Sunday, December 2, 2012

[#47] f(Amber, Luna and Krystal) - Beautiful Stranger

From: "Electric Shock"
Format: EP
Released: June
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Appearances: (as f(x)) "LaChaTa" (2009) / #46 - "Mr. Boogie" (2010) / #32 - "Hot Summer" (2011)

It wasn't until I sat down to write this review that I realized this song is actually by a sub-group of f(x) proper, meaning another f(x) song is eligible for the list. But that would just complicate things considering the fact that I already locked the list, and that choosing another song will cause me another sleepless night. Plus, I genuinely think this is the best song from "Electric Shock".

There is such a thing as "(reader) response criticism", which is basically how the audience of an artwork, whether literary, musical or visual, is affected by a given work. To me that's a really important part not just of music, but of art in general -- art for art's sake is great and all, but as far as I'm concerned, the expression part of art means that someone, anyone, has to be able to understand what you're expressing. It just makes the experience that much better.

"Beautiful Stranger" is a simple song, and I know some people will go further and say it's pretty generic. The individual elements are generic, and SM production waters it down even more, making it pretty forgettable as far as moments are concerned. But art is an experience -- what you remember is important, but what you actually hear should take center stage, and what you make of what you hear is just as important.

The verses are beautiful, and delivered with a sense of urgency, courtesy of Luna's stellar vocals and Krystal's competent voice. The chorus is stunningly sharp on top of an unassumingly epic instrumental, complete with pretty harmonies for a hook. Standard SM production gives the song a fullness to it, and even the watering-down gives the entire package an epic aura, which is contrasted by the kick of the rap parts.

What I hear is a gorgeous song, and what I experience is a song that only reinforces the fact that I love music.

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