Okay, the first thing that pops into my head when I see the title of this song is the classic Michael Jackson/Siedah Garrett ballad, which sets the bar pretty darn high. I have no reason to expect something similar, since pop music has moved on to a different palette of sounds in the past 30+ years. But, there is something comforting about seeing that familiar title tethered to a familiar artist – in this case ex-Beast and Troublemaker member Jang Hyunseong.
Hyunseong has been pretty quiet these past few years. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed his solo music on The Bias List before. But, his voice was an instrumental part of the industry’s second generation, and it’s a treat to hear it back in action. I Just Can’t Stop Loving You (차가운 너의 손을 따스히 감싸주고 싶어) is an interesting blend between the old and new. On one hand, its structure feels more like a flow than a melody — a very trendy approach these past few years. But, it’s underpinned by a synth-kissed instrumental that feels much more timeless. In this case, I think the juxtaposition works well – especially given the expressiveness of Hyunseung’s vocal.
In some ways, I Just Can’t Stop Loving You feels like one of those old YG hip-hop ballads, conversational and cathartic in tone. There’s an unguarded energy to it, as if the performance was captured after a few swigs of alcohol. I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. This is a large part of the track’s charm, and fits with the general tone. I especially like how the chorus dives toward a messy, mile-a-minute conclusion, as if the song is stumbling over its own feet. I Just Can’t Stop Loving You may not be particularly ambitious, but it resonates in its own charming way.