I feel like every summer we get a few of these “rapper featuring vocalist” music videos that involve posing on fancy boats and cavorting among palm trees. I like to imagine all of these videos being filmed simultaneously, with hundreds of yacht-and-rapper combos sailing the same small body of water without bumping into each other. A swag showdown, if you will.
Most of the accompanying songs end up sounding interchangeable, but I suppose the general aesthetic is appreciated. Paradise brings together VIXX’s Ravi and Ha Sungwoon for a tropical hip-hop track that’s bright and playful without leaving much of an impression. I’ve never loved Ravi’s rap style, nor his penchant for autotune. But, the effects are toned down here. The result is pleasant, but oddly subdued.
The same could be said about Ha Sungwoon’s chorus. His tone adds welcome contrast to Paradise’s verses, but the melody itself is rather one-note. Literally, each line ends on roughly the same note. This gives the hook a sense of monotony that would be momentum-killing if Sungwoon weren’t singing in such a high register. The track is supported by a cut-and-paste tropical beat, unassuming in all its plucked percussion and chirpy synth glory. I suppose it’s notable for just how minimalist it is, but other than that I feel like we’ve heard this exact backing track dozens of times before. You’d think the producers would get tired of utilizing the same samples over and over. In a summer that’s seen a welcome embrace of retro sounds, Paradise comes off as a throwaway rehash of the past few years.
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