After the unexpected viral success of Gang, Rain has reaffirmed his musical legacy by collaborating with the right people. First up was the summer smash Beach Again, performed alongside Lee Hyori and Yoo Jaesuk. Then, he paired with longtime mentor Park Jinyoung for the addictive new jack swing of Switch To Me. And on the eve of his new mini album’s release, Why Don’t We finds him dancing with Chungha – one of this new generation’s leading solo artists.
This journey has been fun to watch, and Rain has proven himself as shrewd a businessman as he is an idol. Why Don’t We is dripping with style, and that’s its biggest strength. But compared to Beach Again and Switch To Me, it doesn’t feel like much of a fleshed-out song. This is clearly more about the choreography than any other element, and I guess that’s fine given the nature of its performers.
Why Don’t We has the kind of verses I tend to dislike. They’re melodic in fits and starts, but the pieces don’t add up to any meaningful structure. There’s no cohesion in message — just a bunch of one-liners disconnected from each other. It doesn’t help that the instrumental feels somewhat unsettled, unable to commit to a groove that sustains through the entire track. The pace accelerates as we enter the chorus, but there just isn’t much substance to be found. A halfhearted repetition of the titular phrase doesn’t go anywhere, even as the instrumental surges forward, promising more. Aggressive autotune only adds to the flimsy quality of this hook. Why Don’t We isn’t offensively bad, but songs like Wonho’s recent Lose harnessed this same vibe way more effectively.