Zion.T's Smooth 'The Song' Livens Up Korean R&B

Daniel Boczarski/Redferns
Zion.T with The Session performs during the K-Pop Night Out SXSW showcase at The Belmont on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas.

In 2015, Zion.T made his mark on the Korean R&B world with hit after hit. After moving companies last year, he returned on Tuesday (Jan. 31) with his OO EP, led by the single “The Song.”

While maintaining his typical croons, Zion.T refreshed his sound on “The Song” with the lively piano-based melody. The tune is jazzier than sentimental past hits like “No Make Up" and "Just," but the singer’s latest is a refreshing, poppish update to his sonic style. With snapping, playful strings and a rock-tinged chorus, “The Song” is a tightly produced track that complements Zion.T’s lush vocals.

The accompanying pastel-hued music video features the artist as a carefree romantic, dancing on rooftops in a Beetlejuice-like suit while trying to win over the object of his affection.

Although “The Song” is a bit bouncier than his past singles, Zion.T returns to more languid pacing on other OO tracks, although the EP is dominated by an overall positive, upbeat sound; “Cinema” draws on boss nova music with its strings and percussion, while "Comedian" is standard Zion.T fare with its gentle rhythm and unhurried pace -- but opens with sinister, Joker-esque laughter. And for anyone who really wants to relive Zion.T’s earlier hits, there’s “Complex.” The singer’s collaboration with BIGBANG’s G-Dragon blatantly references Zion.T’s past hits and samples music from his 2015 single “Yanghwa Bridge,” all while referencing the American magazine of the same name.

OO also features “Sorry,” a midtempo jam with rapper Beenzino, the groovy “Bad Guys” and indie-rock closer “Wind.” An instrumental version of “Cinema” completes the album at seven songs.

The new EP is produced by The Black Label, a subsidiary under YG Entertainment. Managed by producer Teddy Park, Zion.T is the only act currently signed to The Black Label.   

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