SB19 Slays the R&B Scene with Addictive New Single 'I Want You'
In case anyone needed proof that SB19 pays attention to the demands of their A'tin, then their latest single, 'I Want You', is the answer. Their fans have long been asking for an R&B song, and they have finally delivered - in a big way.
We'd like to say we saw this coming - and we really should have. After all, in 2022, Stell promised his fans a "more mature" era, and they've been teasing A'tin with a sexy R&B song for ages. Somehow, nearly every fan was still 100% shocked by SB19's latest release. From the music video to the musicality - it took us a while to pick ourselves off the floor. Let's talk about it, shall we?
A Leveled Up Sound for a New Era
In true SB19 fashion, 'I Want You' isn't an in-your-face song or music video. Instead, it's just suggestive enough to get the imagination going. Sensual, soft, smooth lyrics and music pull you in and keep you well under their spell. Of course, it also marks SB19's 2nd collaboration with veteran music producer August Rigo (their first being their 2022 remake of Eraserheads' 'Christmas Party'). Rigo and Pablo are both given writing credits, with Rigo headlining the song's production. It's a beautiful materialization of Rigo's dream song with the boys and one we bet neither he nor SB19 ever dreamed would be such an instant hit.
They are just proving that there are no weak vocalists in their lineup.
The song itself also represents new territory for the Kings of P-Pop. 'I Want You' blends shades of classic Motown R&B with 90s boy band vocals and hints of OPM style and adlibs to create a unique sound not only for SB19 but for the genre on the whole. While this musical arrangement could have easily accommodated a quick rap part or two (in the boys" usual style), they've challenged themselves to sing 100% of the song. We have zero complaints about this - if anything, they are just proving that there are no weak vocalists in their lineup.
Our favorite part of 'I Want You' might just come from its roots. Shades of their 2020 hit song, 'Alab' bleed through the lyrics - but they aren't boys anymore - this is an all-grown-up version of their early love song. Bouncy, pop-y, and fun, 'Alab' was a song about teen innocence and puppy love.
“Dami na’ng nanliligaw sa ‘yo (‘cause you’re so fine)
Ako pa ba kaya’y mapapansin mo?”
Many guys are trying to pursue you ('cause you're so fine)
Will you still notice me?
Like 'Alab', SB19 are all grown up too, and 'I Want You' reminds us of that fact. It's a grown-up courtship slow jam that highlights consent and respect. It gets straight to the point without getting sleazy.
"Ain't nobody better for you promise this I swear I won't lie
Said it's more than a physical attraction, it's a passion, baby
How I could die for you?
Don't you ever doubt it
I'm 'bout it baby if your gon' allow it
I need it anytime, you come around and I'm down
See it ain't never a question, I want you"
SB19 also dove (pun 100% intended) into the music video for 'I Want You'. The visuals are every bit as passionate as the lyrics but as complex as a work of art. Double exposure shots of the boys' silhouettes mix with beautifully shot underwater scenes to create a dreamy, otherworldly vibe that is surprisingly addictive and sensual.
There are even more hints of what SB19 has become hidden in this sensual MV.
The Devil in the Details
Of course, it wouldn't be SB19 without the music video pushing forward the story of their Pagtatag EP and reinforcing the subtle hints from their comeback song, 'GENTO'. You already know we found shadows of 'Alab', but there are even more hints of what SB19 has become hidden in this sensual MV.
We found little pieces of each soloist's debut music video sprinkled throughout. Ken's rose is a not-so-subtle toss out to his debut song, 'Palayo' which is rich in imagery of red roses. As is the design of the wall behind him in 'I Want You', which mimics the design of his shirt in 'Palayo' and the imagery of breaking glass that was iconic in 'Palayo'. However, the most profound reference to FELIP is the use of "The Creation of Adam". It's a perfect choice for the artist's architectural student - he was the first in the group to go solo and the catalyst for the rebirth of SB19's image on the whole.
They are consistently breaking barriers of sound, genre, race, language, and artistry.
The devil is in the details for the other soloists as well. Pablo's 'La Luna' has a nod in the flying birds in his double exposure; Josh Cullen also has the black forest of 'Wild Tonight' featured in his double exposure. Stell's Disney prince vibe is just too easy to spot as a nod to his Disney+ performance, but we also found traces of actor/dancer Stell Ajero in the Juans' 'Salamin'. He echoes the scenes of manic transitions triggered by reflections and subtly recreates those poses from his solo dance sequence.
We could argue that our Pure Boy, Justin's, collaboration with Pure Gold for 'Nasa Iyo and Panalo (The Win is With You)' isn't quite a full debut yet. He's entirely capable, though - he posted a self-written composition, 'Parallel Universe' on his TikTok when he reached a million followers after all, and it's beautiful. So, our guess? The candles surrounding him in 'I Want You' is a huge hint that his solo debut is just around the corner.
It's the level up that their A'tin have been dreaming of...
SB19 holds true to its name. They are consistently breaking barriers of sound, genre, race, language, and artistry. 'I Want You' is something new and unique for this Filipino Boy group - it's the latest Sound Break in their growing portfolio of work. Not only that, it's the level up that their A'tin have been dreaming of - assuming they survive it.