe to say the wait has been worth it as the 25-year-old Korean-American R&B hopeful kick-starts her career with promising tracks that explore various aspects relationships -- and she does it all in a fun way with catchy hooks and relatable lyrics.

While fans have found it hard to have waited this long, her EP couldn’t have come at a better time since there has been a complete blackout of R&B on South Korea’s streaming charts in recent weeks.

After electro-dance pop numbers like Blackpink’s “Kills This Love” and karaoke-friendly acoustic pop ballads like “For Lovers Who Hesitate” by Jannabi dominated the charts for weeks, “Log” has finally arrived to spice things up a little -- packed with R&B earworms that refuse to compromise on either style and depth.

If you know, her debut single “Remember” in 2018, a fitting title that left a strong impression on the minds of many music fans, the new EP is a continuation of her as an artist with a dominant presence of soulful R&B sounds throughout the record -- it also comes with a revamped version of the certified banger that is “Remember” featuring Ty Dollar $ign.

She clearly went for quality over quantity with this one as it only comes with six tracks. Despite the short track list, however, she manages to prove that she’s more than ready take the world by storm.

No Instructions

“No instruction, no instruction … you gotta let your heart lead the way,” the singer belts out a swoon-worthy chorus flanked by sensual beats and a floating falsetto on track number one. Beginning with a calmer sound, the song builds up with up-to-date and powerful urban beats that elevate her voice before the last catchy chorus goes in for the kill.

Future Love

Track two is a seamless follow-up to an impressive opening that immediately proves she doesn’t fall short on the versatility front. Though she sticks to slow R&B throughout the record, “Future Love” is a great example of showcasing different vocal styles under a common theme.

Her voice is light as cotton candy and the contrast against the strong beats makes for great nighttime listening. Katie said the track describes her current state as she is single and wants to focus on music. The track, however, also talks about expectations for a future boyfriend.

Thinkin Bbout You (lead single)

Katie seems to have a knack for delivering catchy tunes without losing depth and “Thinkin Bout You” is the best example yet. The song, “I can’t stop thinking about you at “4 o’clock in the morning” in a voice that is recognizable if you’ve ever been heartbroken. The sure-fire hit, which is also the singer’s personal favorite from the EP, is quite a departure from the usual break-up songs in K-pop.

As the singer puts it herself, the song shows the anxiousness when love first starts and you are just thinking about someone the whole day and throughout the night without sleeping.

In it, she neither tries desperately to revive her love nor holds any grudge. Instead, she candidly describes her feelings, which makes the song all the more relatable and pleasant as a thumping beat smoothly joins the chorus.

Remember Feat. Ty Dolla $ign

The song that put Katie on the map has been given a breath of new life it deserves as she has teamed up with US rapper Ty Dolla Sign who has worked with the likes of Wiz Khalifa and Fifth Harmony.

The one and only single she had released prior to the EP went on to become a massive hit, racking up over 10 million views on YouTube since its release last summer. Nearly a year on “Remember” is still an earworm that packs a strong punch of R&B energy.

Love Kills

After two pretty full-on tracks, track five is another romance-themed tune where she playfully talks about being blindly in love. Keeping in line with the album’s general tone, her sweet yet strong vocal is juxtaposed with edgy beats and peppy synth riffs.

Better Off

As her 22 minute-long nonstop R&B parade comes to an end, “Better Off” works as a perfect curtain call that wraps up the albums’ story with elegance. In a drastic change of tone, the song kicks off with an acapella intro and sees the singer come to the conclusion that she’s better off alone. Laden with jazz elements, the song makes it clear that the entirely of the album is designed in a way that makes you want to put it on repeat.

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)

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