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 “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: 2014
I remember initially being disappointed when Winner debuted with two slow burn tracks. That feeling didn’t last too long once I realized what quality the group was offering, but after the nearly year-long build up after variety show WIN I had expected them to burst out of the gate with some huge dance track. They were following in Bigbang’s footsteps, after all, and bearing the enormous responsibility of keeping the YG Entertainment flame burning as the agency began to establish its next generation of artists.
When compared to the brilliant Empty, Color Ring never receives all that much attention. It was definitely the less impactful of the album’s two title tracks, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a fantastic achievement in its own right. It was the first time most heard Winner’s balladeer side, and it’s a great representation of what these guys can do when given spare production and a gorgeous melody. Color Ring’s instrumental opens on an acoustic note, with guitar taking prominence until the percussion finally drops after the first chorus. The arrangement is a smart blend of pensive hip-hop and sentimental vocals, leading to a softly surging chorus. Seungyoon and Taehyun’s contrasting tones inject a great deal of pathos to this hook, which continues as the members’ voices interweave towards the soaring climax. This is not one of Winner’s larger-than-life moments, but its keen sense of storytelling rewards repeated listens.