The soulful queen of 15&, Yerin Baek channels her signature RnB sound to blitz the K-pop scene with her highly-anticipated self composed album, Frank.
As a rising talent, Yerin had previously collaborated with 2PM’s Taecyeon and more recently, rapper San E.
She has made a name of herself by uploading breathtaking covers on her Instagram and performing at live gigs across Korea.
Frank features six honest tracks, showcasing Yerin’s soothing vocals that heals wounded hearts and brings fans closer to the artist herself.
Track 1 – Blue
This song is a nice, laid-back starter to the album. Yerin sings along with the guitar chords but without actual lyrics, leading into the first verse. Yerin’s gentle vocals are accompanied by a slow RnB beat that makes our heads sway. She ends the verse with a subtle belt. The chorus is very relaxing as Yerin oozes with soul and freshness. She uses little transitions into her falsetto and a flashback to the start where she harmonises with the instrumental, both to great effect. The second verse starts to pick up in tempo with soft drumming. Her transition into the second chorus was very pleasant. Yerin’s variety of adlibs makes a sweet finish to the song.
Track 2 – 우주를 건너 Across the Universe
As the title track, it sure does justice to the album. It is a song best suited for a breezy afternoon in the garden and drinking a glass of ice tea. A mix of loud and soft dynamics on the piano starts the song before Yerin enters with her delicate tone and a series of clicks. She continues to sing comfortably while slowly putting more sustained notes in the perfect places. The chorus is highlighted by Yerin’s burst of emotion and a sweet tune of guitar and Yerin telling us she’s waiting for her baby. The second verse gives off a reminiscent feel of a regular teenage girl secretly waiting for her crush after class, just to catch a glimpse that would make her day. Yerin then sings the second chorus in similar fashion to the first but adding more refined vocal runs and adlibs. The highlight is definitely the bridge where the casual tune of the song changes to a deeper, slower one. Yerin explodes with her emotional vocals, using her breathy falsetto to send us to heaven. The song ends with some Mariah Carey-esque harmonies and Yerin serenading, “Baby I need you now”.
Track 3 – As I Am
As I Am is basically Baek Yerin on a plate. The first English track on the album is not only one of the best compositions but it also reflects Yerin’s personal feelings. It is a true gem of a song. Yerin starts the song with a simple use of acoustic guitar, accompanied by her heartfelt words. The line, “If it’s fine, why would they judge me like they know me” could be a bit of shade, but seriously who would dare to judge the beautiful Yerin like that? In the chorus, she expresses she’s fine with living and no one can change her. Preach girl, you tell them. The second verse really tugs onto the heartstrings where she tells her story about her path since she was at the tender age of nine. At this point, the lyrics get even more wholehearted and the eyes start to water. The second chorus is followed by a bout of acoustic guitar solo before Yerin returns with the final chorus. She changes the tempo a bit with a hint of falsetto. The song concludes with her repeating, “As I Am” with pretty melodies.
Track 4 – 혼자 두지 마 Don’t Leave Me Alone
This song is simply a killer ballad. The first verse brings a sense of heartbreak with a very quiet piano, allowing Yerin’s emotional vocals to shine. She then adds more power into her belts in the chorus as she asks us not to leave her alone. Don’t worry Yerin, Jimin and your fans would never let you be lonely. Yerin’s voice in the second verse becomes softer where she sings slightly higher with breathy transitions to her falsetto. The chorus repeats before the stunning bridge. Yerin sings in piano then gradually gets louder and explodes with her powerful vocals. The lovely ending chorus features moments of resonance, vocal runs and change of dynamics.
Track 5 – 잠들고 싶어(zZ)
Want to take a break or an afternoon break? Listen to this track and it would calm your stresses and send you to a deep slumber. The casual, easy listening feel to the song begins with a slight sound from an old radio before Yerin starts crooning into our ears. The catchy RnB tune to her voice here just makes you want to groove along with the song. Yerin’s chillaxed voice lures us to take a break in the chorus. Second verse is a repeat of the first as well as the second chorus. By this point, we really start to contemplate taking a granny nap. The bridge features Yerin harmonizing along to some dreamy instrumental. Yerin takes it up a notch with flawlessly soothing adlibs in the last chorus to end a very pretty song.
Track 6 – That’s Why
Frank concludes with another English track. That’s Why is a heartwarming number where Yerin tells a nostalgic story about a rough experience with love. The song starts with lovely acoustic chords, capturing the feels at an instant. Yerin sings sweetly about her walking down a bridge on a cloudy day. The English lyrics in the first verse provide alluring imagery to the listener. Her tone is rather bittersweet at first, gradually showing more hurt towards the end of the chorus. The second verse is much like the first, as Yerin emphasises on her diction to get her message across rather than erupting the song with her vocals. The bridge once again is a very captivating change of tempo. Things slow down as Yerin’s voice becomes more fragile and sad especially when she sings, “Hope you know I tried, hope you know I cried” and “I’ll know I’ll be fine as time goes by”. This part was very touching and as we could only ponder about what she went through. It’s courageous of her to express her feelings through this song as many people fail to say these words, no matter how much they wanted to. The electric guitar instrumental is a perfect way to end the song, as it grasps the sense of reminiscing back to past – a past that Yerin cried and wants to be frank about.