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I is the debut extended play by South Korean singer Taeyeon, released on October 7, 2015 by S.M. Entertainment. The EP was recorded at S.M. Studios in Seoul, South Korea and was produced by Lee Soo-man.

I
Taeyeon I 2015 Mini-Album.jpg
EP by Taeyeon
Released October 7, 2015 (2015-10-07)
Recorded 2015
Studio SM Studios, Seoul, South Korea
Genre
Length 22:09
Language Korean
Label
Producer Lee Soo-man (executive)
Taeyeon chronology
I
(2015)
Why
(2016)Why2016
Singles from I
  1. "I"
    Released: October 7, 2015[1][2]

Contents

Background and releaseEdit

In mid-2015, S.M. Entertainment announced that Taeyeon would release her first solo album later that year. The album's title track, "I", features popular rapper Verbal Jint and includes lyrics written by Taeyeon. The album was released via digital music websites at midnight on October 7, the physical copies sold in the stores on same day.[3][4]

Due to her previous success recording ballads for Korean films and televisions, the public expected Taeyeon to promote the album with a ballad title track. The singer, however, chose a pop rock song and expressed that she wanted to "make [her] solo debut with good songs regardless of their genres." Discussing about her music styles for the album, Taeyeon noted that she purposely avoided "way over the top" songs, elaborating:[5]

I tried not to be excessive. I tried to sing in more plain and light ways. I have to sing from the beginning to the end all by myself, so I should feel comfortable. So I didn't choose such reckless songs [flowery or high-pitched], and tried to avoid challenging, something too new.

Music and lyricsEdit

Lee Su-ho from South Korean online magazine IZM described I as a pop rock album with a balladic production.[6] Meanwhile, Chester Chin from Malaysian newspaper The Star noted elements of soft rock on the EP, a genre that is contrary to Girls' Generation's common bubblegum pop and electronic sound.[7]

ReceptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
IZM[6]      
KpopStarz[8] Positive
The Star[7] 7/10

Upon its release, I received generally positive reviews from music critics. Lee Su-ho from South Korean online magazine IZM praised the EP's pop rock and balladic musical styles; they further hailed I for showcasing Taeyeon as a talented vocalist.[6] Chester Chin from The Star labelled the album as "a collection of dynamic K-pop confections" with "refreshing" elements of soft rock as opposed to Girls' Generation's signature bubblegum and electronic sound. He further deemed it as "a reflection of Taeyeon’s strength as a vocalist."[7]

I was a commercial success in the singer's native country South Korea. It debuted at number two on the Gaon Album Chart for the week ending October 10, 2015.[9] The following week, its position on the chart dropped one position to number three.[10] The EP remained on the third position for a further week before dropping to number five on the chart issue dated October 25–31, 2015.[11][12] Despite only charting at number two on the weekly chart, I was the best-selling album on the Gaon Album Chart of October with 100,923 physical units sold,[13] and the fourteenth highest-selling album of November with an additional 10,098 copies sold.[14] It became the sixteenth best-selling album of 2015 in South Korea, with sales figures standing at 119,576 copies.[15] According to the Korea Music Contents Industry Association, I was the main contributor which helped SM Entertainment topped digital music sales in South Korea during the fourth quarter of 2015.[16]

The EP entered on the Billboard World Albums and Heatseeker charts at number one and five, respectively, selling 2,000 copies in the first two days of its release.[17] Additionally, I charted at number twenty-one on the Japanese Oricon Albums Chart.[18]

Track listingEdit

Credits are adapted from Naver.[19]

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "I" (featuring Verbal Jint)
3:26
2. "U R" Jo Yun-gyeong
4:34
3. "Gemini" (쌍둥이자리; Ssangdungijari)
  • LDN Noise
  • Carolyn Jordan
  • Alice Sophie Penrose
3:41
4. "Stress" (스트레스; Seuteureseu) Mafly
3:21
5. "Farewell" (먼저 말해줘; Meonjeo Malhaejwo) Lee Joo-hyung
  • Lee
  • Chu Dae-gwan
3:43
6. "I" (instrumental)  
  • Langston
  • B. Armstrong
  • J. T. Armstrong
  • Douglas
  • Quinones
  • Asher
  • Jhun
3:24
Total length: 22:09

ChartsEdit

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format Label
South Korea[26] October 7, 2015 CD, digital download S.M. Entertainment, KT Music
Worldwide[27][28][29] Digital download S.M. Entertainment
Taiwan[30] March 18, 2016 CD + DVD S.M. Entertainment, Universal Music Taiwan

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Taeyeon drops full track of solo album". Retrieved 16 May 2016. 
  2. ^ "KBS Radio Playlist". KBS Radio. Korean Broadcasting System. October 9, 2015. Archived from the original on April 4, 2016. 
  3. ^ Park, Bo-ra. "태연, 소녀시대 첫 솔로 데뷔 10월7일 음원 대공개". Sports Today. stoo.com. Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  4. ^ Kim, Ji-ha. "소녀시대 태연 솔로 앨범 '아이', 버벌진트 랩 피처링 참여". Nate News. SK Communications. Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  5. ^ "Yu Huiyeol's Sketchbook 유희열의 스케치북: Taeyeon, Kim Johan, Winner (2016.03.04)" (Video upload). Korean Broadcasting System on YouTube. Google Inc. March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 1, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c "Taeyeon – I: The 1st Mini Album Review". IZM (in Korean). October 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c Chin, Chester (October 26, 2015). "Review: 'I' by Taeyeon". The Star. Malaysia: Star Media Group. Retrieved April 4, 2016. 
  8. ^ Herman, Tamar (October 9, 2015). "Album Review: Girls' Generation's TaeYeon Shows She Can Stand Alone On Impressive Debut Solo EP 'I'". Retrieved August 14, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Gaon Albums Chart – Week 42 of 2015" (in Korean). Gaon Album Chart. Gaon Music Chart. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Gaon Albums Chart – Week 43 of 2015" (in Korean). Gaon Album Chart. Gaon Music Chart. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Gaon Albums Chart – Week 44 of 2015" (in Korean). Gaon Album Chart. Gaon Music Chart. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Gaon Albums Chart – Week 45 of 2015" (in Korean). Gaon Album Chart. Gaon Music Chart. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Gaon Albums Chart – October 2015". Gaon Music Chart. Retrieved November 12, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Gaon Albums Chart – November 2015" (in Korean). Gaon Album Chart. Gaon Music Chart. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. 
  15. ^ a b "Gaon Albums Chart: 2015 (Year-End)" (in Korean). Gaon Album Chart. Gaon Music Chart. Retrieved April 4, 2016. 
  16. ^ "S.M. Entertainment tops music sales in Q4". The Korea Herald. Herald Corporation. March 7, 2016. Retrieved May 1, 2016. 
  17. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (October 14, 2015). "Girls' Generation's Taeyeon Is Its First Member to Go Solo & First to Hit No. 1: Check Out the Stunning 'I'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 6, 2016. 
  18. ^ a b "Oricon Top 50 Albums: 2015-10-26" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  19. ^ "I – The 1st Mini Album: Music" (in Korean). Naver. Naver Corporation. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Album Chart – Week 42 of 2015" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Billboard World Albums (October 24, 2015)". Billboard. Retrieved October 13, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Billboard Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 13, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Albums chart – April 15, 2016" (in Chinese). G-Music. Archived from the original on April 28, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Gaon Album Chart of 2016" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Archived from the original on January 13, 2017. 
  25. ^ "2016 albums chart" (in Chinese). G-Music. Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  26. ^ "I – The 1st Mini Album" (in Korean). Melon. LOEN Entertainment. Retrieved April 1, 2016. 
  27. ^ "I – The 1st Mini Album – EP". iTunes Store (US). Apple Inc. Retrieved April 1, 2016. 
  28. ^ "I – The 1st Mini Album – EP". iTunes Store (GB). Apple Inc. Retrieved April 1, 2016. 
  29. ^ "I – The 1st Mini Album – EP". iTunes Store (SG). Apple Inc. Retrieved April 1, 2016. 
  30. ^ "Taeyeon – I (CD+DVD)" (in Chinese). Universal Music Taiwan. Retrieved January 25, 2017.