Song Review: Viini (Kwon Hyunbin) – Genie

With YG Entertainment in continual freefall, the company seems unable to release anything but threadbare solo albums from its artists. BLACKPINK’s stuck in a one-per-year promotional schedule, iKON is in limbo after losing its leader, and Treasure 13’s debut has been postponed for who knows how long. In their place, YGX (an agency subsidiary) has dropped the long-awaited solo debut from Viini — better known as JBJ’s Kwon Hyunbin.

Hyunbin is already well-known to fans through TV series like Produce 101 and Dunia, though he’s been quiet musically since JBJ’s disbandment in April of 2018. Though I’m familiar with his work in the group, I had no real idea what to expect from solo material. Hyunbin is also a model, and that’s my main takeaway from Genie (도깨비방망이). It’s a beautiful music video, but the song itself is the worst kind of musical nothing.

With a track like Genie, I feel like I’m reviewing an entire genre rather than an individual song. I might as well cut and paste my thoughts about any other K-pop release of this style. I don’t find anything appealing about the autotuned vocals, or the languid, dreary trap-driven instrumental. I don’t enjoy how the song maintains the same low energy all the way through, as if stuck in a depressing drug haze. The track doesn’t pull anything interesting from Hyunbin as a performer, nor reveal any charms beyond his looks. It shows no desire to be different or vital to the K-pop landscape. In short, I’d rather listen to the superior Genie any day of the week — and that right there should tell you all you need to know about whether our musical tastes align or not.

 Hooks 5
 Production 5
 Longevity 6
 Bias 4

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!


7 thoughts on “Song Review: Viini (Kwon Hyunbin) – Genie

  1. There is a strange irony in the influx of YGX releases considering that Seungri was formerly the CEO of the subsidiary. Given the seemingly rushed and haphazard releases, it makes me wonder if there might be a contractual issue that is forcing or rushing the debuts so that the artists can’t jump ship. Something just feels very off about the whole string of releases.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Before I clicked I really thought you were going to link SNSD’s Genie there haha. GolCha’s is fantastic too though.

    The first track on Hyunbin’s album at least has some musical quirks that are interesting to listen to, I would’ve definitely preferred him to promote something like that instead of adding onto the industry’s existing pile of trap-R&B.


    • Now, you know I have to take any available opportunity to mention Golden Child!

      But yeah, of course SNSD’s Genie is “the superior Genie” as well.


  3. I definitely have a different music taste and have liked some of these downbeat songs from other idols but I was really disappointed with this debut. I couldn’t even finish the song as I was completely bored by it. I loved Hyunbin in produce 101 and his kind of dorky yet also super sincere try your best personality and I felt like I could feel none of that personality through the song. It just felt like the producers didn’t try when creating the song. I know some people will probably enjoy this but for me it’s a pass.


  4. I listen to all the new releases on youtube that pop up in my feed, plus the Kville weekly new releases compilation to catch up on any that did not pop up in my feed. This song sounds like it comes straight from the second half of the Kville weekly which is filled with all the moody slower crap that I hate.

    As far as YG, I hope that AkMu comes back soon or jumps ship or otherwise turns out OK. Also, the Big Bang military service now feels like the longest ever – I had to look it up – the rest of them are done in November and December. Seems like forever. Finally, I have been looking forward to how Bang Yedam has grown up, but I will have to wait a longer indeterminate time.


  5. Pingback: Song Review: ATO6 – Runway | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

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