I’ve been waiting almost two years for this. As I mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of Taemin’s solo music. I got a little nervous when I heard that he was working with Bruno Mars on this single. Nothing against Bruno, but I don’t really like my kpop artists intermingling with American music (there’s a reason why I prefer kpop). And, the last thing I wanted from an artist as interesting as Taemin was a tired Uptown Funk retread. Luckily, Press Your Number is only an interpretation of an unreleased track from Bruno, and it’s been augmented to showcase all the things I love about Taemin and kpop in general.
The song kicks off with a slow, tension-filled build before the sleek, unrelenting beat drops for the first chorus. And what a chorus! It’s relaxed when it needs to be, but nimble and surprising where it counts. The slick little bit of vocal syncopation at the end gets me every time. The funk beat is crisp and propulsive, feeling at once modern and timeless.
As a pop song, it’s much more straightforward than Drip Drop was, and all the stronger for it. There isn’t much experimentation here, but sometimes all the production needs to do is stress the melody, with minimal distractions. That said, the producers have done a masterful job layering Taemin’s vocals in all the right moments, which adds to the offbeat charm of the chorus’s opening bars in particular. Interestingly, the album version of Press Your Number is actually different from the music video’s, and this is a very good thing. In the music video version, the beat drops out again after the first chorus, but in the actual song it’s present all the way through. This keeps the momentum and energy high throughout, which fixes the only real quibble I had when I first watched the video.