As stylish and charismatic a figure as Kim Jaejoong is within the Korean entertainment industry, I’ve always found his solo music to be melodically lightweight. Other than the heavy goth concept of Mine, none of his past singles felt particularly impactful. That’s not to say that they’re bad. It’s more an admission that, to me at least, his image and persona have been more interesting than the actual music.
Currently serving his mandatory military service, Jaejoong has kicked off the hype for his upcoming album with pre-release track You Know What. It’s a gentle, mostly acoustic love song that spotlights his vocals with a playful melody that recalls American pop more than traditional Korean balladry. As expected of a pre-release, it’s a solid — if not spectacular — track. The production mostly just stays out of the way, allowing full focus on the lyrics and vocals.
Given that, my qualms aren’t really problems that I have with the track. Some songs are just better suited as light album tracks that offer breathing room between the bigger moments. You Know What is exactly that, and there’s nothing wrong with it. The song sets out what it wants to do, and it succeeds. However, I would love to see some more ambition when it comes to the upcoming full album.