Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Miss Ko – Till Next Time

And thus ends what I guess is Increasingly Biographical Wednesday…


Ryo Miyauchi: For a eulogy of her best friend, Miss Ko turns to rap — a style historically full of them. Some of the private specifics open up the song for others to feel, like her update of her friendship circle. But understandably, it’s not a conversation for me to get anything from — I can only admire it from a certain distance.

Jessica Doyle: Inviting an audience into private mourning is damned hard. There’s a reason why every culture has its own funeral rituals: so that even those who didn’t know the diseased know what role to play. But even those can feel, to those who know specifically what they lost, a little empty. How can you say, This is what we lost, the quotidian and therefore unrecoverable? How do you sum up a person’s essence? You can’t. So Miss Ko creates the act of public mourning in song, but addresses not the public audience (who cannot possibly grasp how special her friend was) but the friend himself, in a tone of simultaneous sorrow and strength. It’s textured and hopeful, acknowledging the magnitude of the loss without letting it stop her. It’s inadequate, which is an unsolvable problem; she does the next best thing, by giving us an idea of how inadequate it is.

Iain Mew: The “See You Again” template benefits not just from the lack of Charlie Puth but also from an all round scaling down. The austere modesty of “Till Next Time,” in Miss Ko’s rapping and singing alike as much as everything else, at least feels about right for a certain kind of mourning.

Adaora Ede: “Till Next Time” falls into that category of Neither Good or Particularly Listenable but an Admirable Attempt. Inspo hop’s undeniable attraction to passé adult contemporary instrumentals, while still trying to maintain a visage of swag, is probably the second worst thing to come out of the 2010s. The worst thing is definitely the gauche lyrics. I want to hate on the stock uplifting violin riffs, the Vanessa Carlton telephone voice echoes in the sung verses, and even the Biggie and Tupac references, yet I feel defeated. Ko is a rapper, and she does no justice to the subject of this song with her ramble, but by marginal means the sentiment flickers through her warbly hook.

Ramzi Awn: Miss Ko’s chorus smooths out her streetwise lyrics well on “Till Next Time.” The beat flows nicely and there’s something unimpeachably new to the sound, giving it an easy, breezy feel best suited for cars on the beach.    

Will Adams: “Till Next Time” has more interesting choices than your standard song-as-eulogy; the drum loop has some heft for once, the sparing use of the harp from “The Boy Is Mine” is effective, and Miss Ko handles both the rap and the hook, adding a more personal touch. But, as with many songs like this, the problem is mourning so specific that, despite having familiarity with the subject matter, it’s hard for me to fully connect with it.

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4 Responses to “Miss Ko – Till Next Time”

  1. I should’ve linked this in the blurb itself, but a YT commenter named Timothy Wong linked to a news article about the 2001 death of John Tran, who’s being mourned here. Part of the reason the Biggie and Tupac references didn’t bother me was that they made sense in the context of teenagers in the late ’90s joking around.

  2. thanks for the context, jessica! hate that i had to be that person in my blurb because i didn’t know :(

  3. agreed, thank you

  4. AdE, I don’t think you have anything to apologize for — I mean, that’s part of the tragedy and tension of the song, that she’s publicly commemorating someone who died before he had any real chance to make a public reputation for himself.