For as long as boy group B.A.P have been around, they haven’t done all that much solo or sub-unit work. But after a 2016 that saw them releasing song after song both in Korea and Japan, they’ve released a double a-side that allows members Daehyun and Jongup a chance to shine on their own. First up with a music video and promotions is Daehyun, making his mark with the atmospheric dance pop of Shadow.
The best thing about Shadow is how classically k-pop it sounds. Rather than borrow from any current trends, the song floats along a melodic base that incorporates piano, synths and a hint of stuttery, dubstep-influenced percussion. Throughout it all, Daehyun provides a smooth, polished vocal that sees him move effortlessly into falsetto during the dramatic chorus. The melody itself is smartly composed, pushing and pulling between classic crooning and more rhythmic sections.
The song’s drawbacks lie in the same realm as its strengths. By adhering to a more classic template, Shadow lacks a strong sucker punch. For all the instrumental’s smoothness, it could have done with some sort of riff or refrain that might have caused it to stand out. The same could be said about Daehyun’s performance, which feels super solid but unsurprising. Without other vocal tones to support him, we needed something really dynamic to give the song a sense of diversity. Zelo’s rap verse helps, but could have been sprinkled more liberally throughout the entire track. I fear that, as strong as Shadow is, it’ll be hard to remember a few months from now.