So many male soloists have used Taemin’s slinky dance pop as a template for their own work. From Kim Donghan to Lee Gikwang, and Park Jihoon to Kang Daniel, a restrained, rhythmic arrangement seems to be the touchstone of choice. The latest performer to steer down this route is Lim Jimin, who debuted last May before his eventual involvement in Play M’s upcoming boy group. His Who, You (후유증) feels like Taemin-lite – a successful copy but not all that compelling on its own.
As evidenced in last year’s survival series The Fan, Lim Jimin is a fresh talent who excels with this kind of material. He rides You’s groove with a convincing swagger, and although his vocals aren’t nearly as idiosyncratic as Taemin’s, he manages to kick up a few sparks. My issue with this track is that it no longer feels new. And without any substantive difference to bring to the table, it also feels kind of unnecessary.
Who, You is about thirty seconds too long, but only because it doesn’t do anything interesting with those last thirty seconds. Its chorus is nice and catchy – if predictable – but it’s repeated way too often without the kind of modulation that might make it interesting. If you listen to the song’s first minute, you’ve pretty much heard every one of its tricks. And although the splashes of rhythm guitar and insistent bass makes for an enjoyable instrumental, its appeal wears thin quickly. As a solo showcase for Jimin’s charms, Who, You does a serviceable job. But, I hope that he’ll be given a more unique sound when he debuts with his group.
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I agree. It isn’t a bad song / production / MV / performance, but it doesn’t do anything we haven’t heard before. Someone, somewhere is going to love this guy and that is fine by me.
As far as Taemin is concerned, there is only one Taemin. The difference is that Taemin actually has an artistic point of view, partially because of his own inherent charms and talents, and also due to over a decade of experience. (Full disclosure – Taemin is my favorite kpop dancer ever.) I still can’t believe he debuted at age of 14 (14!) and is younger than all but 2 members of Exo. If a hoobae is going to imitate a sunbae, Taemin is not a bad choice to emulate.
Ok, I agree with most of your points, but I think Jimin still has more talent than most of the other Taemin wannabes you mentioned. Plus, I think you recognize his talent. The boy is 18 (19 in May) and has the charisma and drive of idols a lot older. His worst trait is getting stuck with a below par management company. Let’s face it, he has more talent in his little finger than most of the “winners” on a manufactured show like Produce.
I don’t think his management company is necessarily bad. I think Play M (a subsidiary of the media giant Kakao M) is just trying to appease his existing fandom with these singles and won’t go all out until they get half of their trainees back from 1THE9 (a group that’s actually being horribly managed by MBK) next spring. Though I guess they shouldn’t have put any of those kids on that show in the first place . . .
“Who, You?” is the blandest song he’s released so far, but the other two tracks are great and his debut EP was solid. The overall production of his small discography really makes me look forward to Play M’s 2020 boy group.
Replying to THE8_IS_AN_8
I totally hope that you’re right about Play M waiting for the whole group to pull together next year, but Play M Girls is not the greatest example of their management. You’re also right about MBK. The only good thing is that Jjimi, Jinsung, Doyum, Seunghwan have gotten some maturing experiences this year on what it’s like to be a struggling idol. With all the talent in Play M Boys, it will be such a waste if they aren’t promoted well. I will be one of their biggest fans for sure.
I hope I’m right too! I really like Jimin and Jinsung’s voices and I’ll buy anything with Byeonghee and Hyeongbin (who are both still around apparently!).
This and OUI’s boy band are my two big groups to look out for next year.
Who will be in OUI Boyz other than Junseo and Yongha do you think?
They’ll probably include Kang Seokhwa, Hidaka Mahiro, Wang Jyunhao and maybe 2-3 unknown trainees. It was a really smart move to pick up three former YG trainees/Produce X 101 contestants because the company didn’t have to incur all the training costs. We’ll see if OUI actually knows what they’re doing though . . .
In my dream scenario they would just put Donghan and Yohan in too but I know they have much larger, dedicated fanbases that would NEVER want them being added to another group after being in their project groups.
Thanks for this info. What happens if x1 doesn’t come back? Would Yohan be in there then? Or would he just be a soloist? Though I strongly suspect x1 will be back.
Haha, I think coming back to comment here got me to listen to “Who, You?” more now it’s stuck in my head! The melody is pretty catchy but the arrangement isn’t so interesting.
Re X1: Yohan would probably be a solo artist either way. I think X1 will be back soon; if sales are still high enough and fans continue supporting them I think they’ll keep promoting despite losing endorsements.
(I promise I won’t go so off topic in comments for the year end posts! Sorry!)