I want to love Hoya’s solo music. His charisma brought a unique aspect to Infinite‘s sound, but I don’t bear him any ill-will for choosing to leave the group last year. And judging from the styles he’s pursued since then, idol dance pop was never really his thing anyway. This is where our musical tastes diverge, because I’ve just never been a fan of low-key songs like Baby U.
On the plus side, Hoya’s light, airy tone fits well with this kind of laid-back r&b. Baby U might not give his dance skills much of a workout, but he sounds more comfortable (and less nasal) here than he did during his March debut. Rather than draw heavily from current trends, the song rides on an understated groove that reminds me of the late 90’s. The beat is uncomplicated, merging the shuffle of percussion with a washed out synth loop. This arrangement never changes much throughout the song’s running time. If anything, it pulls back more often than introducing new elements.
Speaking of new elements, Baby U pairs Hoya with a featured artist for the first time. Rapper/vocalist Hanhae was a smart chance, and instantly lends the track a certain amount of credibility. However, his rap verse comes and goes without much excitement, offering a bit of tonal diversity but never taking the song to another level. The lively chorus is better, and would have fit especially well as the centerpiece to an Infinite H release. Sadly, those days are long behind us.