It’s difficult reviewing a song by a bias group or artist, and Still I Remember (끄덕끄덕) is particularly tricky. On one hand, it’s the solo debut for Woohyun, one of the MVPs of my ultimate bias group Infinite. But it’s also a ballad from an album full of ballads, and I’ve never been predisposed to liking ballads as much as uptempo tracks. That said, Woohyun excels at them. The wonderfully dramatic Close Your Eyes, from Infinite’s Season 2/Be Back album, set the gold standard for Woohyun solos. Does Still I Remember measure up?
Well, not quite. But that’s no reason to dismiss it. What could have been a standard OST-sounding k-ballad is anchored by Woohyun’s charismatic and emotive performance. He’s always brought an ornate, almost classical, drama to Infinite’s tracks with his unique (and highly recognizable) tone. And Still I Remember is all about tone. It’s never as explosive as I wish it was, but instead takes a subtler, more measured approach. Like the music video, it feels painted in watercolors. From the unobtrusive instrumental to the restrained vocal performance, it’s a track with an undeniably light touch.
Luckily, that means plenty of falsetto, particularly in the central refrain. It’s one of the most beautiful techniques in Woohyun’s vocal arsenal, and I love that the entire chorus is built around those little melodic climaxes. Beyond that, the melody has an elusive, ephemeral quality — a gentle tap on the shoulder in place of a confrontational grip. I was surprised, though, at how quickly the hooks ingratiate themselves. Usually with ballads like this, it takes a few listens to pull out all the memorable bits, but there’s a familiarity here. And while I was definitely hoping for something more along the lines of the bombastic Everyday for his solo debut, I can’t blame Woohyun for going back to his roots and showcasing a genre that he’s utterly mastered.
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