In an overcrowded market of idol dance groups, soloist Jeong Sewoon has found a niche with his acoustic-meets-pop sound. After a double-header of uptempo singles, last summer’s nuanced 20 Something was an oddly restrained transition. But with new single Feeling, Sewoon returns to the groovy, guitar-driven style that first gained him post-Produce 101 attention.
Just yesterday, when writing about Lee Gikwang’s Don’t Close Your Eyes, I expressed my desire for more K-pop groove. And though Feeling is relatively straightforward (even verging on generic), its propulsive, rhythmic guitar strum is a breath of fresh air. The instrumental is built upon an acoustic riff that’s augmented with electronic touches and a kick of percussion. The song is able to forge this simple mix into something energetic and exciting, even if none of the melodic hooks hit quite as hard. The airtight arrangement ensures that even Feeling‘s weakest moments are elevated by their brisk funk backbone.
Bringing in guest rapper Penomeco was a smart move, as his verse greatly bolsters the track’s rhythmic instincts. Sewoon’s airy, falsetto-heavy performance works within Feeling‘s feather-light pop sound, though I do wish he’d dirty it up a bit and opt for a grittier delivery. A post-chorus instrumental drop adds a modern touch as well as extra texture, but I’m thankful that it’s not the main hook. The song is at its best when it leans into sing-along melodies, highlighted by the breezy repetition of its chorus. Feeling is nothing monumental, but it’s right within Sewoon’s comfort zone and acts as a solid representation of his individual style.