Heyne possesses one of the most unique voices in all of kpop. In fact, it’s the selling point she’s based much of her career on thus far. I imagine many may be turned off by this distinctive, high pitch tone, but it really depends on how, and where, it’s used. This is part of the challenge with Heyne’s solo career. It feels like she would work wonders as part of a group, paired with other voices that could balance her own, but as an individual artist, she’s somewhat limited to what she can create.
It’s unfair to pigeonhole Heyne into a cutesy role, and she’s shown us that she can more than carry a proper ballad, but Love Cells does feel like it could do with an infusion of pep. The song casts Heyne as the quintessential kpop summer girl, dialing down on the in-your-face hooks in preference of a subtler pop approach. The track opens with a nice guitar hook that reappears several times later, but then slows to a wistful, midtempo beach beat without enough meat on its bones to sustain interest. It’s undoubtedly pleasant, and particularly so for the first minute. But after awhile, it becomes apparent that the song isn’t really building to anything.
That’s actually fine, as long as you set your expectations accordingly, but I do feel like the song is missing a big pop moment or two. Heyne’s vocals aren’t multifaceted enough to offer the variation a track like this needs, which is part of the reason why I prefer more detailed production and a heightened tempo when it comes to her work. Still, it’s not a bad track by any means.