Since her solo debut, Kim Sejeong has become synonymous with ballads. But now that Gugudan is no more, it makes sense that she would expand her palette and maybe even absorb some of her former group’s charms. New single Warning isn’t exactly adventurous, but it injects a welcome variety to her music, delivering the optimistic bounce that tends to be common in K-pop this time of year.
Warning is built upon a catchy piano riff, giving the track a different appeal from the synth-heavy music we usually hear these days. And despite never cresting at a particularly high energy, the instrumental has a lot of life to it. Rhythm guitar lends Warning a subtle grooviness, and the percussion has a very old-school sound. Better yet, the song builds as it goes on, bringing in hand claps and some clever sound effects. It’s a pleasant head-nodder, for sure.
Sejeong makes for a solid conduit, her bright vocals adding to the buoyant nature of the track. lIlBOI’s sing-song rap verse is an odd inclusion, but I guess it gives the song another layer of texture. Still, Warning is at its best when it focuses on Sejeong herself, wrapping her voice in as much cheerful ornamentation as possible. There’s a surprisingly robust supply of hooks here, making Warning more complex than it first seems. The interplay between the chirpy pre-chorus and refined, synth-dripped chorus is quite satisfying, and makes for a diversely structured centerpiece that will likely charm listeners throughout the remainder of spring.