I was beginning to think that SM’s Henry was never going to release solo music again. It’s been over two years since his last mini album, and his presence has been missed. While I hope that we get something more substantial from him soon, this duet with Sistar’s Soyou is a welcome surprise in the meantime.
Soyou is not a stranger to successful duets. Her mega-hit, Some, with Junggigo remains one of the most indelible chart toppers in recent memory. But unlike that song, Runnin’ feels more like Henry featuring Soyou. She adds breathy assistance and harmony throughout, but he really drives most of the melody. Though the track is pretty standard midtempo-r&b, it’s augmented with a funky bounce and addictively lilting pop hook. I suspect this is at least partially due to production team the Stereotypes co-composing with Henry. They were responsible for Super Junior’s outstanding Devil last year, and Runnin’ has a similarly smooth, retro appeal.
As it’s a Station release, Runnin’ won’t likely receive much promotion. That’s fine, because I don’t think the song has enough oomph to act as a full-fledged comeback. It’s not a centerpiece like Trap or Fantastic — it’s just one of those breezy, supremely feel good songs. And though Henry’s never been that powerful a singer compared to some of SM’s more bombastic vocalists, this sound suits his buoyant, charismatic performance style to a tee. He’s always been an incredibly charming performer — perhaps more well-known for his personality than his music — but his soulful vocal work here grounds that affability in a way that feels authentically cool and mature.