Song Review: Park Jihoon – Call U Up (ft. Lee Hi)

This whole “Universe app” business makes it tricky to decide whether or not to review a song! Park Jihoon and Lee Hi’s Call U Up is the latest track to be released through the platform, which means its music video is inaccessible for embedding here. In fact, I haven’t even seen it yet. We’ll have to do with the official audio for now.

Call U Up is a powerhouse collaboration of sorts, pairing Park Jihoon and Lee Hi with well-known producer Primary. When I hear the name “Primary,” I instantly get myself ready for something funky. That doesn’t necessarily represent his diverse set of works, but 2012’s See Through was such a groovy hit that it’s all I can think of when I imagine his production style. Of course, expectations are a dangerous thing, and it’s best not to force Call U Up to replicate that energy. It’s a far more reserved song, after all.

Park Jihoon and Lee Hi are an interesting, unexpected pairing. It works better than I would have imagined, and I like how they’re both given plenty to do despite Lee Hi being build as a “featuring.” Their tones play well off each other, creating an engaging texture that matches the muted instrumental. Call U Up is a laidback head-nodder, enlisting a few retro synth touches but mainly grooving along its uncluttered r&b beat. Neither the performance nor the production boast showstopping moments, but it’s hard to dislike a track this polished.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7

3 thoughts on “Song Review: Park Jihoon – Call U Up (ft. Lee Hi)

  1. Straight ahead R&B mid-tempo. The instrumental could have been scraped off any number of late 80’s to late 90’s R&B artists. Actually, to me, it sounds like a cover. You know how sometimes people appear on the Korean singing shows, and they start a cover that sounds something like this, and the audience has all those wow reaction shots, and since we have no context to know the original song or the original artist, we over here listen politely and nod our heads along and ponder once again at the cultural historical divide that we still don’t fully understand that has evolved expanded and subsumed us to listen almost exclusively to music like this here in a foreign language.

    It’s like that.
    It’s alright.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hey, Primary! I know that name, but only because my ‘soft’ playlist has multiple of his songs in it – sort of relaxing, but still groovy. A long-time favourite of mine is this song: ‘’

    Anyway, this song. It’s nice, doesn’t stand out to much but doesn’t compel me to click away either.

    Liked by 1 person

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