Back when I used to have more interest in UP10TION, I never imagined a future where we would get a Wei (Lee Jinhyuk) solo album. That’s no dig on him, but other members were clearly being positioned for more popularity with the general public. However, I couldn’t have foreseen the immense popularity of Produce 101, and its ability to buoy up many a K-pop singer. So, here I am, writing about Jinhyuk’s solo debut while the rest of his group promotes material without him.
Idol rapper albums are usually very hit and miss, lacking the grittiness of underground material but missing the sharp catchiness of full group comebacks. I Like That is an odd little song. Musically, it has no discernible purpose beyond capitalizing on Jinhyuk’s current popularity. I appreciate how it’s not all dark and broody, but its dated “party in the club” atmosphere makes for a pretty disposable track. Jinhyuk has always had a pleasingly playful flow, and he’s able to draw on that charisma here. The exciting beat gives him something to draw from, but the song lacks a killer hook.
I would have loved to hear a guest vocalist on I Like That – maybe even somebody from UP10TION. Instead, we get an oddly cheesy call-and-response chorus with phoned-in female vocals in the background. It’s appealing in a goofy sort of way, but short on imagination. The track attempts to build toward a big, blustering climax, and almost succeeds. But ultimately, I Like That is more attitude than song. Its energy is fun in the moment, but there’s little here that would pull me back for repeated listens.
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Another one creeping up the scale on my overused meter: songs recorded wholly by soloists that were intended for multiple parts in a group. It just sounds schizophrenic as one person tries to hit all the marks equally well. Trying to be all things to all people while never being himself.
That, and this one sounds like Winner discarded this one in favor of slightly better material.
Nam Woo Hyun avoided this in the spring with “Hold on Me”, putting out a nice solo release. His label released a ballad by Woo Hyun yesterday which even I find boring.
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Even I find it boring, and Woohyun’s one of my ultimate biases in K-pop!
Kinda disagree with you here, I like that (lol I had to). It’s refreshing that it’s not a moody, dark song about how cool they are; it’s more fun and it uses Jinhyuk’s advantages well. It kinda (KINDA) reminds of party song Big Bang or any of its subunits would release pre 2015.
I do agree, however, that it lacks a singer. To me, the song would’ve been better if it featured a vocalist.