In the post-X1 landscape, it’s been interesting to see where each of the members have landed. Some have debuted with groups and some have gone solo. In Kim Wooseok and Lee Eunsang’s cases, I’m a little surprised they’ve both released music on their own. Maybe I’m crazy, but it makes more sense for Wooseok to promote with UP10TION and Eunsang to join BDC. Either way, the two make a nice duo for digital single Memories.
When this song was described as having Britpop influences, my curiosity definitely piqued. That’s not a genre you hear too often in K-pop, nor is it a genre I’d expect from Wooseok or Eunsang. And while I don’t think that Memories goes full-on Britpop, it is definitely my kind of ballad. In fact, its tone and style reminds me of A.C.E’s Stand By You, which has gone on to become one of my favorite ballads of the year.
Memories isn’t quite as cathartic in delivery or structure, but I love its general vibe. The instrumental is lush and fleshed out, melding a band approach with beautiful synths. Both Wooseok and Eunsang have soft vocal colors that land on the lighter side of idol performers, and this similarity allows for a gorgeous blend as they come together for the chorus. There’s a dreamlike quality to the song’s arrangement. The vocals are filtered in places to resemble the texture of Memories’ synth backbone, adding to the track’s ethereal quality. But, Memories never threatens to evaporate. It has a nice heft to it, driven by stomping percussion and an anthemic refrain.