K-Song Review: Breathe by Lee Hi

Isha Singh, New Delhi

“It’s alright if you run out of breath,

No one will blame you.

It’s okay to make mistakes sometimes,

Because anyone can do so.”

Breathe is a Korean Ballad song that defines comfort and has been like a medicine to many listeners for years, especially during the pandemic. Kim Jonghyun, the member of the group SHINee wrote and composed this song for Lee Hi. This song was a part of Lee Hi’s Seoulite Album which was released on March 9, 2016, and is the 5th song on the track list. Lee Hi’s voice is so special and completely fits the song as she professionally controls the notes with the right amount of power to remind the listeners to release the stress and pain which is bottled inside them. 

The message behind the lyrics of this song is really beautiful and is relatable to many of the listeners. The lyrics focus on the lives of everyday people and their different hardships. It talks about how we all are struggling to breathe due to different challenges and struggles one has to face in their life each day. 

“You can make mistakes from time to time,

Everyone does it too.

If I tell you “it’s alright”

I know that they’re only words.”

This section of the song talks about how it’s okay to make mistakes sometimes as it’s human nature. Stop hurting yourself and stop killing yourself with the suffocation of all the mistakes you did in the past. There are times when people around you try to console you by their kind words like “It’s alright” but sometimes one needs a shoulder to cry upon as a matter of support. Actions speak louder than words!

The lyrics also talk about how it is really necessary to keep a check on yourselves and your loved ones. Just a “How are you?” or a simple appreciation can make someone feel good about themselves. The song motivates one to not only share their moments of happiness but also the times when one feels sick and tired of everything going around you. Let’s not bottle up all the pain and sadness inside, but instead, exhale all of it.

“Though I can’t understand your breath,

It’s alright I’ll hold you.

You really did a good job.”

Although sometimes people around you might not understand your problems, they will still praise you and will hope the best for you.

Talking about the music video, the instrumental piano tune along with the aesthetic fading in and out beautiful scenes just appears so comforting to a viewer. The video shows various scenes of people ranging from a businessman to a construction worker being lost in their thoughts with an emotionless face and an empty heart. The way Lee Hi does voice transitions from a soothing low note to a high note sounds so comforting yet strong. The lyrics along with her powerful voice empowers the people leading different lives. Jonghyun’s outstanding songwriting skills along with Lee Hi’s vocals and beautiful video production skills just made the song a masterpiece.

The fact that I love about this song is that no matter how many times I listen to it, on any day of any year, it gives me the same comfort and peace, it gave me the first time I heard it on release. Also, the comments by the viewers under the official MV show the beautiful side of the world filled with strangers comforting each other through their kind words. Lee Hi’s expressed the true emotions so beautifully, that one can easily make out its meaning even without the lyrics.

Back in 2016, at the 31st Golden Disk Awards, she won the Digital Bonsang award for Breathe. Even though it is a song with a simple emotional meaning, it still resides in the hearts of many. So, for everyone out there, it’s an important lesson that it’s okay to not be okay, it’s okay if you get tired, it’s okay to take a break but all you need to do is take a breath and believe in yourselves! Remember, every breath of yours is precious.

Video Credits: OfficialLEEHI

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Nothing is more beautiful than this masterpiece!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This song is my comfort zone as an introvert who finds it difficult to open up with others, not because I’m shy or anything though, just this side of me who creates a wall between me and other people.

  3. Such a beautiful song <3

  4. This is my comfort song ♥️🥺

  5. Breathe is such a beautiful song🥺❤️ Love the review 🙌❤️

  6. Breathe holds a special place in our hearts. Jonghyun created this masterpiece and Lee Hi did wonders with her voice. Thankyou so much for beautifully reviewing this.

  7. Jubby Kumar says:

    Such a beautiful song, I have heard it. 😍😍 This article is beautiful too

  8. anishanath says:

    This song is very beautiful, everything about the composition and lyrics is amazing and Lee Hi’s voice is so wonderful.

  9. eliela says:

    Such a beautiful review,
    I cried listening to her and reading you (I was looking for the lyrics)
    I came here as I was watching Leehi reviewing comments online
    Thank you
    Best wishes from Tio’tia:ke-Montréal 🙂

    1. eliela says:

      Leehi’s review of her online history

  10. eliela says:

    The author of the song was a hallyu star who commited suicide 2 years later at age 27 and had texted his sister : “say I did good” (according to his wikipedia page)
    Paix à son âme

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