With so many K-pop survival shows on the market, not every series can be a hit. Unfortunately, “idol rebooting show” The Unit never resulted in much of a boon for its winning participants. Both resulting groups (UNB and U.NIT) delivered some solid material, but I wonder if all the work was worth it. Would it have been better for the members to simply make comebacks with their own groups, hoping for that elusive breakout hit?
As a member of UNB, Bigflo’s Euijin became one of The Unit’s breakout stars. Still, that notoriety has done nothing to buoy his group — and judging from the lack of hype surrounding his solo debut, it did little to increase his name recognition, either. While this is all frustrating, debut single Insomnia (불면증) isn’t likely to make any waves. It’s an utterly generic, drop-chorus EDM track that’s instantly forgettable. I’m actually surprised that it was co-written by legendary producer Brave Brothers. His work is usually more idiosyncratic than this.
Insomnia takes no advantage of Euijin’s gifts as a dancer, targeting a lethargic, mid-tempo pace. Its verses are moody boy group fare, awash in overly familiar synths and a fake-out build that never amounts to anything. The song’s chorus feels cut and paste from any number of current tracks, riding an ugly instrumental drop and throwing the barest of melodic hooks over the top. If K-pop producers are still going to insist on using this tired EDM style in 2019, the song has to be an absolute knockout. We’ve heard this exact template too many times for a comeback like Insomnia to elicit anything but an exhausted eye roll.