Since their debut in 2014, Winner have attempted more iterations than almost any other YG group. They first made their name as a mature, ballad-heavy pop act before shifting to a rock-influenced sound that somehow veered tropical as last year’s trends took hold. Through it all, they’ve maintained a certain level of melodic heft that’s kept them in good stead. But with Everyday, they’ve made their first major misstep.
To be honest, I stopped listening to mainstream U.S. music several years ago. It seemed to lose its sense of song craft, replaced by throwaway, meme-worthy hooks and unimaginative production. Everyday is emblematic of this trend. Shellacked with autotune, this useless exercise in “swag” better not be an indication of where k-pop is heading. There used to be a time when YG’s endless waits between comebacks were worth it because they’d result in something as timeless and carefully crafted as Crooked or I Love You. I refuse to believe that the derivative hip-hop posing of Everyday is the best that this once-dominant agency can do — especially for one of its hottest acts.
Everyday is described as “cheerful trap” and “public-friendly.” But frankly, I don’t think the producers are giving the public enough credit. The song’s chorus is a dumbed down, repetitive mess of effects that comes across as desperate to prove its coolness. This might have been forgiven as a one-off b-side, but not as a title track. More and more, I’m learning to dread the word “trap,” as this sub-genre has quickly devolved into a lethargic slur of recycled beats and inauthentic asides. There’s exactly one redeeming segment in Everyday, and that’s the melodic pre-chorus when the affectations (mostly) drop and Seungyoon and Jinwoo are allowed to actually sing in their natural voices. Other than that, this is simply not a good direction for Winner or the industry as a whole — and it shouldn’t be encouraged.