Before Block B struck gold as an edgy idol group, members Zico and Park Kyung cut their teeth in the music industry with underground hip-hop releases. It’s interesting, then, that their story has come full circle. Recently, both rappers’ solo hits and variety appearances have eclipsed those of their full group. It makes me wonder about the future of Block B once contract renewals come around.
As time has gone on, Park Kyung has written more and more Block B tracks, including their most recent single Don’t Leave. His playful — almost improvisational — style is on full display throughout Instant, which floats along a light, jazzy feeling. His delivery skirts between hip-hop and a soulful croon, lending the track an addictive fluidity. Kyung isn’t a power vocalist, but the sheer number of tones he tackles here is impressive. I’m particularly fond of his inventive phrasing, which imbues each line with a huge shot of personality.
Of course, all this playing around makes Instant hard to pin down at times. Though the song rarely strays from its live band groove, its scat-like arrangement can be limiting. Kyung has given us catchier material in the past, but Instant pleases in the moment. Its head-bobbing hooks ensure that the song doesn’t succumb to the dreaded “background music” syndrome, constantly spiking with unexpected harmonies and blasts of impish falsetto. Drafting indie-r&b vocalist Sumin was a smart idea, but she’s not given much to do. If any song demanded more vocal interplay, this would be it. I can’t help but wonder how it would have sounded as a full duet.