We keep lamenting our idols going into the military but we don’t talk nearly as much about our loves returning to the fold. I think part of it, at least for those of us that have been around awhile, is that in the olden days…like 7 years ago…we rarely got our idols back after discharge. They moved on to other careers either in the industry or using the degrees they worked so hard to earn while also being creating and promoting. But now, norms are shifting, our fantasy boyfriends have become experienced, post-military men and are ready and willing to continue sharing their talents with us in a more mature and, for me anyway, human way.
Yang Yoseob, our power vocal and baby-faced boxer of Beast and Highlight fame, began his military career as a conscripted police officer in January 2019. It was a sad time as the members of Highlight entered the military, one after another, and we didn’t know what would happen to the group after they were discharged. Especially given the scandal that touched one of the members resulting in his exiting the group. We were all pretty damn sure they would all do something with music, but as many of them also act, it was a little up in the air as to what we could expect.
Thank the heavens above, as the last member was released, the group pulled together as the four remaining members and gave us the absolutely fantastic EP The Blowing with the potential top 50 title track Not the End. They have been charming us as a whole and as individuals on all sorts of variety and have been picking up gigs mc’ing, playing badminton, and all sorts of other things…like putting out solo albums.
Yoseob released Chocolate Box, a 12 song album on September 20. Now, he is a ballad guy typically, and I am not always a ballad girl but holy crap, he killed it. The title track, Brain, is an R&B-inspired song about the memories that bombard you when you are out walking the streets late at night. I completely identify with this feeling, this mood, this experience. He does a great job of creating the right vibe – it’s sexy and not exactly dark, but not really bright either. It’s just, specific. Features on the album include PH-1, Minseo, and Sole – all artists I love – and while I don’t worship at the altar of all of the songs, it’s a super solid album that I have not hesitated to play a few times through while working diligently on all of those things I work diligently on in the office.
All of this to say, I don’t think we should be quite so sad when our loves are doing their duty for their country. There is a solid chance we’ll get them back even better than ever.
Brain, Yang Yoseob