Miyeon – ‘My’ review: (G)I-DLE’s main vocalist blossoms on gently uplifting solo debut

An incredibly promising first glimpse at what the singer is capable of outside of the K-pop girl group

While working on her debut solo mini-album, (G)I-DLE’s main vocalist Miyeon cast her mind back to the beginning of her musical journey. With her thoughts focused on what she wanted to do when she first settled her heart on being a singer, she shared at a press conference earlier this week, ‘My’ quickly fell into place. Although she didn’t elaborate further on what those reignited aims were, one listen to her first official solo release (she’s previously only put out tracks for K-drama OSTs) sheds some light on what they might be.

‘My’ is an impressive first step out on her own and one that is dyed through with soothing, comforting tones. It’s colourful but elegant; uplifting but gently so, the aural equivalent of the spring sun chasing out the winter gloom, nearly all of the record’s six tracks full of warmth and grace. If she longed to be a singer who made music to console and cheer, then with this record she hits the bullseye.

The mini-album is the start of a new chapter for its creator and its title track ‘Drive’ finds strength in jumping into a new attitude and rejuvenated approach to life. “Unlike my eyes that have lost their way / Little by little, the dream inside me that has become apparent is bigger,” Miyeon sings at one point and, as she narrates regaining her confidence, direction and joy, the song builds softly as if mirroring her internal growth.

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The idea of someone blossoming is one that pops up on opening track ‘Rose’ too, but this time the singer uses the notion to talk about love. “You’re with me / In My heart filled with your thoughts / A flower called you is blooming,” she shares, confidently confessing her feelings over a pretty half-waltz.

Just as Miyeon’s metaphorical garden of love must flourish sometimes, the impermanence of nature and our world means that, somewhere along the line, it must also face the possibility of dying and starting anew. It’s an experience she encounters on ‘Rain’, for which she penned the lyrics and (G)I-DLE bandmate Yuqi co-composed the rippling guitar-led track. “Like the falling rain outside the window / The tears I’ve been holding back are dry,” she sighs. “I think the time has come to stop.”

It captures the sorrow of a relationship ending well but lacks some of the songwriting spark that is woven through some of the rest of the record. ‘Charging’, a straightforward ballad featuring singer-songwriter Junny, might fall flat in someone else’s hands, but Miyeon’s heavenly vocals elevate it to something more lush.

miyeon (G)i-dle my drive review
Miyeon. Credit: CUBE Entertainment

For the most part, ‘My’ is a mini-album that subtly toys with different ideas, from the metallic string introduction of the R&B-laced ‘Softly’ to ‘Te Amo’, a dynamic song that revolves through a cycle of soothing and swelling melodies. As it reaches its chorus, it shifts up a gear into something more dramatic and stormy, Miyeon singing with urgency about the effect a new loved one has had on her. “It’s like dreaming on the most dazzling day / I met you in so many destinies,” she sings. “Even the ordinary days that will pass by me every day / Meeting you makes me special.”

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A record that ignores current trends and instead opts for what suits its creator best, Miyeon’s debut solo release is an incredibly promising first glimpse at what she’s capable of outside (G)I-DLE. Like the flowers she sings of on ‘Rose’, ‘My’ finds the singer beginning to bloom and with even brighter days ahead of her yet.

Details

miyeon (g)idle my solo debut review drive
  • Release date: April 27
  • Record label: CUBE Entertainment
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