Sept. 29, 2014 will forever live on in Girls' Generation fans' minds as the horrifying day when member Jessica Jung confusingly left and/or was kicked out of the phenom girl group in one of K-pop's still-unanswered mysteries. While the 27-year-old has spent most of her time focusing on growing her fashion brand, Blanc & Eclare, she now returns to music with her debut solo EP With Love, J.
The EP's lead single, "Fly," opens with a safe, pop/hip-hop-inspired beat that slightly recalls Taylor Swift's "Blank Space." Jessica's airy vocals make their return via a sweet and uplifting anthem where she encourages the listener to "just spread your wings." The song seems to double as an empowerment for the singer (who's had a rough time getting back in the good graces of harsh online fans), declaring on the bridge: "I won't cry anymore / I won't give up anymore / I won't lose, I won't lose, oh no!"
An unexpected-but-welcmoe rap verse from longtime hip-hop star Fabolous comes in to further uplift the singer, as Loso spits: "Yeah let's go, Jess / You should've never doubted yourself / Matter of fact, you should be proud of yourself / 'Cause you had to find a way, go about it yourself / Nobody gave you direction, had to route it yourself."
The cute, accompanying video keeps the idea of dreams alive as Jess finds herself in the California desert, but is wishing for snow and is doing what she can to make a winter wonderland a reality. Throughout it all, she rocks a slew of cute outfits and is the center of all the choreography which we're sure many fans missed since she exited her girl group.
According to the official EP credits, With Love, J was initially released in a "Korean version," which makes us think an English version is on its way soon. The California-born singer is certainly be able to release in both languages which could help maximum exposure. Stream the new record below via Spotify:
Jessica's solo debut comes on the heels of the first solo release from former band mate and current Girls' Generation member Tiffany and her synth-pop gem "I Just Wanna Dance." In the latest episode of Fuse's K-pop podcast K-Stop, we discuss who we're anticipating and what the fan reaction will be at the 40:15 mark.