Song Review: Chungha – X

Chungha’s months-long rollout of singles has nearly reached its conclusion, with an album release just around the corner. Even if the quality of these singles has been mixed at times, I’ve been very impressed with their versatility and Chungha’s development into a well-rounded artist. New single X (걸어온 길에 꽃밭 따윈 없었죠) continues to grow her sound. With little in the way of teasers to go by, I had expected another big dance track. Instead, X is a stately mid-tempo with a great melody and performance.

I generally prefer upbeat tracks, but the mid-tempos I love best tend to have a hearty arrangement and dramatic sweeps of melody. X checks both of those boxes. Its atmospheric instrumental borrows just as much from classic rock as modern K-pop tropes, and has a wonderfully dramatic surge to it. There’s a constant sense of climax to the production, and this really gets going during the song’s second half. Wisps of backing vocals give way to swoops of glam guitar. It’s beautifully mixed, allowing for robust texture you just want to get lost in.

Chungha gives a solid performance here, sticking mostly to her lower register. X doesn’t build to any knockout vocal climax, but she remains engaging and charismatic all the way through. My favorite moment is actually the spoken-word coda to each chorus. This change in structure really captures your attention, adding a sense of finality that gives the track a cinematic quality. X’s melody largely circles around the same themes, but resonates well thanks to its blend with the instrumental. Yet again, Chungha has shown her willingness to approach diverse soundscapes, and it’s really paying off for her.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

8 thoughts on “Song Review: Chungha – X

  1. Here we are, the mid-tempo song to show her softer side. Its alright. Not my style – I have nothing to grab onto here. It sort of lolls around the middle of her range too much for too long for my taste. If it swelled or soared, I missed it.

    Is there something weird about the mix? In my current best ear buds, the vocal sounds push to the back behind the instrumental

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review! I think that X is my favorite out of all the pre-release singles. It’s exactly my style of music. The almost indie pop sound mixed with a bit of soft rock. There are even moments where Chungha reminded me of Lana Del Rey, especially the spoken word parts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I tend to personally like Chungha songs more than the scores they receive here (and they’re not bad by any means) but I think this review is right in the ballpark. Where my opinion differs is in the song’s production.

    the drums. They have too much reverb and cover up a really interesting arrangement. I think the song would feel even more atmospheric, stately and ornate without that slamming snare sound.
    Often I don’t like drum production on k-rock and k-indie, it’s just too big and too much. I think if the drum sound was tighter and acoustically “dead” – think Haim, Lana Del Ray Ultraviolence era, or even Fleetwood Mac- the other elements would have more room to shine and support Chungha’s voice.
    The song would sound more massive! To me, the drums make the production feel slightly claustrophobic.

    Kim Chungha – you are the real deal! One of the hardest working performers and even though I love her dancing, I’m glad she’s going to promote with choreography.


  4. This song is not what I usually listen to, but compared to the other songs that were released today- this was a well needed breather. Simple, smooth, and easy to listen to with great vocals. I might listen to this before I go to bed tonight.


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