Why So Lonely

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"Why So Lonely"
Wonder Girls - Why So Lonely.jpg
Single by Wonder Girls
B-side
  • "To the Beautiful You"
  • "Sweet & Easy"
ReleasedJuly 5, 2016 (2016-07-05)
Format
Recorded2016
Genre
Length3:26
Label
Songwriter(s)
Wonder Girls singles chronology
"I Feel You"
(2015)
"Why So Lonely"
(2016)
"Draw Me"
(2017)

"Why So Lonely" is a song recorded by South Korean girl group Wonder Girls. It was released as a CD and digital single by JYP Entertainment on July 5, 2016, distributed by KT Music. The song is a reggae-pop dance track written by members Hyelim, Sunmi, and Yubin, with songwriter Hong Ji-sang. The single has two B-sides, "To the Beautiful You" and "Sweet & Easy"; the former was released on limited edition vinyl on June 18, 2016. To promote the single, Wonder Girls performed "Why So Lonely" on South Korean music programs, winning awards on The Show, M! Countdown, Inkigayo, and Music Bank.

The song received favorable reviews from music critics, who praised Wonder Girls for successfully attempting reggae, a new sound for the group. The single was commercially successful in South Korea—the digital download topped the Gaon Digital Chart, while the CD single charted at number three on the Gaon Album Chart.

Composition[edit]

"Why So Lonely" was written by Wonder Girls members Hyelim, Sunmi, and Yubin, with songwriter Hong Ji-sang. It is the first Wonder Girls single not written by JYP Entertainment producer Park Jin-young, and marks their tenth anniversary as a group.[1][2] After the release of the group's album Reboot in 2015, Park told them they were ready to write their own single.[3] Yeeun said they tried to write a song that can "really benefit from being played live as a band", because their previous release did not meet their expectations. The reggae genre was chosen after the members voted on various options, and they were also influenced by British singer Lily Allen.[1][2] Unlike Reboot, which had hired instrumentalists, the members actually played their instruments on the tracks, completing their transition from a dance-oriented girl group to a real band.[2][3]

"Why So Lonely" was described as a slow tempo, reggae-pop dance song with "soft guitar riffs and steel drum rhythm".[2][3] Hyelim said the lyrics "are about the lonely feeling after a romantic relationship, material that many people can sympathize with".[3] The original chorus had a modern rock feel before Park advised the group to make it more reggae like the verses.[2] "To the Beautiful You" was written by Sunmi, Yubin, and Hyelim, with songwriter Frants, who also co-wrote three songs on Reboot. It is an uptempo track featuring digital and analog sounds, and is inspired by 1970s music.[4]

Release and promotion[edit]

Wonder Girls performing at the launch ceremony for the South Korean Olympic team on July 19, 2016

In order to promote the single, JYP Entertainment released teaser pictures of each member on the company's official Twitter account in June 2016, showing the members venturing off to a 1970s concept.[5][6] "To the Beautiful You" was released exclusively on limited edition vinyl at the 6th Seoul Record & CD Fair on June 18, selling all 500 copies in less than two hours.[4][7] One day before the single's release, the track list was revealed, showing that the members had written and composed each track, including the title track.[3]

On July 4, Wonder Girls had a live premiere on Naver's V app at 11:30 pm KST, thirty minutes before the single was released at midnight on July 5. During the live broadcast, they performed all three songs from the single with the members playing their respective instruments.[8] The single was then promoted with a series of televised live performances on South Korean music programs, starting with Mnet's M! Countdown on July 7.[6] Before the single's release, KBS had banned "Sweet & Easy" from broadcast because the lyrics mention a brand name, considered "inappropriate for the national telecast".[9][10]

On July 12, Wonder Girls performed the dance version of "Why So Lonely" for the first time on SBS MTV's The Show, winning the trophy for that week. This was their first win on a music program since the release of "Like This" in 2012.[11] They subsequently won awards on M! Countdown and Inkigayo.[12][13] The group performed the song at the launch ceremony for the South Korean Olympic team on July 19.[14] On August 5, they won a fourth music show award on Music Bank, even though they had finished promotions for the song and did not perform.[15]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Why So Lonely" is 1970s-inspired, and features a mannequin resembling a life-size Ken doll as the group's useless boyfriend. Throughout the video, the group show their displeasure in various ways, including by hitting him with a bottle, tying him up, putting him in the trunk of a car, and covering him with sauces and silly string.[16][17]

The music video was directed by Lumpens.[18]

Reception[edit]

"Why So Lonely" received positive reviews from music critics. Mike Wass, writing for Idolator, said the single's reggae sound was a "major sound overhaul" and worked to "surprisingly great effect". He also said the song "shouldn't work at all, but it's actually one of the group's catchiest efforts to date".[19] Jeff Benjamin of Fuse noted the song's 1970s-inspired rock band concept and reggae-rock sound, and said "the surging guitar riffs mixed with Wailers- and Sublime-like ska beats give the track a classic-rock vibe that the ladies successfully pull off".[16] Hwang Sun-up of online magazine IZM gave the song three-and-a-half out of five stars.[20] Billboard named "Why So Lonely" the second best K-Pop song of 2016, calling the band "throwback queens" and stating they were able to conquer "another musical era" while "touching listeners' emotions."[21] Additionally, Dazed named the track the fourth best K-Pop song of 2016.[22]

"Why So Lonely" was a commercial success in South Korea, topping the Gaon Digital Chart and selling 271,333 digital units in its first week of release. "To the Beautiful You" and "Sweet & Easy" also charted, at numbers 30 and 41, respectively.[23][24] The CD single charted at number three on the Gaon Album Chart.[25] In the United States, "Why So Lonely" charted at number five on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart, while "To the Beautiful You" was number 16 and "Sweet & Easy" was number 17.[26]

Track listing[edit]

Credits taken from Melon[27]
No.TitleLyricsMusicArrangementLength
1."Why So Lonely"
  • Sunmi
  • Hyelim
  • Yubin
  • Hong Ji-sang
Hong Ji-sang3:26
2."To the Beautiful You" (Korean아름다운 그대에게; RRAreumdaun Geudae-ege[a])
  • Sunmi
  • Yubin
  • Hyelim
  • Frants
  • Sunmi
  • Yubin
  • Hyelim
  • Frants
Frants3:11
3."Sweet & Easy"
  • Yeeun
  • Yubin
  • Hong Ji-sang
Hong Ji-sang3:21
Total length:9:58

Personnel[edit]

  • Yubin – vocals, drums
  • Yeeun – vocals, keyboard
  • Sunmi – vocals, bass guitar
  • Hyelim – vocals, guitar

Charts[edit]

Chart (2016) Peak
position
South Korea (Gaon Digital Chart)[23] 1
South Korea (Gaon Album Chart)[25] 3
US World Digital Songs (Billboard)[26] 5

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award-Giving Body Category Result Ref
2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Music Video Nominated [29]
Melon Music Awards Song of the Year Nominated [30]
Best Female Dance Nominated
2017 Korean Music Awards Song of the Year Nominated [31]
Best Pop Song Won
Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards Song of the Year (July) Won [32]

Music program awards[edit]

Song Program Date
"Why So Lonely" The Show (SBS MTV) July 12, 2016[11]
M! Countdown (Mnet) July 14, 2016[12]
Inkigayo (SBS) July 17, 2016[13]
Music Bank (KBS) August 5, 2016[15]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Also translated as "Beautiful Boy"[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hwang Mi-hyun (July 7, 2016). "Wonder Girls go reggae on 'Lonely'". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e Kim Jae-heun (July 5, 2016). "Wonder Girls return with 'Why So Lonely' to celebrate their 10th anniversary". The Korea Times. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e Chung Joo-won; Lee Eung-jung (July 5, 2016). "(Yonhap Interview) Wonder Girls outgrow shadow of JYP chief producer". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Wonder Girls Shares Vinyl Cover For New Single". Soompi. June 14, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  5. ^ Choi Hyung-won (June 30, 2016). "Wonder Girls adopt retro chic for comeback". K-Pop Herald. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Jung Eun-jin (June 22, 2016). "Wonder Girls gear up for comeback". The Korea Herald. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  7. ^ Lee Jiyoung (June 24, 2016). "Wonder Girls to Release First Self-Produced Album". CJ E&M enewsWorld. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  8. ^ Jin Min-ji (July 5, 2016). "Wonder Girls go live ahead of new single". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  9. ^ Kaur, Gungeet (June 23, 2016). "KBS bans Wonder Girls' new song Sweet & Easy". International Business Times. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  10. ^ Min, Susan (June 23, 2016). "Wonder Girls′ ′Sweet Easy′ Banned on KBS Before Official Release". CJ E&M enewsWorld. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  11. ^ a b Kim Ji-ha (July 12, 2016). "'더쇼' 원더걸스 1위 "팬들에게 제일 고맙다"" [Wonder Girls' win number one on 'The Show' – "Many thanks to the fans"]. TV Daily (in Korean). Retrieved July 12, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Choi Shin-ae (July 15, 2016). "[Video] Wonder Girls Take Home the 'M Countdown' Trophy". CJ E&M enewsWorld. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  13. ^ a b "원더걸스 '인기가요' 1위하며 저력 과시…"박진영 PD님 감사하다"" [Wonder Girls win number one and show their potential on 'Inkigayo'..."Thanks to producer Park Jin-young"]. The Dong-a Ilbo (in Korean). July 17, 2016. Archived from the original on July 19, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  14. ^ Lee Ji-hae (August 5, 2016). "Wonder Girls cheer on Korea's Olympic athletes". K-Pop Herald. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  15. ^ a b Seong Ji-yeon (August 5, 2016). "'뮤직뱅크' 원더걸스 여자친구 제쳤다, 방송출연 없이 1위 [종합]" [Wonder Girls beats GFriend, wins number one on 'Music Bank' without appearing on TV]. OSEN (in Korean). Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  16. ^ a b Benjamin, Jeff (July 5, 2016). "Wonder Girls Make a Psychedelic Reggae-Rock Comeback With 'Why So Lonely': Watch". Fuse. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  17. ^ Villa, Lucas (July 8, 2016). "Wonder Girls dials it back to the '70s in 'Why So Lonely' music video". AXS. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  18. ^ "Lumpens-Works". http://lumpens.com/category/works/. Retrieved September 12, 2018. External link in |website= (help)
  19. ^ Wass, Mike (July 7, 2016). "Wonder Girls Go Reggae on Catchy New Single "Why So Lonely"". Idolator. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  20. ^ Hwang Sun-up (July 2016). "Why So Lonely". IZM (in Korean). Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  21. ^ Benjamin, Jeff; Jessica, Oak (December 12, 2016). "20 Best K-Pop Songs of 2016: Critic's Picks". Billboard. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  22. ^ Glasby, Taylor (December 13, 2016). "The 20 best K-Pop tracks of the year". Dazed Digital. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  23. ^ a b "2016년 28주차 Digital Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. July 14, 2016. Archived from the original on July 19, 2016. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  24. ^ "2016년 28주차 Download Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. July 14, 2016. Archived from the original on July 19, 2016. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  25. ^ a b "2016년 28주차 Album Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. July 14, 2016. Archived from the original on July 19, 2016. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  26. ^ a b "World Digital Songs: July 23, 2016 – Billboard Chart Archive". Billboard. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
  27. ^ "Why So Lonely" (in Korean). Melon. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
  28. ^ "Why So Lonely – Single by Wonder Girls on iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  29. ^ "Mnet Asian Music Awards 2016: List of nominees for Mama revealed [FULL LIST]". International Business Times.
  30. ^ "The Winners Of The 2016 Melon Music Awards". soompi.
  31. ^ "Winners Of The 14th Korean Music Awards". soompi.
  32. ^ "6th GAONCHART MUSIC AWARDS" (in Korean). kpopawards.co.kr. Archived from the original on January 22, 2017. Retrieved February 7, 2017.

External links[edit]