HEIZE is More Than “Fine” with New Album
Released on March 19, HEIZE is back with her newest album titled She’s Fine. Known for being experimental with her sound, She’s Fine offers yet another layer to HEIZE’s well-rounded discography with new genres, styles, and collaborations. On top of being her most dynamic yet, this album may also be her most introspective to date with songs like the self-assuring title “She’s Fine” and the critical “Dispatch.”
Totaling at 11 songs, the album starts off with its title track, “She’s Fine,” an electro-funk ode to not living life to the standards of others. Compared to the rest of the album, this song is similar to her usual style, albeit with much more synth and EDM-influence. Although it may not be on par with some of her previous title tracks, “She’s Fine” is catchy—a staple in HEIZE’s works which may be one of her most impressive talents—and the repeated chorus will be stuck in your head for days.
The second song on the album is “So, it ends?” and features producer-singer Colde. Personally speaking, HEIZE and Colde are my two favorite solo artists, so to hear they would be collaborating for this song was a dream come true. With its dramatic piano, muted instrumentation, and lazy vocals from HEIZE and Colde, this haunting track about an inevitable breakup is everything I expected it would be and more. After “So, it ends?” comes “No Reason,” a light-hearted track about loving someone entirely that sounds like it came straight out of a K-Drama.
“Dispatch,” the next track on the album, may be the most controversial. Featuring Simon Dominic, this song shines a harsh light on the struggles celebrities face living a life under the spotlight, particularly in Korea where they are forced to keep their relationships secret. It’s probably no coincidence that the song is titled after the news source so infamous for outing celebrity relationships. It’s a sad truth that many like to turn a blind eye to—especially the entertainment industry itself—so while it’s unfortunate that HEIZE may have also suffered the pain of having to hide a relationship to appease fans, it’s good to see someone of her status shedding light on it.
Following up “Dispatch” is the more upbeat “Hitch Hiding,” a dreamy, electro-pop song with sunwoojunga about wanting to escape everyday life. Thanks to its synthesizers and whispered lyrics, the song is positively whimsical, but don’t let that fool you: it features one of the grooviest bass lines on the album. “But, I am Your Buddy,” takes things an entirely different route with its soft electric guitar and string lines in the chorus. Personally, this song ended up being the most surprising; maybe it was the beat, maybe it was DAVII’s voice set against HEIZE’s smooth lyrics, but this song stood out amongst an already impressive album.
“Umbrella Calls for Rain” with Nafla with its syncopated piano and walking bass line is reminiscent of some of HEIZE’s previous jazzy works like “You, Clouds, Rain” or “Jenga.” In an album full of musical risks for the artist, hearing HEIZE stick to her signature jazzy roots is both grounding and satisfying. “Tree Only Look at You” takes the modern R&B route with its muted electric guitar and the forlorn melodies HEIZE shares with Jooyoung.
“Doobling” snags your attention right from the first note with its lo-fi guitar, but the chorus is what holds it between the HEIZE’s soft backing vocals and the repeated, “This is not a love song.” The song is simple and in retrospect may not be the most memorable on the album, but it’s an incredibly pleasant listen that really lets HEIZE’s vocals take front and center. “E.T” wraps up the album, coming in soft with an acoustic guitar and one of the most relaxing melodies I’ve heard in awhile. Taking an unorthodox approach in concept, in this song HEIZE likens herself to an extraterrestrial, who after visiting Earth to share her music, must return to space. The song sounds like something you’d listen to while looking up at the night sky, and with its repetitive “I’m fine” line in the chorus, HEIZE brings the album full circle.
The album concludes with “E.T’s Letter,” an instrumental track that, in comparison to the finality of “E.T,” sounds like a hint for more to come. And truth be told, if HEIZE has anything else like I’m Fine hidden up her sleeve, then I wait with bated breath.
Check out the music video for “She’s Fine” and the short film for “Dispatch” below.