Our Taemin is back and for the first time in a while, he’s strictly chill. There are no smooth moves or crazy outfits in this music video; there are no gritty dance beats to be found on the repackage—this comeback is specifically designed to fit the change of the seasons, and title track “Day and Night” is as cool and relaxing as any of the holiday releases we’ve seen from K-pop so far this month. The rest of “MOVE-ing” only contains one new song, but even the alternate versions of “I’m Crying” and “Hypnosis” fit the December mood.
“Day and Night” is a smooth winter acoustic track, and by “winter acoustic” I mean that the instrumental’s lightly twanging guitar and augustly drawn strings are highly evocative of the cold season. The graceful but homey atmosphere of “Day and Night” brings to mind the image of smoke rising from a chimney into a cold gray sky, evoked as much by the composition as by the laid-back tempo and vocals. This composition combines a few differently flavored minors, some heavier and some more delicate, to render the sense of a beautiful but brisk winter landscape from which Taemin’s warm, jazzy vocal is a welcome refuge.
The new B-side is just as enchanting as the title track. Taemin never disappoints—after all, he has SM behind him, and for SM to release something that’s compositionally unimpressive is extremely rare—so I’m afraid I sound like a broken record when I say that the highlight of this gorgeous piano ballad was the composition, but it’s true. It’s hard to put into words how lovely it is to hear an unexpected melody the first time you listen to a song, but for me few things are more pleasing. “Snow Flower” provides just this pleasure without making a show of it; the sweetness is subtle, and the unpredictability is understated. The beginning of the chorus especially has a surprising sort of charm that made me hold my breath on first listen. The length of “Snow Flower” also works in its favor: the song could have ended around 3 minutes and 40 seconds, but the gentle vocal melody that follows brings back the tenderness of the start of the song, some of which it had lost in the big, dramatic final chorus. The addition of this small closing bridge which brings the track back to its emotional center shows the consideration and artistry that were put into this song. Of course, that artistry is always present in Taemin’s work, and I’d never expect anything different.
DAY AND NIGHT: KAYBOP OR KAYFLOP? Bop and more bop.
Take a look at Taemin’s “Day and Night” MV below: