More often than not, December is a month where idols release their cozy, downtempo tracks that are perfect for fireside listening. My music taste is about as far away from this as you can imagine, but I suppose if I were to listen to this coffeehouse style, it would be during this time of year. And, Baekhyun’s voice is very much associated with winter, as EXO’s seasonal albums are staples of the holidays for me. But even buoyed by all that goodwill, I still find new digital single Amusement Park (놀이공원) to be a snooze.
Drowsiness may very well be the point here. I mean, we could all use a bit of calm right now, right? And, Backhyun’s rich tone is the perfect delivery method for this style of track. Still, I think it does his engaging personality a disservice. There’s not much about the track that feels unique to him. Instead, Amusement Park is the kind of laid-back fare that can be found from many a Korean indie artist. The melody flits here and there, airy and aloof. Rather than deliver an engaging hook, the song is more concerned with riding its smooth, jazzy groove.
This makes for perfect background music, but you all know that I don’t really do background music. So while I will always consider Baekhyun’s voice foundational to this last decade in K-pop, it’s hard to conjure any real excitement around Amusement Park. It’s pretty. It’s nice. It’s a song. That’s about all I’ve got.