Five months after their most recent single, YG rookies iKON are back with the gentle #WYD, a prerelease for their upcoming promotions. So far, iKON has had a sound that’s been a bit all over the place, veering from hard hip-hop tracks to light pop confections without much focus. Luckily, they’re able to pull off these varied styles quite well, though #WYD (오늘 모해) does feel like their most inconsequential release yet.
Opening with an ethereal piano intro, the song quickly turns into a soft hip-hop ballad, balancing the rougher texture of its verses with a lightweight chorus that gives the song a lazy, mellow vibe. The muted horn practically overtakes the hook, and it’s an odd choice. It’s an instrumental touch we don’t hear very often in today’s pop music, and I’m not sure it’s the right match for iKON. It seems to age #WYD much more than it should, throwing off a hazy, jazzy vibe at odds with the group’s youthful appeal. In some ways, the song sounds more like a track fellow YG group Winner would perform (or even more so, a b-side from BTOB’s newest album).
iKON’s biggest hit so far has been their first pre-release, the similarly downtempo My Type. #WYD feels like a grab to repeat Type‘s success, but it’s just not as strong of a song. Though it uses hip-hop as its base, it’s missing the playfulness in structure and flow that really helps iKON shine. I like that they’re versatile with their sound, but this has been the first (slight) misstep they’ve taken. I hope the full-fledged comeback switches it back up and gives us something with a bit more edge.