Taeyeon is one of the most accomplished vocalists of her generation, with a career spanning over a decade and a half that’s triumphantly filled with masterful K-pop prominence. Whether it’s through her unforgettable role as the leader and powerhouse vocalist of Girls Generation, a crucial piece of the all-star group Girls On Top, or as a standalone artist, Taeyeon has spent her entire career creating a reputation based on hard work, compassion, and a level of kindness that makes her truly deserving of her incomparable stature.
With her new third studio album INVU, the singer expands her breadth of industry expertise and goes down the creative rabbit hole – creating Taeyeon’s very own musical wonderland. A raw, unfiltered exploratory genre-space, unlike anything she’s done before. With her title track “INVU” the song gives an artistic spin on interpersonal relationship pains – with a house-based backing and a synthy vein that Taeyeon undoubtedly slays in the vocal department.
Discussing the song during her own press conference held by SM Entertainment she explains, “Similar to a musical, the songs on this album also have a storyline with emotional progression.” The longtime performer elaborates, “For example, throughout the album, there are parts that are more passive where the narrator is accepting of the situation and admitting that ‘this is how my love is’. On the contrary, there are parts that are more aggressive where the narrator is in denial by expressing ‘Nonetheless, I want you to be like this.’ To express these detailed nuances, I recorded as if I am acting in the narrator’s shoes.”
Her willingness to step into a range of emotions that might be beyond her own personal grasp shows her raw commitment to her art, and it shows in spades on INVU. After building a brand on gleeful pop music and an eventual shift to ballads – INVU adds new facets to her with the edgier “Can’t Control Myself”, or the upbeat mood shift that comes with “Toddler” and “No Love Again”.
During the conversation about her career, she expressed her desire to pursue her influences – while avoiding being labeled by one specific style, noting, “Right now, I like house-based pop dance genre! So, I’m currently into ‘INVU’ and my third LP.” Taeyeon then expands on it and expresses her belief, adding, “What I’m best at also differs from time to time. I can’t really define myself in one genre or style. There are many sides of me and it keeps changing. I know this doesn’t directly answer your question, but the honest answer is that I’m always changing depending on when and where as well as the environment I am in.” The INVU singer concludes, “Positively speaking, I’m flexible, adaptable, and open-minded.”
For those seeking Taeyeon’s unwavering vocal range and ballad/slow-tempo strengths, the LP does manage to provide plenty of options to experience her remarkable abilities in-between the journey. However, with this particular narrative surrounding love, the singer reiterates that it requires stepping out of that safe space. An idea that she knew was going to be a core component of its end result. “The overall theme of this album is love so I also put more effort into the lyrics while working on the album.” She notes. “With each new release, I’m always looking for ways to improve as a vocalist so, with this album, I pushed myself to further expand the range of my vocals by trying different styles and techniques.”
Considering Taeyeon’s new song is rising on charts in South Korea and the album is selling a surplus of copies so far – this is definitely an artistic experiment that should be cherished for years to come.
Taeyeon’s album INVU can be streamed here, and the music video for the hit title track can be viewed above!