K-Pop Songs: O – Outro by DEAN

DEAN is one of my absolute favourite soloists in Korea. Not only does he have a tonal difference that no one else has but the beats he sings on are so catered to him and this special tone. Of all the DEAN songs I could talk about “Outro” is one of my favourite ones.


ALBUM: 130 Mood: TRBL


130 Mood: TRBL was released March 24 2016. With three already released songs and title tracks “Bonnie & Clyde” and “D (Half Moon)”, and two b-side songs this album is one of the closest things to art. I’m telling you – every song on this album is an absolute work of art and it’s amazing to be witness to someone who is so in touch with his craft and how he executes such a perfect genre that seems as if it’s catered purely for him.

Because there are a lot of fantastic songs on this album I specifically wanted to talk about “Outro” in particular – not only because it’s the shortest song on the album at a mere 2m 13s but the variety of genres and tonal variety is stellar.

Starting out with sound effects of police sirens and nice piano notes it quickly changes into a nice beat that gives off a demo kind of feel. DEAN’s voice comes in strong as he uses his mid range in the delicate way that he sings while the music becomes more bass-orientated. Over his voice you start to hear harmonising in the background before he quickly switches to his upper register. At this point the song does give off a relaxing vibe – although it has traces of escalating to way beyond what you’re hearing it’s nice he keeps it this tempo for as long as he does.

Until shit hits the fan – the beat turns to pure bass and his voice comes in with an attitude that was missing from the start. The music almost turns to a trap beat which shows a different side to DEAN. Prior to this song I don’t think we’d heard anything close to trap from him, the closest probably being “Pour Up”.

What I love about this song is what it shows us about him. He has a delicate sort of duality and he straddles it constantly and all the time. He can have such a soft and buttery voice but can quickly turn it up to a voice full of savagery and attitude. I also thing this song being the first track is kind of taking us on a journey. The first minute and a half is showing what he was like before the release of this album and the last minute is the new DEAN – a rap-singer artist who does his thing on a thicker and heavier beat.

Most people would’ve heard this album by now but if there was one song off this album that I would suggest to those who haven’t quite heard the whole thing yet “Outro” would be the one. (I also think “21” is a great other side to DEAN as well – pure funkiness.)

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