Review: Yerin Baek – tellusboutyourself

Meeting new people can be difficult. The thought of having to tell such intricate details of yourself is daunting for many. Yerin Baek’s second full length album tellusboutyourself follows on from her first album Every letter I sent you, creating the sense of a new start, but a fresh encounter. From Yerin, lets learn how we could tell people about ourselves.

Start with a greeting, an introduction.

Lovegame serves as the first track of this new record, easing us into this new era of Yerin. The lyrics reflecting a side of her that we’re already familiar with. However, with a funky bassline and discotheque themes throughout the song, we’re met with a new a sound, a song that would reflect the genre of this album.

Following from this track we’re met with You’re So Lonely Now, So You Need Me Back By Your Side Again. Yerin showing her own self-worth and awareness of a toxic relationship in the form of a neosoul track. Her voice paired with the distorted guitar riff feeds right into the soul, making you want to rock your head back and forth.

Drumbeats capture the nerves in the form of a rapidly beating heart when confronting someone. I Am Not Your Ocean Anymore presents this as a neosoul track with the additional saxophone, telling a person that they are no longer significant to their life anymore.

Confirm what they know already.

When listening to tellusboutyourself, we’re reminded of Square (2017), a track from Yerin’s previous album, due to its similar vibe to this record. The electric keyboard notes are not shied away from Yerin as we reach Hall&Oates, my personal favourite track. The instruments complimenting what the lyrics represent- the innocence in her voice paired with the chords creating a picture that can envisioned in our own heads. The part of Yerin we’re familiar with.

Yerin Baek has always been known for her steady and unique vocals, so when Ms. Delicate begins it automatically paints hues that flow throughout the track. It makes you feel like you’re under the ocean with the electric instruments mimicking bubbles and sounding muffled as if you’re under water. But you come out of the water when the bridge begins, giving stronger vocals when floating on top of the surface.

You might have insecurities; do you tell them about those too?

The Interlude begins and brings us back to the harsh reality that we all have our own personal insecurities, the tanginess reminiscent of a harpsichord.

The opening minor chords in Loner help portray the heightened anxiety felt through being alone, losing out on fun and keeping to oneself. The monologue heightens these feelings and express how aware she was by herself and eventually realising how close everyone else was through the troubles we face when making new friends.

Being able to confront your own insecurities yet able to acknowledge the complexity of them is what “HOMESWEETHOME” shows through a house beat and steel drums.

“It sounds like a typical girl / But…/ It sounds like a typical wife / But…”

You’re so familiar with someone, no matter what your differences are at this point in your relationship, you are each other’s home. “You are all of me, I am all of you / We’ve been lost before / But we are alright”.

Sometimes after introductions people won’t immediately like you, and it creates a loss of identity and sense of self, not knowing whether to change how you act to tailor towards certain people. 0415 talks about this insecurity while in the form of another house track.

Go beyond their first impression of you.

People may expect you to keep to yourself but Loveless is a self-reflection. The ability to voice out your realisations and opinions is not always easy but Yerin sings out her frustrations with the brass instruments in the bridge; easing said tension.

Following quickly after Loveless, Hate you is showing the complete disregard Yerin is showing towards people that teased and hated on her, showing that she simply doesn’t care anymore, but not before quickly reminding fans on Instagram that she does indeed love them.

Yerin is showing that she is being the bigger person in situations like these, finding them to work to her advantage expressing; “’Cause a person like me writes better songs  / after people like you”.

I’ll be your family! reminds us that we get to choose who we bring into our lives, who we let become part of our family. The extra stability and comfort of these relationships affect who you become as a person. This serves to be another personal favourite track from this album.

Leave on a good note.

I’m in love proves that many words don’t have to be said when it comes to people you love. The simplicity of the song does not hinder away from the emotions being sung, if not making them being felt more.

The album comes to an end with Bubbles&Mushrooms, leaving us in a haze with bubbles floating around us, “사랑은 거품 / 사랑은 거품 / 거품의 모양 / 모양의 거품” serving to be the only korean words within the album. This is her goodbye for now but not for long, leaving us to remember that Yerin Baek, the Korean artist, has found a new sound for herself and that the struggles she has been through will remain prevalent within this record.

“Just thinking ‘bout my life / And this is my last song / I’m quite sure my mushrooms ran out”

Yerin posted a heartfelt message the day after the release of the album, mentioning that 2020 has been a tough year and that this album is truly something that we can use to get out of our slumps and cherish.

Thank you for telling us about yourself Yerin.

By Nicole Ndlovu

Listen to tellusboutyourself

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