JYP Entertainment’s band DAY6 returned recently with their second mini-album, “Daydream.” However, this comeback is especially significant for the group as it is their first since they became a quintet after Junhyeok’s departure from the band. While the album showed off various music styles and experimentations, title song “Letting Go” was a traditional rock ballad which felt fitting for DAY6.
The song starts off with a beautiful harmony created by the voices of all five members, and this creates a somber mood that remains present throughout the rest of the song. The first third of the song is also surprisingly quiet, up till there’s a change in the mood of the track created by the introduction of the bass drum and an amazing guitar solo. The full glory of DAY6’s vocals and their instruments really come into play here as the song builds to a climax, which is further strengthened with resident rapper Young K’s emotional rap. Though the rap fits in with the general mood and progression of the song, it does however come across as a tad abrupt, especially since the chorus resumed again right after the rap.
As quickly as it had built up, the chorus fades away once again, and in its place is a quiet synthesizer solo. Though extremely simple, it provides a poignant ending to this emotional piece and brings about feelings of acceptance and resignation to the listener. The vocals of the members were also on point in this track, in particular leader Sungjin, whose voice was at times smooth and gentle but at times intense and raspy. He effectively portrayed and conveyed the sadness and hopelessness of the lyrics he was singing, thus also touching the heart of the listener. Members such as Jae and Wonpil also showed remarkable improvement in their vocalisation from their previous album, especially in their handling of long and high notes.
The lyrics of “Letting Go” on first glance appear to be pretty typical, perhaps even bordering on boring for the simple reason that there are many K-pop songs out there which speak of broken hearts and painful relationships as well. When placed into context however, the lyrics seem to be telling a different story. DAY6 debuted late last year with six members but ended up with five when Junhyeok (keyboardist) left the group around a month ago to the shock and sadness of many fans. Since then, the members of DAY6 have deleted their personal instagrams (a group one was created subsequently) and they have declined to comment on the departure of their member.
In this light, “Letting Go”, which was written by members Young K and Wonpil, might have been their answer to their fans, along with the true expressions of their feelings towards Junhyeok. Why else would they have chosen “Letting Go,” a traditional rock ballad, to be their title song when their album had other more unique songs such as “Hunt” or “First Time?”
Times we spent together, our memories
Letting go, letting go, letting go
So you can smile some day
With Junhyeok leaving just a month ago before the release of this new album, it’s highly possible that he was a part of its creation, which makes it even more likely for “Letting Go” to be about him. Despite the somewhat repetitive lyrics of the song, the bittersweet meaning is clear. It’s time for both DAY6 and Sundays (the group’s fans) to move on.
DAY6 was never really interested in the flashy videos featured in other K-pop music videos, and this can be seen in “Letting Go.” The symbolism in the video though, is another story altogether. From the start, it shows the five members in a circle as they harmonize together, which expresses how DAY6 remains united despite whatever has happened. It was just a split second frame, but the keyboard (without a keyboardist) was also part of that circle.
The symbolism doesn’t stop there, rather it continues in a somewhat overwhelming fashion with the numerous appearances of the keyboard (again without a keyboardist) throughout the video.
The whole video also used a lot of multiplication, possibly to complement the repetitive song, which was creative but ended up giving the video a cluttered feel. There were literally instruments everywhere.
This comeback from DAY6 was a highly anticipated one and the group did not disappoint. While it is still a heartbreaking time for the members and fans alike, this album is also a clear sign that DAY6 will continue to grow and develop as musicians, no matter what obstacles may come their way.
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