Han Seungwoo has had a whirlwind year. After ranking third in 2019’s Produce X 101, his immediate future seemed to be set as leader of project group X1. Yet after only one single, the group was disbanded and he returned to his original group Victon, who had since risen from the ashes thanks to Produce’s reliable popularity boost. Given his increased profile, it only made sense that he’d also branch out to a solo career. He’s certainly got the pipes for it.
Unfortunately, I haven’t connected with much of Victon’s music, and Seungwoo’s solo debut Sacrifice isn’t going to change that. It’s the exact kind of moody boy group mush that makes my eyes glaze over in boredom. Seungwoo’s always-strong vocals elevate the material, especially during the chorus, but I’m just not a fan of the lumbering, trap-r&b production. There’s no funk to it, just the same low-key groove all the way through. This isn’t to say that Sacrifice needed to be some upbeat, intensely rhythmic track. It’s obviously aiming for a darker sound. But, I think you can accomplish this through more dynamic production – something that feels a little less canned.
While Sacrifice’s verses are quite forgettable, the chorus offers a welcome sense of melodic growth, as Seungwoo is given the chance to stretch his vocals. That plonky production doesn’t embrace the refrain’s natural drama, but at least we get a brief change in tone. Seungwoo rattles off a few nice ad-libs toward Sacrifice’s conclusion, making me curious what he could do if given a less restrictive arrangement.
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