Far be it from me to tell any performer what kind of music they should be making, but I can’t help imagining how awesome it would be if Henry released a song like Lucy’s Snooze. He seems intent on following the footsteps of K-r&b soloists like Crush and Dean, but it feels like such a waste to neglect the breadth of his skills as a musician. I don’t think this style is a good fit for his charms, and new single Radio only illustrates that.
This is the kind of moody, languid pop song that does nothing for me. I get why it would appeal to a soloist eager to show off the emotion of their vocals, but as a listener I find the whole thing quite dull. Radio takes about every turn I would expect, culminating in a dull chorus that’s given an anthemic sheen without the melodic heft to warrant it. It’s very ‘Western Pop 101,’ which is the last thing I look for when it comes to K-pop.
Henry is often referred to as a musical genius, and as a multi-instrumentalist he certainly has the potential to craft some really dynamic pop music. It’s baffling, then, that Radio opts for such a canned instrumental. The tinny beats bring nothing new to the conversation, though chugging synth bass hints at what this track could have become if given a more daring arrangement. Instead, the song feels stuck in the same gear. Its best moments happen when the production strips back to focus solely on Henry’s vocals and piano, but these don’t occur nearly enough.