Review

Song Review: H&D (Hangyul & Dohyon) – Soul

After a couple of pre-releases, Hangyul and Dohyun (H&D) have officially made their post-X1 debut with the release of Soul. If nothing else, the Produce franchise has reignited interest in duos. It’s a unique and challenging configuration for an idol act, but can work if the two personalities and talents are well-aligned. So far, I think Hangyul and Dohyun compliment each other. Unfortunately, Soul is a bit of a mess – even if it has its high points.

These days, finding a K-pop song whose verses and chorus are equally satisfying is a feat unto itself. Releases can get by on one strong element, but the best tracks bear absolutely no fat at all. Soul is lucky that it has a big, exciting hook at its center because its verses leave a lot to be desired. In fact, it’s difficult to recall much from the track’s opening minute. There’s no meaningful structure to this segment – just loosely phrased bits of melody that have no real connection or purpose. The song’s second verse is even more disappointing, as a half-time trap rap takes precedence. This has become a tried-and-true piece of the K-pop toolkit, and it feels obvious, ugly and unnecessary each and every time.

Now, onto the good stuff. Soul’s rambunctious chorus throws back to classic club music, upping the tempo with throbbing percussion and explosive energy. There’s not much to the melody, but I like the contrast between Hangyul’s husky vocals and Dohyun’s spoken-word interjections. For a brief moment, Soul takes flight and unveils the dancefloor anthem it should have been all the way through. But, it’s hard to fully embrace its high points when they’re surrounded by so much extraneous posturing and formless diversions.

 Hooks 8
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.5

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5 thoughts on “Song Review: H&D (Hangyul & Dohyon) – Soul

  1. Any chance you’re reviewing Ha:tfelt’s new release? She’s released the first of the two title tracks from her upcoming full album (that include a song or two she released years before that were sleeper hits) –

    Like

  2. I liked a lot the debut songs of JBJ95 as a duo, which proved that also an unconventional format can work well with a proper concept and artistic direction.
    H&D unfortunately seem weaker than their previous (post-Produce as well) counterpart, and this track doesn’t fit all those “debut-title-track-must-have” we could expect. I tend to prefer Good Night, which is more consistent in terms of groove and rhythm, a bit Winner-esque in the mood but not as anonymous as Soul.
    Anyway, only God knows how much I would pay to read the Power Point with their (unknown, for what we see) business model and marketing strategy.

    Like

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