An Annotated Listening Music Review

An Annotated Listening: “Can’t Love You Anymore (With Oh Hyuk)” by IU

IU and Oh Hyuk rejoin forces for another collaboration.

사랑이 잘

“사랑이 잘 (Can’t Love You Anymore)” [3:23]

IU mentioned recently that her upcoming pre-release single off her forthcoming album would be a bit different than most of the music she’s released thus far, which to me meant that her collaboration with indie musician Oh Hyuk  “사랑이 잘 (Can’t Love You Anymore)” would likely be stripped down, or at least a little more stripped down than her bigger lead singles. And I was right.

If you’re a fan of IU’s more acoustic-inclined jams like “Not Spring, Love, or Cherry Blossoms” then this will probably hit the spot. “Can’t Love You Anymore” is a very leaned back R&B track that rolls right along its three-minute duration. In fact, it’s so chill, that I found it had little regard for build up or climactic interest. Well, let me take that back–the “climax” of the song is the most interesting part of the song. IU and Oh Hyuk, who are singing about a failed relationship, take a moment between 2:15 and 2:43 to have this back-and-forth dialogue that adds a nice layer of reality to what a true breakup duet should sound like. They slide into singing the chorus together soon after and finish the song in harmony.

To me, the song is at its best when IU and Oh Hyuk are singing as a pair because, oddly enough, their distinct voices sound really great together. Otherwise, I’m left pretty empty-handed by this song. What keeps getting me is the arrangement. I understand that this soulful style isn’t meant to wow, but it just lacks so much personality. It depends too much on the singers to carry the song, which they do, without adding any value to the instrumentation as a supporting element to the narrative. This could have been a poignant and compelling duet, but the direction didn’t allow that to happen here.

Genre: R&B/Soul | Release Date: 4/7/17

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