Heize and DEAN are two artists looking to break out. At the moment, it seems like DEAN has the better chance of doing so. His more recent songs have charted well digitally, and he enjoys a certain amount of clout as a songwriter. Meanwhile, Heize has the benefit of Unpretty Rapstar behind her, though I don’t feel like season two was as star-making as the first season had been.
Regardless, the two have paired up on a track designed to make you dance. Of course, this being on the indier side of kpop, it’s not an unbridled club track, but instead the kind of thing you might bob your head to in a cafe. The first time I listened through, I was struck by what seems to be a lack of bottom end. Swirling synths, hand claps and hi-hat take the place of a prominent bass line that would have sent this track over the edge. As it stands, it’s more disorienting than groovy, giving us a kaleidoscope of sounds that evaporate just as you want to grab hold of them.
It’s worth noting that this hazy, freeform r&b style just isn’t really for me. I can appreciate the craft that goes into a song like this, and completely understand how it would be to other listeners’ tastes, but I can’t help but feel like Shut Up & Groove needs a stronger anchor — something to keep it from fizzling into the ether. That said, D (Half Moon) had a similarly ephemeral production technique, and I liked that track quite a bit. But Half Moon also had a strong melody and performance. Shut Up & Groove doesn’t quite match up in either department, despite Heize and DEAN being a pretty solid pairing as duet partners.