Since parting ways with Cube Entertainment and establishing their own agency, the individual members of Highlight have been quite prolific. Sometimes this has been in the form of mini albums, or — in rapper/composer Junhyung’s case — digital and single releases. His solo work has dropped without much build-up or promotion, as if he’s simply sharing it as it becomes finished. This strategy helps to build a seemingly authentic portrait of Junhyung the artist, free from the demands and limitations that frame typical k-pop title tracks, but it hasn’t resulted in music that feels particularly ambitious.
Such is the case with Sudden Shower (소나기), which features 10cm’s Kwon Jungyeol on its chorus. Like a rainy day, the track has a dreary, downbeat tone as the duo bemoan a lost relationship. Presumably, the goal here was to artfully tackle these feelings of regret and longing. And with that in mind, Shower is a total success. The problem is, these feelings aren’t pleasant in day-to-day life. It takes dynamic song composition and an arresting performance style to make them palatable in a pop song. Sudden Shower doesn’t meet either of these criteria, as polished as it may be.
Jungyeol makes a surprisingly strong match for Junhyung’s tone, offering a more emotional beat as Shower‘s melancholic chorus cuts through the subdued verses. Meanwhile, Junhyung modulates between singing and rap, keeping his tone muted and intentional throughout. It’s a perfectly realized piece of mopey mid-tempo pop, if that’s your thing. But unfortunately, the song never pushes past that tone to create a more universal appeal.