I was beginning to wonder if Jeong Sewoon would ever return with the follow-up to part one of his album 24. But with a title representative of his (Korean) age, I suppose the second half had to come out before his May birthday. Dividing the album in parts allows for a contrast of sounds, and new single In The Dark is certainly different than last year’s Say Yes. But at their core, the two share a similar sense of groove.
I’ve always thought Sewoon’s music is at its best when it utilizes his guitar in a rhythmic way. And despite a moody makeover, In The Dark is all rhythm. Guitar chugs throughout the verses, transitioning to a more restrained strum during the pre-chorus as percussion takes over the heavy lifting. It all comes together for the chorus, which has a nice, fleshed-out arrangement that gives it a satisfying weight. It’s a simple three-part structure, with Sewoon’s honeyed vocals pulling it all together.
To put it succinctly, In The Dark’s simplicity is both its strength and weakness. It’s not a song that offers any surprises, making it feel a little underwhelming at times. And, the melody that forges the chorus doesn’t feel all that different from the one that drives the verses. Everything works together to craft a palpable mood, and that consistency is welcome. But, I think the track could have done with some extra element as a post-chorus hook. Maybe I’m just stuck on that excellent synth that punctuated Say Yes…