With over 2,300 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the brand new “Random Shuffle Review” feature.
The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!
Year Released: 2013
I remember watching YG’s Who Is Next series (which would result in the formation of Winner) in late 2013 and being so excited that Kang Seung Yoon was a participant. This was before anyone knew how Winner would sound. Our only hints were Seung Yoon’s trio of digital singles and his stint on Superstar K. Being a massive fan of the rock-infused side of YG artists’ output, 2013 was a pretty epic year. Wild & Young dropped about a month before G-Dragon’s epic masterpiece Crooked, and these two songs soundtracked much of the year for me.
Kang Seung Yoon has a perfectly gritty voice for rock music, and it’s a shame we haven’t heard it used this way in quite some time. Wild & Young surrounds his vocals with a chugging guitar riff that feels powerful and assured even as the BPM is more laid-back. The track surges with anthemic drive, building to an irresistible sing-along chorus that blends seamlessly with the more subdued refrain that follows. Though the melody is pure pop, the production retains an edge that makes Wild & Young stand out when compared to most idol rock. It’s a close race, but this just may be my favorite of all Winner’s songs — even though it’s a solo pre-debut release.