Last year’s proliferation of idol survival shows continues to generate content. This time, it’s in the form of Woo Jinyoung and Kim Hyunsoo, two participants of YG’s failed MIXNINE project. Both hail from a subsidiary of Happy Face Entertainment, and will no doubt be thrown into a boy group sooner than later. But for now, the duo offers Falling In Love (설레고 난리), the title track of their special sub-unit album.
K-pop is becoming more and more convoluted as agencies race to establish bankable personalities that may one day anchor a larger group. Woo Jinyoung is very much a contender in this regard, holding down the number one vote-getting spot for most weeks of MIXNINE’s run. But as charismatic as he was on that series, his performance style grates here. Jinyoung takes Falling In Love’s opening verses, delivering a sing-song rap style that aims for attitude but feels more like a whine.
Hyunsoo employs a much more generic vocal style, crooning the song’s pleasant chorus with polish but little discernible identity. In the broader context of a seven-to-ten member group, these contrasting tones would likely be more effective. But stretched across three minutes without a steady stream of complementary voices, the shtick tires quickly. The song itself is a solid — if unmemorable — take on the seemingly endless tropical trend. It avoids the dreaded beat-drop-in-place-of-a-chorus syndrome, but fails to do anything particularly unique with its formula. It truly feels like a stopgap before we get to the good stuff.
Coming from the same agency as Dreamcatcher, I’m definitely rooting for the future boy group these guys end up in to have some interesting, and hopefully similarly distinct, material!