It’s been exciting to watch The East Light’s music grow since their debut in late 2016, especially as they settled on the perfect disco-infused sound with January’s Real Man. Though the group hasn’t gotten all that much attention compared to some of their idol peers, their performances on weekly music shows are reliably energetic and impressive given their young age. Their discography has been a bit more hit and miss than their talent suggests, but they’ve been churning out material with enough frequency to make those missteps forgivable.
Are You Okay (넌 괜찮니) is a special digital single, and the most mature ballad the group has released yet. I actually think their previous ballad — the catchy b-side Two Of Us — was more deserving of promotion than this, but it’s nice to hear the guys tackle a more subdued sound. The East Light hasn’t often put much spotlight on their rap, but Okay’s verses are completely dedicated to an emotional hip-hop performance. This contrasts well with the song’s soft, acoustic backing — even if I’d prefer a bit more melody.
We do get a nice chorus courtesy of vocalist Eun Sung, who’s shaping up to be one of the industry’s most promising young talents. This refrain carries a comforting, sentimental vibe that never goes over the top. As it blossoms into its closing, harmonic hook, we get another glimpse of just how dynamite this group could become. I only hope k-pop’s fickle taste allows them stick around long enough to fulfill their potential.