010.

정준일/Jung Joon Il, BewhY - PLASTIC

Film critic Lee Dong-Jin described the album as “the vehement scream uttered by a broken mirror, and the muffled sigh spewed by a closed door.” Hopelessness exhausts your body. You feel lonely despite the bustle of the crowd. Do you belong. Why do you live. As the four songs blend together into one narrative, the audience is brought into the unstable mind of Jung Joon-Il. A story he has yet to finish.

The protagonist is in extreme despair and sorrow. He has lost all motivation to live.

Living has no value.

“넌 나를 몰라 아무것도 몰라
나도 날 모르는데 뭘 알아
이 쓸모없는 놈 쓸모없어지면
나는 하나도 쓸모없는 놈인가요”

“You don’t know anything about me
How do you know if I don’t even know myself
When this useless jerk becomes useless
Do I become the most useless jerk”

<USELESS>

Name of the album. UNDERWATER. The deep sea. Deep into the unknown world. To dig deep under yourself. Apparently two of the songs, “USELESS” and “PLASTIC” were banned from television due to its very pessimistic and misanthropic messages.

I think this album is beautiful, one of the most beautiful albums I’ve heard. Jung Joon-Il delves into the unvoiced invisible emotional rollercoaster that I’m sure many of us have or are experiencing. His words touch your heart as if he understands you, he empathize with you. It hurts how the feelings and thoughts come to life in the songs. It hurts how real and true they are.

“대체 누가 날 구원할까 
내가 죽고 난 다음에는  
나의 눈앞에
나타나는 것이 있을지
아니면 까마득할지
날 위해 눈가가 적셔지는
누군가는 존재할지

Who will ever save me after I die
In front of my eyes
Will I see something, or will it be darkness
Will there be someone
Whose eyes will tear up for me”

<PLASTIC>

I think these feelings are what makes humans so beautiful.

“PLASTIC” stands out because of the special collaboration. Jung Joon-Il’s husky voice and unexpected R&B-style vocal mould well with BewhY’s syncopatic staccato rap, accompanied with the abnormal shifts of melody and tempo demands for the listener’s attention. I’m hesitant to say that the music video did justice to the song (as well as those for other songs), either because I expected Korean faces since the lyrics themselves hold such deep emotional value and metaphors in the Korean language, or because I didn’t expect anything and wanted to keep the songs as merely resonance of feelings.

“아무도 소리내지 못하는 밤
소리없는 목소리 들리는 밤
모두가 죽은 듯 소리없는 밤
잠들었던 꿈도 잠 못드는 밤”

“Night, where nobody can make a noise
Night, where you can hear the soundless voice
Night, where no sound can be heard as if everyone died
Night, where dreams you slept through cannot be dreamt”

<IAN>

From an excerpt written by Jung Joon-Il about the album, he explains how we live in a society where our lives are determined by numbers on our report cards. We are constantly told to work hard - but does it actually feed us an extra meal just because you worked harder than someone else? We slavishly motivate ourselves that we must move forward to achieve something better. If someone asks you very bluntly why do you do that, you vaguely answer, “because I want to be happy.” 

It’s alright. Everything’s going be alright.”

I want to treasure these songs inside me forever. 

처음에 UNDERWATER 앨범을 들었을때 너무 갑작스러웠다. 정준일의 목소리와 가사들 속에 담긴 감정, 울려퍼지는 감정들이 너무 가득해서. 노래들이 함께 어우러져 한 이야기를 전한다. 그리고 가사만큼이나 우울한 분위기의 노래들안에 아름다움이있다.

정말 아름답다.

사람들은 살면서 한번쯤 깊게 삶에 대해 고민하고 극한의 절망속에 다다르는 경험을 겪곤한다. 물론 아닌 분들도 있을거다. 듣고 들어도 가사들이 너무 친숙한 나의 감정들을 표현해 나는 기분이 좋다기 보단, 더욱 더 슬프고 아프다. 어떻게 내가 겪었던 또는 겪고있는 감정들과 고민들을 이렇게 고스란히 전달할수가 있을까. 얼마나 힘들었을까. 얼마나 힘들까…

정준일이 말한 이야기가 생각난다:

“그냥 막연하게 우리는 더 나은 무언가를 위해 앞으로 나가야만 한다고 생각한다. 누군가가 꽤나 퉁명스러운 말투로 왜 꼭 그래야만 하냐고 묻는다면, ‘행복해지고 싶어서.’ 라는 막연한 대답밖에 할 수 없다.”