Song Review: WOODZ (Cho Seung-youn) – Love Me Harder

I consider myself very well-versed with the current goings on of the K-pop industry, yet when I kept seeing this name WOODZ come up, I didn’t have a reference point. Then, when his album started selling at impressive numbers, I wondered what I was missing. A quick google search revealed that WOODZ is the current stage name for Cho Seungyoun. Of UNIQ fame. Of Produce X 101 fame. Of X1 fame. Suddenly, the hype made sense. The Produce franchise continues to birth stars with alarming consistency. Even beset by all its scandals, involvement with this franchise is like winning the K-pop lottery.

With that said, Seungyoun has certainly paid his dues. And of all the post-Produce solo artists, he seems best poised to have an idiosyncratic career. After all, he co-writes his own material, including new single Love Me Harder (파랗게). And though his musical preferences don’t seem to mirror mine all that strongly, Harder takes from some of the year’s more promising trends.

More and more, global pop music is moving back to a rhythmic structure, hinging on strong basslines and repeated loops. Love Me Harder largely relies on this approach, pulsing with a whistle-and-bass hook that underlines most of the track. WOODZ has a fresh vocal tone, high and airy in a way that really complements a song like this. If I had my way, Harder would have been streamlined to shine full focus on its groove. There’s a certain amount of empty space within the track that doesn’t contribute much to its overall appeal. It’s satisfying to hear WOODZ riff on the production, but I’d rather have that catchy chorus bumped up a notch with the addition of a truly transcendent secondary refrain. Still, Love Me Harder is a pleasant surprise from an artist I knew little about.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

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10 thoughts on “Song Review: WOODZ (Cho Seung-youn) – Love Me Harder

  1. Yes! I love this track! Not enough to give it a 9 but a solid 8.5 for me. Now while some of the structural choices might be off putting and the chorus could’ve been improved the overall sound is so appealing! From the percussion in the pre-chorus, the guitar, etc.. I just can’t get enough of it, especially that instrumental break before every chorus! It kind of reminds me of OnlyOneOf’s Angel, both very slick and streamlined songs with choruses and production that play to the track’s strengths. Each of these two tracks are great in their own way and make for very satisfying listens. This one especially, seems like a guilty pleasure to me and I just can’t get enough.

    Also that music video was so much fun! The storyline was so easy to follow but it was so sad that he died at the end.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, so, of all the songs released today, this was a surprise to me. I don’t watch all those shows, and I can’t tell them apart anyway, so I had no idea who this kid is with or without the stage name.

    Its not the most original song inn its construction, but I love the steady little whistle groove. He also gives a confident delivery, and has made deliberate choices what au courant trends to put in, and what he leaves out. I also appreciate that it is a song that is written to be a solo and performed as a solo, and not a song floating out there on the market that an agency picks up and foists upon their groups. (eg the line ends and beginning don’t overlap so one person can sing it through, the high pitch remains the same range, there is no moment given into a lower voice or an unnecessary rap guest artist.)

    So, yeah, nice song.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Seungyoun has been quietly producing his own stuff under the name Woodz for a while (I’d also recommend “POOL”), but now with post-X1 fame, he has huge star potential. He writes his own songs and he holds his own as a singer, dancer and rapper too.. he more than deserves the success after going through the Produce scandal and I’ll be so happy to see him shine.


  4. Listening to his album makes me really happy! I have followed him on his journey from UNIQ, Luizy, WOODZ to X1 until now. He grew a lot as an artist over the years.

    This song is a promising start for his (hopefully) long and successful solo career

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting how Woodz operates under separate personas for his different kinds of work. Seungyoun, the idol whose name reached mainstream fame through P101/X1. Luizy, name he used for his solo releases separate from UNIQ activities. And then Woodz, the song producer moniker-(shout out to M.O.L.A) turned solo rebranding. At the age of only 23, he’s got a diverse track record behind him and a range of talents to support him.

    I like the song. The first listen, I was instantly on board. Woodz has a higher-pitched voice, and the song plays to his advantage. The whistle hook and the stompy-beat give the song a confident attitude, perfectly matching the leather jacket-clad Woodz we see in the MV.

    As a side note, I love love love the MV. Music videos used to be the the center of my kpop obsession, but they have slowly fallen off my radar in recent years. But I’m glad I checked “LMH”’s out. Never been much of a fan of storyline MVs, but I soon got myself sucked into the mystery of “What is going on here with Woodz vs Woodz?” Spoiler: it involves a crime-operation/murder/ surprise-twist.

    The rest of the mini album is pretty solid too. Not all tracks are my cup of tea; Woodz mixed in a few different genres, and I tend to dislike ballads. Anyways, “NOID” and the chorus of “Acccident” drew me in the most; but the first 4 tracks in general have the dame vibe. They’re very much in the realm of Dean’s 2015-16 releases, but with added trap elements that reflect 2020. Hey, hows Dean doing these days anyways? I feel like we haven’t heard much from his this year. He fell down the stairs on IG live and that’s probably the last I heard about him.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. please do a hidden treasure on the album, love me harder was the weakest song on the album for me. went into listening without expecting much and what a nice surprise! easily one of the best album this year. every track just sounds cohesive.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t know if I can get on board with him. All throughout the album he sounded like he was always screaming in my ears and after a while it was kind of annoying. IMO this is the only song on the album I’d let play if it came on.

    Liked by 1 person

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