Review: Crush [with HER]

Singer-songwriter and self-producer, Crush partners with five distinct female voices for [with HER], a sublime collection of five hip-hop and R&B-influenced songs. Smeared with textural scents and hazy silhouettes, this album is a earworm soundscape of voices oozing like honey. It is also a showcase of Crush’s masterful skill in melodical arrangements and songwriting which plays with expectations yet doesn’t forget catchy hooks to get you grooving, as well as his ability to seamlessly move his vocal through an emotional range.

Currently, Crush is one of the most interesting artists in the Korean music scene who has fully grasped his colour and voice in composing, producing, and performing. Attuned to trends across generations of jazz and R&B, including icons such as Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, he absorbs and collages into a contemporary vibe that is evidently rooted in Korean emotions — for [with HER], he taps into the 90s, reminding me of vibes from Ginuwine, Aaliyah, and D’Angelo. What I love about Crush is that you can see his continuous experimentation to hone his skill with every album and single.

놓아줘 Let me go with 태연 Taeyeon

A smooth R&B with a serene piano base and snap beats. A balladic sorrow lingers in the harmony as the time to part ways has come — a goodbye.

모른 척 했어
점점 바래진 내 마음을
벌어진 틈새로 널 보며
그저 고개만 돌렸어
너무 멀리 왔다는 걸
알고 있잖아 서로

나를 묶고 있는 너의 마음
아픔은 늘 나의 몫인 걸
목이 메어 내뱉는 이 말도
너 대신 할게

너를 묶고 있는 나의 마음
쉽게 아물지는 않겠지만
함께 만든 추억 다 잊어
놓아 이젠, 날 놓아줘

i pretended i didn’t know
as my heart slowly faded
glancing at you through the cracks
i just looked away
we’ve come too far
we’ve known it for awhile

let me go
from your heart that binds me
the pain is always my role
even the words choked with emotions
i will say it for you

let me go
from my heart the binds you
scars won’t heal very easily
but let’s forget all our memories
and let go, let me go

Tip Toe with 이하이 Lee Hi

A reinterpretation of a 90s R&B’s soulful beat, Lee Hi’s husky vocal echoes against Crush’s flow. One step forward, then back, tip toeing into her heart — it’s a groove with a splash of sexy.

tip tip toe tip tip toe
살금 살금 movin’ on
tip tip toe 아무도 모르게

baby tonight alright
눈이 마주친 순간
넌 내가 찾던 boy
둘 사이 시그널
다들 바빠 각자
원하는 사람 찾아
둘만 아는 곳으로

어느새 발걸음은 너에게로
baby let me call you te quiero
처음 봤지만 어색하지않은 태도 alright we ride

tip tip toe tip tip toe
quietly movin’ on
tip tip toe without anyone knowing

baby tonight alright
the moment our eyes met
you’re the boy i was looking for
a signal between us
everyone’s busy
looking for the person they want
we escape
to a place only we know

soon my footsteps are towards you
baby let me call you te quiero
we only just met but our attitude isn’t awkward so alright we ride

춤 Love Encore with 이소라 Lee Sora

She has left without an encore, yet he finds himself still seeped in her sparkling movements.

A bossanova inspired sounds which become a beautiful dreamy landscape with Lee Sora’s delicate vocal. We have seen Crush and Lee Sora’s chemistry on the busking TV show, “Begin Again,” and this collaboration enlivens their surreal vocal harmony.

그대 눈빛 속에 잠들고 싶어
외로운 꿈은 이제 지겨워
남겨진 상처들에 지쳐 혼자
숨어버린 긴 시간 끝
결국 난 널 바라는구나

너는 자유롭게 춤을 추네
저 별들보다 반짝이게
내게 아름 시린 노랠 불러줘

sing it la la la la

i want to fall asleep in your sparkling eyes
i’m tired of your lonely dreams
exhausted from the scars left behind
i hide alone for a long time
but in the end, i eventually want you

you dance so freely
brighter than those stars
sing me the beautifully cold song

sing it la la la la

Step by Step with 윤미래 Yoon Mirae

Inspired by a 90s vibe, the chorus rings with rich instrumentals while Crush moves through rhymes and flow, and Yoon Mirae reverberates against the melody. Rather than a tip toe, it’s a step by step into the open door of her heart.

처음부터 보였어
사람들 속에서
시선이 머물렀어

i found my love
애타는 맘 감출 수 없어 girl you know
i want you, to be with you
너와 둘이, 단둘이 all night baby

의심은 지워
이제 시작해
내가 맞춰줄게

baby step by step
다가가 천천히
baby step by step
네게로 서서히
baby step by step
너에게 가까이
(don’t you know i’m here for you)
baby step by step
i’ll make you my darling

from the beginning
amongst the crowd
my eyes set
on you

i found my love
i can’t hide my anxious heart, girl you know
i want you, to be with you
just the two of us, all night baby

erase all suspicion
now is the start
i will go along with you

baby step by step
i slowly go to you
baby step by step
i gradually go to you
baby step by step
i move closer to you
(don’t you know i’m here for you)
baby step by step
i’ll make you my darling

She Said with BIBI

A hip-hop infused R&B with BIBI’s vocal tickling against Crush’s powerful rap. Right from the beginning, he reaches into sensual senses, recalling his intimate, love-making debut album [Crush On You] from six years ago.

she said she said
내 입술은 뻣뻣해
곧 녹아내릴텐데 뭐 no worries
네 목덜미는 내 코끝에 어느새
she said no no no

이 밤은 짧아 yeah right
don’t worry ‘bout this new challenge
late night when i’m with you feel alive yeah

i know what you want baby come closer
하나둘씩 take off your clothes
흘러내리고있어 점점 더
this is how we do

she said she said
my lips are stiff
they’ll soon melt so no worries
around your neck, under my nose
she said no no no

this night is too short yeah right
don’t worry ’bout this new challenge
late night when i’m with you feel alive yeah

i know what you want baby come closer
one by one take off you clothes
they slowly fall down
this is how we do