Review

Song Review: Park Jihoon – Wing

Today is truly the day of male solo releases, with no less than three big-name tracks dropping. And of those three, Park Jihoon easily takes the win. I’m not sure I would’ve expected this. I’ve enjoyed his two title tracks, while finding their respective albums quite boring. But, for Wing he’s injected his music with needed energy. It’s not quite the relentless dance track I was hoping for, but its upbeat nature is very refreshing.

I’ve never found Jihoon’s voice all that compelling on its own, and I think Wing would have improved by having an entire K-pop group at the helm. However, most of the track moves at such a brisk pace that it’s hard not to get swept up in its charms. Right off the bat, Wing unveils a catchy, rhythmic vocal riff underlined by some great synth textures. Rather than drop into some boring, half-time verse, the song maintains its energetic percussion until we hit the disorienting pre-chorus. Thankfully, it’s not long before the chorus reignites Wing’s intensity, merging a celebratory hook with that catchy riff that opened the track.

Wing’s worst instincts arrive courtesy of structural trends that have plagued K-pop for the past couple of years. The first time through, I waited nervously to see if the second verse would drop out the way the vast majority of these songs do. And true to form, Wing lurches into an energy-killing trap breakdown. It’s not a total deal-breaker, but it is disappointing. Is this just how every single K-pop dance track is going to sound now? Fortunately, Wing is mostly a lot of fun and may even grow more addictive as we enter the summer season. At the very least, its sense of joy is like an oasis in the middle of a barren, angsty boy group desert.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.5

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12 thoughts on “Song Review: Park Jihoon – Wing

  1. Park Jihoon is not only the best post produce male idol, but he also won this soloist battle. At this point I’m just happy when a song isn’t either generic r&b or dark. Everything here is simple but efficient, 8/10 for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The chorus is a bit sing-talky for my taste, but that synth riff is killer. It won’t not usurp L.O.V.E as my Jihoon of choice, but there’s a beautiful irony to this being antithetical to the entire post-Produce landscape.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The instrumental is makes this an evocative listen. There’s a lot to unpack.

    Mostly, the song has a decidedly retro feel. On first listen, the pre-chorus feels jarring (even more so than than trap-breakdown. Guess, being surrounded trap music guarantees this ability). The “my heart will burst (?)” has a such distinctive character. I can’t really place it, maybe more classic rock delivery? (Any help will be appreciated!)

    But man, the synths are just breathtaking. Seriously, the synth flourishes are amazing. The synths have this distinct experimental pop textures, popularised by PC music camp (responsible for Charli XCX’s recent output) and Clarence Clarity, pulling from 2000s pop. A musical continuity is maintained as the synths pull in-out of the song’s structure. The vocal riff and the synths do set the atmosphere right and when it repeats after the chorus (1:20- 1:37), it grows more addictive. And my, the bridge (2:44)…the synths are placed in spotlight as the final chorus reels in with the experimental flourish again to a
    satisfying finale.

    Not to detract Jihoon’s performance, he’s fantastic here, lending some great vocal character to the track even if his voice isn’t the most distinctive.

    Man, admist the tired kpop formula, this is a gem of a song. It’s the first song since Scream and Wannabe to absolutely floor me within the first listen. I don’t think this song will leave me anytime soon.

    In essence, this song is a Clarence Clarity song filtered through kpop’s sleek lenses. That’s something almost unbelievable to achieve.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. OK, this one is Better than the rest of them all week. As MEANDER says above, it is all about the instrumental. The synth layers are complex but not noisy, which is something that hasn’t happened in kpop in a long while. The synth lines complement each other, and don’t just layer noise upon noise. More is more here.

    That change at 0:48 just slays me.

    The performance is OK. He keeps up with the awesome instrumental, which is probably harder than it looks.

    Like

  5. This one is not leaving my playlist for awhile.I liked his previous song too.. so I’m looking forward to his journey

    Like

  6. Had no feelings towards Baekhyun’s Release.
    Woo Seok’s release was good but not something I would go out of my way to listen to.
    But this, this is great, and really provided an energy everyone needed. It’s not an amazing song, but its very very good and is killer throughout except that second verse. This’ll be on my summer jams playlist alongside Chanyeol’s Yours (The best EXO solo release) and OnlyOneOf’s Angel. Hoping to add more songs to it very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I didn’t expect anything musically great from him tbh. He also has a sub-par vocal that might get in the way for people liking him. But he surprised me with this comeback, he blew me off. I like wing more than i realized. The song is fun, fresh, enjoyable. It’s something new in generic kpop music.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s his strongest album, and one of the stronger ones of the past couple of weeks — even if nothing about it really blew me away.

      Like

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