The Korea Herald


Jo Yuri shouts 'Love All' with new album

By Choi Ji-won

Published : Aug. 9, 2023 - 18:03

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Singer Jo Yuri poses for picture during a press conference for her second EP, Singer Jo Yuri poses for picture during a press conference for her second EP, "Love All," held in Seoul on Wednesday. (WakeOne)

The loud shout of "love all" at the start of a tennis game gives the crowd a rush of adrenaline, and singer Jo Yuri sings of such excitement at a love's start, as well as other ensuing emotions, through her new album "Love All."

"Love all" is a term used at the beginning of a new game when the players both start at zero points.

Jo's latest album embraces the jolt of a budding love and all the colorful facets and shapes of a romantic relationship as two lovers delve deeper into each other.

The 21-year-old singer on Wednesday released her new album "Love All," comprised of five songs that follow the evolution of love, from its fluttering first spark to the complications, bitterness and heartbreak.

"It's my comeback after about a year, so I wanted to start the album with a special name. ... Like the term 'love all,' I reinterpreted the different shapes of love in my own style," the singer said during a press conference held ahead of the album release in Seoul on Wednesday.

Opening the album is the lead single "Taxi," a hybrid dance pop tune that depicts the rush of emotions when one first encounters love. Likening the urge to express one's heart to a taxi ride, the perky song makes a bold confession to win a lover's heart, no matter what it takes.

The rosy glow of a blooming love is short-lived, with questions quickly baffling one's mind -- ironically, just as the two people settle into a relationship. That duality of love and the curiosity we face at the beginning of a relationship is spelled out in the next track, "Lemon Black Tea," which had its lyrics written by popular band Day6's Young K.

Jo said this is her first time encountering the Day6 member.

"Young K devised up very cute lyrics that depict the double-sidedness of love. When I first received the lyrics, I got the feeling that it was about a girl in love, overflowing with curiosity. I'm more than satisfied with Young K's work," she said, adding she is set to star in Young K's radio show.

Love can't always be bliss, Jo coos through "Bitter Taste." A lucky few meet a happy ending, but most relationships turn cold, with some couples facing desperate days of denial and obsession, drawn out in "Hang On." The last song, "Bruise," shares the sour feelings that follow a breakup through its tender, sad melody.

The singer picked the last song as her favorite off the album and performed the song at the press event on Wednesday.

She said her unique vocal timber, which many people recognize her by, is what makes her stand out, and "Bruise" was the song that highlights her vocal prowess.

"When I first heard 'Bruise,' I knew in an instant that it was my song and I really wanted to sing it well. I think it's the song that conveys my strength as a vocalist," she said.

Singer Jo Yuri poses for picture during a press conference for her second EP. Singer Jo Yuri poses for picture during a press conference for her second EP.

"Love All" marks Jo's return with a new album in a year and two months since she last dropped her first EP "Op.22 Y-Waltz : in Major" in June 2022.

The singer first debuted on the K-pop scene in October 2018 as a member of IZ*ONE, a project girl group formed through the popular Mnet idol audition program "Project 48." Following the team's disbandment in April 2021, Jo came out solo in October that year with her first single "Glassy."

On Wednesday, she also shared her feelings on starring in the second season of the phenomenal Netflix series "Squid Game." In June, it was announced the singer-actor will feature in the show along with some of the nation's high-profile actors, including Lee Byung-hun, Lee Jung-jae and Gong Yoo.

"I fortunately had a chance to attend an audition (for 'Squid Game 2'), and I feel honored and grateful to be starring alongside many prestigious veteran actors," she said.

Asked how she is managing an acting and singing career at the same time, she said, "I've just started with acting and am still learning every day. Although it's hard, I find it more fun. ... I love both acting and singing, and presenting myself to the public with both itself is a blissful experience."

She hopes she can become a singer-actor the public can look forward to.

"I hope people could trust me. A singer who they can trust and hear and an actor who they can trust and watch, that's who I want to become," she said.

Jo says that the new album is all about showing her new sides. She dyed her hair blonde for the first time in her solo career.

"I wanted to show Jo Yuri as I am in the past, but this time I wanted to make some variations. I tried to change myself to better suit the songs. I especially focused on the different vocal styles," she explained.

She likened the multifaceted album to a prism, through which a rainbow of colors shines through.

"Just like the prism which does not break down to a single color, I hope that the album could be interpreted differently by the listeners, shooting out in whatever color it may be given," Jo said.