Whatever your opinion on Sori’s solo music may be, everyone can agree that she’s paid her dues within the K-pop industry. Her career thus far has been a constant series of starts and stops. Her quirky duo CocoSori disbanded earlier this year. A potential MIXNINE-spawned girl group was never given the opportunity to debut at all. Now, her music is largely produced at the whim of crowd funding efforts — a series of digital singles that haven’t raised her stature in the way her agency had likely hoped.
I Am Not Alone is easily her most striking work yet, though most of that is due to the captivating performance video. Experienced without the choreography, the track is pretty typical of EDM, future bass-inspired K-pop. Paired with U.S. based producer Folded Dragons, the song gives Sori the best showcase yet for her vocals. Her performance is more than a little reminiscent of Sunmi’s evocative tone, though Sunmi would opt for a much more memorable hook.
Alone’s dramatic verses are its strongest asset. The song presents a captivating build from the very start, anchored by a haunting piano line that reminded me a little of Infinite’s Back. The intensity grows as more instrumental elements are brought in and it feels like we’re in for something very special. Alone’s chorus isn’t a complete buzz kill, but it lacks the kind of sucker punch melody that I hoped for. Instead, prominence is given to sweeping synths that crash in like waves on rocks. It’s an impressive musical moment, but could have been an absolute showstopper if paired with just the right hook. Oddly, the track peters out after the second chorus, delivering an abrupt ending that could have been expanded upon. Hopefully Sori is given the opportunity to do just that.