I love most of Ailee‘s singles, but I get why so many people can’t stand her. She often chooses shouting over singing, and calling her music a Disney diva karaoke version of early Beyonce isn’t completely untrue, just pessimistic.
Her new single, “Johnny,” isn’t so much hers, but a collaboration with Brave Brothers‘ for the producer’s 10th Anniversary Project. This project has been a mixed bag so far, giving us the good, the boring, and the unoriginal.
“Johnny” is one of the best things to come out of the project so far, and one of the best BB productions of the past year, if only for the fact that it breaks his strong but also stale formula.
Here, Brave finds some middle ground between his own top forty pop productions and the retro jazz records that Korea loves so much. Ailee, showing a modicum of restraint for once, laments about a boy (“I’m alone on a dark street,” she sings, “Drawing you out, getting drunk“) over cocktail lounge piano and sax.
I can’t resist BB’s cut-and-paste hits, but occasionally he reminds me that he’s capable of so much more. Brave Girls’ “Easily” proved that, just like 1PUNCH’s “Turn Me Back,” 4minute’s “Whatcha Doin’ Today,” and now “Johnny.”