Review: Don’t Touch Me – Ailee

Hey y’all! This week I’ll be looking at a solo artist that I’ve had an eye on since her debut. Ailee is a belter, having covered American artists like Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey before her debut. It’s always enjoyable to review an artist with such a strong voice, so let’s take a look at Ailee’s new single, Don’t Touch Me.

ailee magazine cover

Here’s the video with English subs:

The lyrics are from the perspective of a girl who is breaking up with her boyfriend. It seems like it’s been a long time coming with fights and cheating. She’s basically telling the guy not to touch her, not to talk to her anymore, just leave. The verses and choruses are pretty aggressive, with only a moment of weakness in the bridge, which is softer to match the tone of the lyrics. She cries for a moment, but demands that he let her go. There is very little doubt or regret on her part.

There is basically no plot to the video. It’s just your typical song and dance scenes. Still, it isn’t boring as there are a variety of sets and interesting costumes. One scene has Ailee on top of a piano like a lounge singer, and another seems to be carnival or circus themed, with a brightly colored set and black and white costumes for the backup dancers. The entire video plays with color and lack thereof. In a set of black and white mannequins, with a black and white wardrobe, the video goes between full color and black and white film. I’m not sure of the meaning of this change, but it’s visually stimulating.

ailee don't touch me b&w

Ailee suddenly goes old Hollywood.

The wardrobe is glamorous and sexy with brightly colored, tight dresses, and dramatic ball gowns. The colorful dresses are more modern, with a classic, vintage style to the rest of the outfits. There’s no sweet and innocent frills here, though there is lace (black). The wardrobe seems to fit the tone of a breakup song, almost as if she’s ready to go out and date as soon as this old relationship’s over. The one thing I don’t understand is one scene that takes place in front of a brick wall. Ailee is in a black and yellow outfit, with backup dancers in mostly black, with bits of primary and secondary colors.

The female backup dancers also have an odd accessory. They’re wearing what seems to be a witch’s hat. I’m not sure if that’s what it’s meant to be (Halloween a bit early), or if they’re supposed to seem fashionable, but I just find it weird. It reminds me somewhat of another song, called The Reason I Became a Witch. It’s by another soloist, NS Yoon-G, and it’s about how a terrible boyfriend made the girl into a witch. That’s the English word used at least. Maybe the witch hats are some kind of reference, if not to that specific song then to the idea of becoming a witch in response to a bad relationship. It’s just odd, really.

But what else could these hats be?

But what else could these hats be?

The dance is minimal, but that’s to be expected from someone whose best talent is singing. There’s enough that she’s not standing still on stage, but not too much that she can’t sing well. One thing I found cute was how the choreography related to the lyrics. When she sings, “Why are you holding my hand?” she clasps a back-up dancer’s hand, squeezing her fingers. For the line, “Don’t touch me because I’m getting goosebumps,” she makes a move as if pushing away someone’s hand, and flutters her fingers, miming the prickly feeling. Some parts are rather literal, but all that matters is that the dance looks good (and it does).

The song is a pretty upbeat R&B song, with a ballad-y bridge. Unlike some other songs, the bridge fits in perfectly and even though it slows down, it still sounds like the same song. The video does a good job of matching visuals to the tone of the music, toning down the colors for the bridge, and in the last chorus, where Ailee has all her adlibs, sparks literally fly. She stands there, motionless, but maintaining eye contact. It’s a powerful image, and totally what I wish had happened when I dumped my last ex.

Hell yeah I'm breaking up with you.

Hell yeah I’m breaking up with you.

All in all, it’s an extremely catchy song, and a great showcase for Ailee’s awesome vocals. The music video was plotless, so it wasn’t the most exciting thing to watch, but the variety in sets kept it from being boring. I’ve loved Ailee and her voice since Heaven, and this song is exactly the kind of thing I’d expect from her. She sounds phenomenal, plus points for an awesome break-up jam. I should have downloaded it weeks ago.

Pros:

-Great vocals.

-Catchy song.

Cons: 

-Not the most exciting video.

-Witch hats?????

Rating: 4.5/5

rating45

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