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.
Look I’m just gonna be real here I probably know what this song sounds like before I even go to click on the video – how do you even review all of these?
You DEFINITELY know what the song sounds like before you hear it.
These kind of tracks are the hardest to review, and the ones I least look forward to writing about. They’re not horrible, they’re not great. They’re just sort of… there. Sometimes it’s a real struggle to even conjure up 250-300 words about them!
I simply can’t believe this is *really* the kind of “future” Hoya had in mind when he left Woollim. He was an awesome dancer, he was a good rapper, he had tons of fans and he did great music. Of course we can’t know what the terms of conditions are when it comes to sign with a major in the showbiz world, and we won’t ever know exactly why Hoya decided to break with INFINITE, but – uhm – all that noise for 50K views and 2 dull singles that no-one will listen again after the first time?!
It’s oh so sad.