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  • Cy White

Yuna & Shaun: 'So Right'

For any fan of K-pop, Shaun is a household name. His electro-pop inspired production style has brought island-tinged flavor to some of K-pop's most popular acts. Notably, he outperformed both BLACKPINK and BTS with his 2018 release "Way Back Home," its tropical-tinged production and Shaun's mellow vocals giving fans a broader look at K-pop as they knew it.

Yuna's voice is the perfect example of when contemporary R&B and pop sensibilities meet. She flawlessly marries her smoky timbre with any genre. That ability to flow seamlessly between genres without sacrificing her vocal maturity has garnered the Malaysian songstress worldwide notoriety. Her collaboration with Usher on track "Crush" is testament enough to the power of her subtle vocal.

Combined, the two pop powerhouses have crafted in single "So Right" a song that while it doesn't stray outside of their capabilities certainly highlights how well their respective talents transcend genre. Vocally, the two are a perfect match. Shaun's own deep-amber tone is quite surprising, given the trend for more tenor than baritone in poppy love songs. It's warm, inviting, brings listeners in with open arms. Needless to say, Yuna's voice is as magnetic as ever. It's refreshing to hear a woman with some true depth and dimension to her voice on a duet. It does get rather boring hearing the same light, cute, pop tone as the counterpart to the more dominant male voice. What a treat that the two vocals complement each other in strength and tone.

This extends, of course, to the construction of the track itself. Yuna provides the lyrical core of the track. Weaving a story of a young couple who don't understand how their love works, but accepting that it does. Love that's "so right," as it were. Despite their flaws and differences, their love not only works, it flourishes. They provide the perfect balance to one another, showing that circumstances don't always dictate how people relate to each other. If it's right, it's just right. The wisdom is wrapped in deceptively simple lyricism ("I can't explain or comprehend. This should feel wrong. Something about you just feels so right"). There are even the typical tropes of the male in the relationship masking how he truly feels through good, old-fashioned bravado ("Baby, it's not like I'm gonna die if you don't feel the same. I'ma be all right), when what he really means is my ego won't allow me to show how weak I am for you in front of my boys. That being said, there's a great deal of experience wrapped in the simplicity. In the end both concede that what they have is genuine, their feelings mutual and unaffected by naysayers.

Together Shaun and Yuna really do create a beautiful take on the "true love" trope. Their collaboration also stands as an example of cross-cultural relationships, musically and otherwise. According to Unbound Entertainment, the entertainment agency representing both Yuna and Shaun, "For this project, the brand chose to honor the Asian-American narrative specifically."

A balanced track that appeals to those drawn to island-inspired pop, "So Right" is engaging. It will certainly captivate fans of both Shaun and Yuna, its playful production and lovelorn lyricism universal in charm.


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