The last we heard from Eric Nam, he was trying on the tropical instrumental drop structure that K-pop has fallen so in love with these past few years. Honestly was a pleasant trifle of a pop song, but quickly forgotten. “Innocuous” is the name of the game when it comes to many of Nam’s songs, which doesn’t always have to be a hindrance. Yes, much of his material runs the risk of feeling fleeting rather than timeless. But, his work offers a welcome dose of toe-tapping relaxation in the moment.
New single Miss You is bound to follow the same trajectory. This time, the song favors acoustic guitar instead of tropical synths, and the light, finger-snapping instrumental proves to be a good match for Nam’s breathy tone. There’s nothing demanding about Miss You’s aesthetic, and that’s okay. The song features a nice interplay between its groovy verses and more assertive chorus. The latter is especially effective, drawing on harmony to create a gorgeous blend of vocals. Eric Nam’s personality often outshines his vocal chops, but he’s rarely sounded better than he does here.
The only problem, then, is the same one we come back to each time Nam releases a new single. Miss You is so light that it practically evaporates as soon as it’s over. It’s the kind of music that’s ideal for commercials or TV. On its own, there’s just not enough weight behind the track to mark it as one of the year’s standout releases. It’s better suited to evoking a feeling — in this case, a certain shade of wistful nostalgia. That may not be the most ambitious role a pop song has ever tackled, but at least Miss You pulls it off effectively.