Lately, YG artists have taken to releasing nearly every new track as a single, complete with music video and extended promotion. As with anything, this strategy is a double-edged sword. It’s exciting to have a visual complement to each piece of music, even if the project’s hefty budgetary requirements may limit the amount of material that can be released. But more than that, it’s important to realize that not every song is — or needs to be — a “title track.” Winner’s Really Really fits the demands of promotional single perfectly, but its counterpart Fool feels much more like a solid b-side.
Winner made their name as a softer, more ballad-focused addition to their agency’s roster of boisterous hip-hop, so the delicate Fool arrives with many direct comparisons from their own discography. The group can rattle off a track like this in their sleep, delivering a somber mood and pensive melody with undeniable artfulness. They sound incredible here, giving the verses an understated dose of emotion that feels conversational rather than showy. The drawn-out, serpentine chorus is a nice bit of melody, acting as a simple centerpiece that draws everything together.
But despite this, Fool doesn’t ignite in the way I had hoped. The tempo remains relatively static throughout, missing the opportunity to pull the structure in interesting directions. I get that the song is meant to be a little gloomy and contrite, but Winner has painted that same tone in more memorable ways before. It’s an undeniably beautiful release (especially in tandem with its cinematic music video), and plays to the group’s strengths. But even so, Fool feels like the weakest of their singles thus far.