I don’t really follow K-pop soloists as closely as I do K-pop groups, but I always love listening to Taeyeon. And one of the major reasons why is because her discography is so diverse and interesting. Though she certainly has her own unique artistic color and flair, her voice is also versatile enough to suit many different styles. All of her songs are quite distinctive, and I personally believe no two sound alike. I wasn’t expecting her to drop a summer single, but “Weekend” is an absolutely delightful surprise. While she doesn’t always go for the pure pop tracks, its bright and refreshing sound is such a natural fit for her that I’m genuinely surprised she hasn’t been making music like this all along.
“Weekend” is a shimmery disco pop song with a very slight retro feel and an addictive melody. It’s pretty much the definition of “easy listening,” and it’s certainly a style that’s popular with the South Korean public right now. (I feel like I’ve heard other female soloists release similar sounding songs recently.) Taeyeon sounds beautifully dreamy here against the gentle yet funky arrangement, and it’s super pleasant to listen to. While this song doesn’t necessarily showcase all of her vocal skills like some of her other singles, her voice is enchanting enough to pull you in and put you under her spell. And I love her casual rap break in the second verse, which is so unexpected but so fun! While “Weekend” isn’t specifically summer-themed, I think it’s perfect for the season – it definitely feels rejuvenating in the midst of all this sweltering Korean heat.
I particularly enjoy the lyrics for “Weekend,” because I find them highly relatable. The chorus says it all: “When the weekend comes, I can do whatever I want.” I love how the first verse describes waking up without an alarm ringing in your ear, and leisurely relaxing until it’s noon or later – because that’s literally what I do every Saturday and Sunday. My job has been a lot busier and more stressful this year, and I find myself with precious little free time these days. Honestly, I mostly just want to use my off days to sleep and catch up on projects like this blog. While “Weekend” doesn’t quite encourage my shut-in lifestyle (thanks COVID-19), it does validate my natural inclination to just relax and enjoy myself when I can.
Taeyeon doesn’t always add choreography to her comebacks, but I’m really happy when she does. Her performance for “Weekend” has a very clean and classic feel, and it’s quite entertaining and easy to follow. I like all the fun and light-hearted moments, like when she sits on a table and her dancers use the cloth she’s sitting on to pull her to the other side. But of course, my favorite part is the key point where she stretches her foot and swoons backward. It fits the graceful nature of the song, and it’s super memorable. (I think it’s supposed to be like a yoga or ballet move, but I personally call it “the flamingo.”) If I ever get back to K-pop dancing, this choreography will probably be first on my list.
As much as I enjoy the dance, I’m actually more drawn to the music video this time. First of all, it’s stunningly beautiful with a gorgeous aesthetic. I love the pink and purple, the set that looks like both clouds and cotton candy, and all of those expensive outfits that I can only dream of affording. But more importantly, I love how there’s a MAJOR nostalgia factor, which is probably because I’m a millennial like Taeyeon. The very first thing I noticed when I played the music video was how the office set had those colorful iMacs from the early 2000s – I actually had one when I was a kid, and it brought back all these memories. Plus some of Taeyeon’s clothes are a major throwback, particularly that look with the bandana and the pink jacket/mini-skirt combo. It reminds me of so many pop culture references: Barbie, Mean Girls, Legally Blonde, Paris Hilton… and I LOVE IT.
MY OVERALL INTEREST LEVEL
(NOTE: My options for each category are “Love,” “Like,” “Neutral,” “Not My Style,” or “Dislike.” But I rarely dislike anything, so I’ll mostly be using the other four.)
I recently watched Super Junior D&E’s reaction to the “Weekend” music video (of course), and they both mentioned that it would have been a really nice song for Girls’ Generation as a whole. I totally agree that they all would have killed it, but that observation hurt my heart a bit since I’ve been waiting for a reunion for so long. But even though “Weekend” is a release for Taeyeon, she does a great job of upholding Girls’ Generation’s reputation as “pop princesses.” It’s a new look for her as a solo artist, but she once again proves she’s a total concept chameleon. I’m seriously starting to believe there’s nothing she can’t do. All in all, I think “Weekend” is absolutely excellent. It’s definitely on my list of summer bops, and I look forward to enjoying it for a good long while.
(“Knee Jerk Reaction” is a column I created to talk about comebacks or debuts when I don’t have a lot of time to write in-depth reviews. A knee jerk reaction is like an automatic response, so it’s a post about my initial thoughts on the song, the music video, and the performance if it’s available. Compared to my reviews, everything is more stream of consciousness and less analytical. And everything is 100% my own opinion!)
SOURCES: Featured image and music video belong to SM Entertainment.