Tiffany Tests in with Heartbreak HotelWritten by capacity of Qing On June 16, 2016 Lower than a month after making her solo debut with I Just Wanna Dance, Tiffany is back with Heartbreak Hotel, a unmarried released as a phase of SM Entertainments ongoing SM Station project.
On the whole, Tiffanys debut mini and identifymusic werent bad, yet they did little to carve out a vocal niche for her and differentiate her as a solo artist. Thankfully, Heartbreak Hotel is a cut above, even supposing this makes me wonder why Tiffanys solo couldnt were scheduled later—say after EXOs promotions end—to come with it. Its darker than the tracks on I Just Wanna Dance, but it wouldnt have sounded out of place.
Like I Just Wanna Dance, Heartbreak Hotel shows 1980s influences, but the mid-tempo synths here are paired with single, resonating piano chords to reach a heavier and more melancholic tone. It leans more againstfresh RB than dance. Entrancing main pointscomparable to organ-like opening chords give off a mysterious, glamorous vibe. It has a quality unlike anything else Ive heard from the Korean music scene so far; most likely Marios Smash (featuring SPICAs Boa) comes close, but it has a quickerpace and is more hard-hitting than pensive.
The song takes on the familiar subject of break-ups in the process the metaphor of travel. The intellectual and emotional state that Tiffany reveals herself in post-break-up is conceptualised as a heartbreak hotel. A hotel suggests impermanence—a position one remains in temporarily on a adventure (the relationship) and leaves in the end (after the dating ends). Yet the lyrics advocate that closure isnt so simple to attain. There's acombat between the will to leave and the reality that she is still staying:
I wanna leave this place (heartbreak hotel)
The song is understated, adopting a weary tone to rouse the tired land that follows an outburst of intense emotion. Regardless thatthe theory is to put across contained sorrow, a tad more emoting in the birthmay accept gripped listeners better. The overallrefrain in specific feels a little missing afterwards the build-up of Simon Ds rap. Nonetheless, Tiffanys warm, full, and bright voice shines here.
The lyrics, which Simon D contributed to, uses rather plain language, but the magic is in the details. Like the MV, it hints at the alternativefacet of the tale by swapping the pronouns in the another waysame lines, I’ll be long past / You can’t harm me now and You’ll be gone / I can’t hurt you now. Other evocative touches comprise the parallelism and half-rhymes in lines love itceaselessly shakes me up heundeureo, messes me up heongkeureo.
Much like the song, the MV has a deceptively familiar setup, but surprises with the other nuances that emerge with each and every fourth dimensionit's far watched. It did no longerhotel to not unusual dramatics in MVs about heartbreak so asto specific the emotional aftermath of a breakup. Theres no screaming or fighting. There isnt even crying, just haunting, hurt-filled expressions. This isn'tto mention that such behaviour doesnt or shouldnt occur, but it's used so regularly and undiscerningly in music videos that it regularly loses inventiveprice and emotional impact.
The MV is determined in a literal hotel, with a dismalcolor scheme befitting the melancholic environment of the song. It opens with cross-cutting between shots of Tiffany descending a narrow stairway and her love hobby walking down a in a an identical fashion narrow corridor. The scenes of Tiffany assembly her soon-to-be boyfriend are tinged with red and redlighting fixtures that create a hazy, dreamlike effect, emphasizedvia slow-motion and comfortable focus, and the lilting movement of the camera. The result is artfully sultry with no needto exploit any explicit images, yet it could also be sombre, keeping up the dark tone of the song even as the scenes painting sweeter moments between the couple.
The relaxation of the MV doesnt display what went awry, opting in its place for impressionistic flashes of Tiffany packing her suitcase and observing blankly ahead, recalling happier moments in the relationship. The neon lights from outdoor her hotel room window flicker in time with the echoing synths in Simon Ds rap verse, suggesting the emotional turmoil she is experiencing.
The ultimateseries brings us back to the club where the couple met, but this time it is leeched of colour, steeped in greys and cruel lighting to mirror the disenchantment and hurt as the pair see one anotherfinding outany individual else. The MV shifts so subtly to the point of view of Tiffanys ex that it took me a couple of watches to realise that the sequence of flashbacks accompanying the very last chorus used to benow not mere repetition, but rather the ex-boyfriend hung up on the similar memories.
Overall, Heartbreak Hotel MV strikes a chord in my memory of SEO In-guks Seasons of the Heart, which took 2d home on my list on the mid-year review. It takes a familiar premise but puts its own spin on the execution, generating a heartfelt, artfully portrayed narrative that meticulously conveys the muted sorrow of the song.
Readers, what did you recall to mind Heartbreak Hotel? What are your favorite SM Station releases so far?
(SMTown thru YouTube, Images via SM Entertainment, Lyrics via pop!gasa, K-pop Vocal Analysis, The prejudice List)