When asked to name individual members of boy group ZE:A, casual fans might remember actors like Siwan or Hyungsik. Fans of variety shows will undoubtedly be familiar with Kwanghee. I can’t imagine than many will recall Ha Minwoo. He was ZE:A’s first member to enlist in the military, and has been part of the group’s only sub-unit, ZE:A-Five. He’s also released some solo music, though it hasn’t managed to strike a chord with the Korean public. To be honest, if K-pop’s release slate had been a little more stuffed this week, I probably wouldn’t even be writing about his new single Let Me Love U.
But, here we are. It feels like we’ve been stuck in a weeks-long cycle of ballads and mid-tempos. Stacked up against more exciting material, Let Me Love U would be instantly forgettable. Yet, its upbeat energy makes the song notable within our current K-pop climate. Thematically, the track reminds me of Nam Woohyun’s (far superior) Hold On Me from back in May. It’s got the Latin guitar, the high-tempo hook and the guest rap feature. However, Let Me Love U leans too strongly into tropical trends to feel current or vital.
Ha Minwoo doesn’t have the kind of instantly recognizable voice that would make a solo career inevitable, but he holds his own well enough. Still, his restrained performance is bettered by a fiery verse from guest rapper Lee Youngji. Quite frankly, the song could’ve used more of her. Too much of Let Me Love U succumbs to generic dance pop structure. The verses are pleasant but disposable. The chorus is relatively sharp, but the grating electronic squiggles that underline it add unnecessary distraction. Nothing truly sticks out, which lands this comeback firmly in the “good” category. It’s polished, but ultimately redundant.
Basic kpop. I wouldn’t have listened to it to the end either unless you had reviewed it.
The rap feels grafted on top. I think more rap would have made it sound even more uneven and unbalanced, not less.