I fell in love with this Unpretty Rapstar artist at her Toronto fanmeet in April, not only because of her voice, but also for her surprisingly adorable and humble personality. Therefore, I have to be completely honest: I absolutely LOVE HEIZE, but that does not mean this review is biased (to an extent). However, in an objective and totally un-biased way, I have to tell everyone to immediately listen to her mini-album ///. In fact, why not click play on the album while reading this article?
The mini-album /// opens up with “널 너무 모르고 (Don't Know You),” which is an upbeat-sounding song. Once HEIZE’s earthy and raspy vocals hit the track, all new listeners will immediately be taken aback. She has one of the most unique voices in Korean music, and it’s the kind of voice that will instantly captivate you. Her rap, which she is most known for, is not to be taken lightly. HEIZE raps like a well-seasoned poet, flowing through the song effortlessly.
The song has an interesting music video to accompany it. HEIZE’s face is just as unique and beautiful as her ethereal voice. Her face always struck me, whether seeing it in a music video for the first time or seeing her on stylenanda_korea’s Instagram, gasping at how uniquely gorgeous she was. She sports a red hairdo for the music video, with lovely and bright pink eyelids. The video opens with “14 Ways to Loose your Teddybear” (please forgive her for the English error). Not only did this title make me very confused, but it also intrigued me, pulling me into the story of the video with her voice narrating the way. The video is cute and funny, and the retro setting makes everything look ten times cooler. Not convinced yet? Watch the video to see a surprise cameo from SHINee’s Onew!
The next tracks include “먹구름 (Dark Clouds),” which features Nafla. The opening bursts with a jazz flare, and HEIZE’s rap seamlessly makes its way into the track. Nafla’s rap complements her style very well—it’s relaxed and sounds just as effortless. The next song is the perfect follow-up to the “Dark Clouds” of the previous track. After the clouds comes the rain, and “Rainin’ with U” is such a lovely way of intertwining the album together. Like “Skit: Rainy Day” from her previous mini-album And July, this track has no vocals, just a calming and beautiful piano melody with the sound of someone writing in the background. This is also the only song on /// that HEIZE did not write. It was written and performed by 다비 (DAVII), and what a gorgeous song it is.
Next is “비도 오고 그래서 (You, Clouds, Rain).” Now the rain has begun to pour, so much so that it is heard in the background of this solemn, blues-inspired song. HEIZE’s voice perfectly suits such a sad, melancholy track. Only soft instrumentals are playing as they complement her voice and Shin Youngjae’s, who features on the song. Their voices together are enough to induce chills. Smooth and emotional, this song is a true stand-out on the album. You don’t even need to read the lyrics in order to feel the pain and sadness behind it. It’s the kind of song I can easily imagine listening to on a rainy day while looking out the window, lost in thought.
The music video is shot mostly in black and white—it’s simple, beautiful, and all that is needed to show off a stunning song.
Lastly, /// ends with something that gave me chills and memories of her fanmeet, “저 별 (Rain Ver.),” otherwise known as her popular song “Star.” This rainy version—equipped with the sound of drizzling rain, soft harmonies, and a lovely re-mix of instrumentals—is exactly what this song should be. I mean, I love the original and didn’t think it could get much better, but this “Rain Ver.” has shown me otherwise. If a fan of the original, definitely check out this soulful version.
It seems our HEIZE gets inspiration from the rain, for almost all of the songs on the album have rain sounds in the tracks themselves, or at least weather-related titles. This concept is one that I can totally get behind. As much as I love bright, sunny songs, I love me a good rainy ballad just as much, if not more. This whole album is truly aesthetic, and it has the perfect mix of timeless songs to help you through a tough day.