New only in name, K-pop boy band Highlight released their debut single "It's Still Beautiful" on Monday (March 13).
Highlight, formerly known as Beast, released the new song ahead of their upcoming debut EP Can You Feel It? on March 20. "It's Still Beautiful" is the quintet's first music since leaving former agency Cube Entertainment in 2016 and changing their name last month, after failing to retain the rights to "Beast."
"It's Still Beautiful" is a minimalist piano ballad that overflows with the earnestness of the member's vocals as they bemoan an ended relationship. Written by Good Life, a songwriting team composed of Highlight's Yong Junhyung and composer Kim Tae Joo, the song harkens back to the melancholy of "On Rainy Days" and "I Knew It," two of the band's biggest hits in South Korea.
The sentimental "It's Still Beautiful" and its heartbreaking music video reflect on the past and moving forward after the end of a relationship, the theme of Highlight's debut EP revealed through several teaser clips and images on social media that feature the bandmembers' frowns getting turned upside down. A promotional video revealing snippets of Can You Feel It? teased that the title track will be a synth-laden dance track, a return to the upbeat style that Beast favored on multiple hits.
HIGHLIGHT 1ST MINI ALBUM `CAN YOU FEEL IT?` HASHTAG ID - DUJUN #얼굴찌푸리지말아요 #HIGHLIGHT #하이라이트 #YOONDUJUN #윤두준 #YONGJUNHYUNG #용준형 #YANGYOSEOP #양요섭 #LEEGIKWANG #이기광 #SONDONGWOON #손동운
A post shared by Around US Ent. (@ent_aroundus) on Mar 14, 2017 at 8:04am PDT
After leaving Cube Entertainment last year, the five men --Yoon Doojoon, Yang Yoseob, Yong Junhyung, Lee Kikwang, and Son Dongwoon-- created the independent label Around Us Entertainment to continue on together as a band. Last month, the group's five members announced the new name and revealed that it was derived from the title of their final studio album while signed to Cube. July's Highlight was the first album that Beast released after former member Jang Hyunseung departed the group. (Jang remains signed to Cube.)
Highlight isn't the first K-pop group to continue together following the conclusion of their contract with their original agency but unlike many other acts, such as Shinhwa, Brown Eyed Girls, G.O.D, and SechsKies, the band lost the legal rights to their original name. The former Beast members took to social media last month to express their sorrow about leaving the name behind, while looking optimistically to their new beginning as Highlight.
Since their start in 2009, Highlight (as Beast) released some of K-pop's best productions, both upbeat K-pop dance tracks and more soulful rainy day slow tunes. Moving into the second era of their career, the band certainly has a lot to offer.
Watch the music video for "It's Still Beautiful" here: