Boyhood’s Retro Love has slowly inched its way toward becoming one of my favorite 2020 K-pop tracks. Much of that is due to its quirky character, but I’m also predisposed to enjoying 80’s nostalgia. I’m hopeful that he will continue along this sonic route, though new single Boring Home (집에 없자) moves in a more subdued, acoustic direction. In this way, the song recalls the work of Donghyun’s older brother, Nam Taehyun of South Club (and formerly Winner).
In fact, Boring Home’s melody feels like something Taehyun would have written for Winner. It’s simple, emotive and memorable. Its subject matter joins a growing list of pop songs that tackle our current 2020 predicament. I’m of two minds about this. Obviously, music mirrors the times we’re in, but at this moment I’m craving distractions and fantasy. Still, Boring Home is ultimately hopeful, and that can be heard in the track’s cresting chorus.
Home’s production has an appealing texture, with the guitar filtered in a way that sounds dramatic and expansive. You can almost get lost in its instrumental, especially as atmospheric synth pads wash over the top. This arrangement lends the song a widescreen appeal that really enhances its melody. Donghyun gives an effective performance, strong but also somewhat resigned. It’s not a showy vocal, and that suits the nature of the track. Retro Love will continue to be my go-to feel-good single, but I appreciate the choice to showcase another side of the emerging Boyhood sound.