Taeyeon's music is a lot of things: powerful, heartbreaking, sexy. But happy? That's a rare one indeed. After all, one of her most dazzling hits, 'Fine', is about how she's 'not fine'. Abandoning the tear-streaked tracks we've come to expect, Taeyeon succeeded in creating a feel-good track to keep our spirits up during long periods indoors.
There's something that makes 'Happy' even more special - the fact it was nearly scrapped altogether. The single's original release date, March 9th, was postponed due to the passing away of Taeyeon's father on the same day. Her touching bravery in deciding to release the song just two months later, makes this song as inspiring as it is enjoyable.
The lyrics 'Happy, la la la' seemed like they belong in a nursery rhyme, not a Kpop comeback. That said, it works. More than that - it's the perfect way to tell the message of treasuring every moment we have together. 'Happy' is about an idea that's so universal it's above cheesiness. So what better way of showing that than saying, 'Happy, la la la'?
If this is a nursery rhyme, it's definitely the best one I've heard. 'Happy' features a booming bass straight out of Red Velvet's 'Psycho'. It's Taeyeon's way of reminding us that even though she's going positive, her music packs a punch. Matched with her creamy-smooth vocals, it's one of the most coherent tracks I've heard in a long time. I particularly enjoyed the pre-chorus, with its lilting rhythms evoking Amy Winehouse's Back to Black, albeit a lot more sugar-dusted.
The MV features Taeyeon singing peacefully away in a stylishly vintage house. It's perfect, in a way, to see her relaxing in domestic settings while many of us are stuck inside.
In comparison with similar hits like IU's 'Palette', or SHINee's 'Love Sick', this probably isn't a song to be passed down the generations. But it's an island of comfort in a time of need, and that's enough for now.
Kpop Review Café’s Ranking: 6/10
Written by Krystal