REVIEW Song Review: YOGA LIN - "Otomen"

BlueNose

Expert Of Things
Social Media
Early Supporters
VIP+
Third Place Elite
Posts
4,362
Reaction score
30,078
Points
40,320
Location
Vacationing in the depths of Hell
Plus Coins
⨭583,536
  • Girls' Generation's Yuri
  • Girls' Generation's Taeyeon
  • Girls' Generation's Yoona
  • EXO's Xiumin
C-Release: YOGA LIN's "Otomen"
Review written by: BlueNose





Released on September 25th, 2019, "Otomen" is Mandopop artist Yoga Lin's newest single, which will be a part of his upcoming album. Before I really get into the song, I'm going to preface that the first sentence in the MV's description translates to "MV's female lead is my wife" - it essentially sets the tone of the song before you even click start.





With an 80s pop influence and dreamy vocals, Yoga Lin’s sweet vocal tone pulls the listener into a serenade. The song starts out pretty lighthearted - with only a piano, a soft guitar, and calm drums. When the chorus begins, the guitar and drums become more energetic. The sound of water dripping also enters the song’s equation. There are also other instruments that come in to play, but I do not recognize them. Yoga Lin’s slightly off-tempo sung chorus both confuses and adds an edge to the song’s otherwise soft, whimsical motions.


The next verse comes in more fleshed than the first. Sounds that were present in the first chorus were carried over into the second verse, with several new ones (ex: a very faint wiggly synth). With the build-up from the second verse, the second chorus hits a lot harder than the first. Yoga Lin ends the chorus with a vocal run and then the instrumental takes over, showing off what sounds like bongos, several modulations and key changes (the song rises), several wiggly synths, and what sounds like the same up and down sound in Twice’s "TT". All of this happened in the span of 18 seconds. After this short interlude, there is one last chorus. It’s an accumulation of everything that has been shown before, but with a key change - a bit higher than the last two choruses. As the song is coming to an end, Yoga Lin slowly starts transitioning into the outro, but it’s a fake-out. Almost immediately after that, he continues with a slower, more somber pace and everything ends with Yoga going full circle to the tempo he started with.






The lyrics are absolutely adorable, telling us the story of a man who is smitten with love. He reveals this girl all of his dreams and what he plans for their future together (he wants to buy a house and have one or two children). Even though Yoga Lin and his wife are already married, he still talks as if they are just meeting and getting to know each other - as if their love has yet to die a horrible death. He also talks about how even when they’re old, they will still be deeply in love with each other. The song title is officially translated as "Otomen", but a better translation of the song is probably "Young Girl" or "Teenage Girl". Although the lyrics are very sweet, "Otomen" actually has a negative connotation for guys who love traditionally girly things. However, it seems Yoga Lin has taken a positive stance on the name. Overall, I think the song is incredibly chill and saccharine.

Read "Otomen"'s lyrics translated by Vanilla Cupcake for Hallyu+ here


Compared to his last single, "Flame in the Brook", "Otomen" is a bit different. While "Otomen" is bright, whimsical, dreamy, and a bit upbeat, "Flame in The Brook" is a dark, soothing ballad, with a touch of an uplifting spirit. Although both songs are subdued and laid back, they display it differently.


Forgive me for not being able to hear the world
A lonely child loses his way amidst the wilderness
Chasing the wind in hopes of learning its song
A lonely child, exhausted

Forgive me for never having seen sound
Thinking it's clearer than the sea
You are all such happy fish
that never noticed me frozen in the ice

Movie trips, celebrities representing shoe brands
Can I also be someone who's the subject of conversations?
Say it to me, I really want to listen
I don't have a voice, it doesn't represent me and it's also hidden away

Forgive me for having still not found you
My voice, where are you?

Flames, brooks, falling leaves, raindrops
are all lucky to have a voice
I also want to say something, but who is willing to listen?
It's a pity that everything on my mind is silenced, turning into secrets

Forgive me, my dear mother
Please don't cry for me secretly anymore


'Flame in the Brook' is a single that Yoga Lin released for charity causes. It was done in cooperation with the Beijing I Hear U Charity Fund for deaf children. Because of this, the song has a lot of references on what a deaf child might deal with - the lyrics speak of someone who wants to do so much but is limited by their disability. In Yoga Lin's description under the video, he talked about how disabled people can overcome difficulties and do amazing things. He hoped that the release of this song and the donations raised through sales would be able to help someone.


I think these two songs show Yoga Lin's ambition to portray different sides of himself. With the year-long gap between the two singles, the singer has grown and is ready to show a new person. He continues to learn about himself and what he wants to portray as an artist.


To finish off and bring things back to "Otomen", it knows what it wants to be, but Yoga Lin expands upon it. Having sweet surprises, yet being an overall easy listen, I believe it's a great single to start off the promotion for his upcoming album.



___________________________

Artistic Creativity: 9/10
Music: 9/10
Vocal Quality: 8.5/10


8.8/10
___________________________

All credits to grainy for context + "Flame in the Brook"'s lyrics

 

rosie

• ♔ •
Moderator
Social Media
Posts
903
Reaction score
2,819
Points
8,220
Plus Coins
⨭7,300
  • Certified Blink (Alternative)
  • BLACKPINK's Rosé
  • Oh My Girl's Yooa
  • Pride
Thank you for the review! Right from the start, this sounds like my type of song. Man, the instrumentals really slay.

'Flame in the Brook' is a single that Yoga Lin released for charity causes. It was done in cooperation with the Beijing I Hear U Charity Fund for deaf children. Because of this, the song has a lot of references on what a deaf child might deal with - the lyrics speak of someone who wants to do so much but is limited by their disability. In Yoga Lin's description under the video, he talked about how disabled people can overcome difficulties and do amazing things. He hoped that the release of this song and the donations raised through sales would be able to help someone.
And this just won me over :tears: People really do underestimate the value of hearing on a child's communication development. Kids learn through exposure. If they're not able to hear the full spectrum, how will they receive the exposure to learn? I'm hoping the funds will be put to good use, and I'm sure that there will be some lives changed through this act of generosity!
 
  • Love
Reactions: BlueNose

Chu

୨୧
Early Supporters
Posts
299
Reaction score
369
Points
1,820
Location
☆☽
Plus Coins
⨭174,433
  • WayV
  • IU
  • Eevee
  • The Legend of Zelda
Amazing review bluwuuu
:wow:
The description of otomen really does justice to the song. It's definitely saccharine, I love it
 
  • Love
Reactions: BlueNose