A few years back, I would have been absolutely shocked had anyone told me that Infinite wouldn’t re-sign with Woollim Entertainment as a full group. But as the months steadily grew last year with no news about the group’s future, I’d come to terms with the idea that all was not quite as rosy as I had assumed. And when Hoya officially left the group, it didn’t come as much of a surprise. Of all the members, he’d always struck me as being more independent and serious-minded. That’s not to say that none of the other guys share these qualities, but Hoya seemed to have specific interests that couldn’t be fulfilled by Infinite or its sub-units.
As expected, his first solo work Angel is completely different from anything that Infinite would release. From its sound to its lyrics, the track takes a much more sexual route — less concerned with the music itself than the vibe it elicits. Songs like this always feel a little self-indulgent to me, but since this is only a pre-release I suppose Hoya’s entitled to a bit of creative permissiveness.
It’s hard to objectively review a track like Angel, because it doesn’t make concessions to those not interested in this slow-burn r&b genre. It’s a niche offering, and will greatly appeal to listeners that are already drawn to the style it presents. Outside of that, there really isn’t much to sink your teeth into. Hoya gives a chameleon-like performance, with vocals that sound quite different than what we’re used to hearing from him. It’s all a bit affected, but pulled off with enough finesse to succeed within its own limitations.