Though “lead vocalist” was part of Kim Donghan’s member profile when he was a member of project group JBJ, he’s most well known for his dancing. And like so many dancers-turned-soloists, his idiosyncrasies lie more in movement than vocal color. He’s got a perfectly serviceable pop tone, but lacks the kind of texture that would really set him apart. So when last spring’s Sunset wrapped his voice in slinky Taemin-esque production that mostly let the groove do the talking, the results were surprisingly effective. Unfortunately, Good Night Kiss struggles to repeat the trick.
The song’s structure owes much to the dreaded triplet style that has taken over American hip-hop. I suppose the fact that the producers were able to take this amelodic sound and tether it to any sort of melody at all is admirable, but it doesn’t make for an enjoyable experience. Good Night Kiss immediately deposits us in a lurching playground of synths. We work our way out via a moody verse that hints at interesting rhythmical patterns before retreating to trendier structures.
Following a limp build, the track coasts into its synth-speckled chorus. This is Kiss’s best moment, though not by much. Stylistic autotune blunts any power to be found in the vocals, and the refrain quickly collapses in a been-there, done-that triplet drop that does little but give Donghan a chance to grind his pelvis. I’m sure that that will be enough to satisfy many fans, but he’s missed the opportunity to build on the addictive rhythms of his debut. Sadly, this is quite a jarring sophomore slump.