Journeys. Some feel that life in and of itself is one and sure, I can get on board with that. But break it down even further. Within this all-encompassing journey are probably some sub-journeys like education, career, love, and perhaps a more important one, the inner journey we take in discovering who we are and what our place is in the world. To me, all comprise the long flight we call life. This is what crossed my mind when musing on this week’s Playlist Roulette pull, NCT leader Taeyong’s digital single, Long Flight.
Don’t worry, I am not going to get all philosophical with this week’s pull. The thought simply hit me while I was perusing the lyrics to this wonderfully chill track that closed out SM Station’s third season back in July 2019. If you are not familiar, SM Station is a digital music project where many of SM Entertainment’s talent release songs outside of the purview of their own groups, and often offers collaborations with talents both in and outside of the agency. Such a boon on so many levels because it expands discographies as well as artistic expression. Long Flight definitely ticks the artistic expression box.
The song. Penned by Taeyong and that fantastic Øffshore duo Royal Dive, this R&B/hip-hop track, peppered with a fair amount of English, is rhythmic, light and breezy. Even though Taeyong is known for his rapid fire and in-your-face rap lines, his vocals shine in Long Flight and gently glide through the track as if floating on a cloud. Oh yes, he does rap; sharp, full of swag, and at one point even somewhat playful, it is perfectly matched with the overall tone and vibe of the song. On one hand Long Flight may have you swaying in your seat and on the other, chilled out, eyes closed, absorbing the ambiance.
Lyrically, it may feel somewhat superficial but I happen to think there is something a little deeper going on and this is probably why I went a little new age up there with my thoughts in the opening paragraph of this post. Is it just a trippy relationship song about the love between two people soaring astronomically beyond the clouds and beyond the sky to elevations unknown?
You can see how love it (yeah yeah)
Shall we gonna check it (yeah yeah)
Above the sky, cruising (yeah yeah)
Above the clouds, diving
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
Is it about soaring past limitations even when you feel as if there are forces trying to keep you down?
Can’t get em out of it
Get em out of it
Pulling me down
Pulling me like Gravity
Driving the spaceship like that
Into the infinity, cosmos like that
Or, is it about taking this ‘long flight’ to discover your true self, understand the compass of your own heart and battle through your own self-doubt and perceived short-comings?
Now the size of my heart is only a real whale
The shark in my mind is no longer there
Dance in the swimming pool that is the sky
Perhaps it is all of that, or none of it. But, I like that that the song makes me think. That is what art, music, poetry and literature should do, right? Ok…so what about the MV?
The MV. If I wanted to have a literal, lost in a deep sleep dream about Taeyong, the Long Flight MV would be that dream. Keeping in line with taking a flight, we see the absolute ethereal Taeyong at times aboard a pseudo plane, at times amid a celestial starscape or the northern lights, at times falling through the sky’s ether, or at times in a room filled with lush greenery complete with a sparkling chandelier. Everything about the MV is rich and vivid, a technicolor surreal canvas come to life. It’s simply gorgeous, Taeyong included.
Didn’t that feel like the most surreal and satisfying dream? I really love this one and hope Taeyong continues to get more opportunities to explore this alternative almost chill hop R&B genre. I think he is perfectly suited for this kind of music because he can bring to the table that fierce, sharp rap (a given) but is also quite adept on the vocal side. And yes, I know, I know, Taeyong is a remarkable and powerful dancer. But the way I see it, Long Flight is perfect on the merits of the song alone without a need for any flashy or intrusive choreography. A charismatic man with a thoughtful song in a dreamy MV really is quite enough . . . at least for me it is.~😘