Song Review: Kim Wooseok (UP10TION) – Red Moon

Whether purposefully or not, the Produce 101 franchise has resulted in a trend of soloists and duos. K-pop’s idol scene has long favored groups, and most of its performers are best suited to that configuration. It takes a special something to be a compelling soloist. Not every idol is cut out for it, and that’s not a bad thing. With this in mind, I’m kind of baffled that TOP Media is pushing ex-X1 member Kim Wooseok towards a solo career rather than using his newfound popularity to reignite his group UP10TION.

Even as an UP10TION fan, I never once thought: “boy, Kim Wooseok really needs a solo album.” That’s not a dig, even though it may sound like one. He’s a polished performer, more than capable of carrying a song on his own. But, I’ve never sensed any individual perspective when it comes to his role within the group. So, it’s not surprising that his debut track Red Moon (적월 (赤月)) ends up as generic boy group fare, despite an attempt to go theatrical with the instrumentation. It will sell based on his name recognition, but the song is quite faceless.

There’s potential in this concept. Symphonic and rock influences are always welcome in K-pop. But, the song comes off as more of a performance piece than a full entity unto itself. The melody is inert, and no amount of fantastical instrumentation can paint over that. I love the electric guitar that takes over the second verse, but much of the track is driven by irritating trap beats that instantly cheapen the effect. If Red Moon had strictly stuck to orchestra and guitar, it might have had a larger-than-life appeal. As it stands, the production feels canned, masking a performance and song that are largely forgettable.

 Hooks 6
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7

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


12 thoughts on “Song Review: Kim Wooseok (UP10TION) – Red Moon

    • Lmao I feel the same way, after I read Nick’s review I thought “my standards must have gone way down because I enjoyed this just for virtue of having some interesting sounds and not being completely trap”

      It’s not ~spectacular~ but it’s quite a bit better than I was expecting honestly.


  1. .

    First question: Are we sure this isn’t one of the Ab6ix guys late to the solo party?
    Second question: How is it that I don’t own a single Up10tion song? I am going through youtube now, faintly remember some from last year, now cruising through Nick’s top ten list. I mean, I usually buy at least one song from a small group that I find “has charms”.

    OK, back to this song. In this song, they layer minor upon minor to build, yanno, suspense. It makes it sound more halloween than summer. This will not be the first Up10tion song I buy.


  2. As you say, the issue with this song is that it can’t really stand on its own. It’s as if they made the (rather racy) video first and then produced a soundtrack for it. Quite a competent one, I must say, since it fits every second of the MV like a glove, but if I saw just a part of it on TV and knew nothing of its context I’d be compelled to think it’s a perfume ad.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.