Song Review: Lee Hongki – Cookies (ft. Jung Ilhoon)

When I think of the artists I would have pegged to go the tropical route, Lee Hongki wouldn’t have even entered the conversation. As the front man of rock band FTIsland, his raspy, powerful voice seems too intense for the style, easily becoming the focal point of anything he records. But as last week’s oddball duet I Am proved, he’s really up for anything when it comes to his solo work. That kind of experimental mindset leads him down some interesting avenues. Given this, it would be easy to feel disappointed with Cookies’ generic leanings.

Yet, the song is a perfect example of hookiness and dynamic performance transcending an otherwise derivative style. We’ve heard Cookies’ island-themed production a thousand times over during the past few years, and its build/drop structure is familiar to the point of eliciting eye rolls. By my own criteria, I should be absolutely savaging this song right now.

So why am I choosing to overlook these played-out elements? Much of it comes down to Cookies’ anthemic chorus. It’s not a particularly sustained piece of melody, but has a welcome heft that positions it as a rousing, sing-along highlight. Coupled with Hongki’s commanding vocal, this refrain transforms into an uplifting battle cry. On the other hand, Jung Ilhoon’s feature feels a bit shoehorned in, relegated to the song’s opening verse and never heard from again. The rest of the verses are stronger, presenting a catchy (and coherent) melody that supports the bombastic chorus with a greater sense of restraint.

 Hooks 9
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.25



5 thoughts on “Song Review: Lee Hongki – Cookies (ft. Jung Ilhoon)

  1. This song it pretty fun to listen to! I love Lee Hongki’s vocals ever since I listened to “Love Sick.” I hope he makes some more fun/interesting music! Also, I found his japanese release “Pathfinders” pretty interesting to listen to, if possible, may I get your thoughts on it?


  2. Pingback: Top Three K-Pop Songs of October 2018 | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

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