Song Review: Lee Jinhyuk (UP10TION) – 5K

Lee Jinhyuk - 5KAs hard as I’ve been on most of Lee Jinhyuk and Kim Wooseok’s solo releases, it might seem like I harbor some vendetta against UP10TION. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, I even included one of their singles in my “Top 100 K-pop Songs of All-Time.” I think you can still admire an artist, even as you’re convinced their appeal shines brighter within a group.

With that said, Jinhyuk’s 5K is a definite improvement over last year’s obnoxious Bedlam. He’s got Monotree’s Inner Child on production duty, and his performance skirts between rap and vocals rather than relying solely on one or the other. In fact, if it wasn’t for 5K’s repetitive hook, I think this could have been a really fun blast of brassy funk pop. The constant “okay” in the chorus is a clever play on words, given that “5” is pronounced as “oh” in the Korean language. But even if I can appreciate the double-meaning, the exclamation still feels like a placeholder masquerading as a hook.

Elsewhere, 5K thrives on a groovy guitar riff and hand-clapping percussion. It’s not a new sound, but its optimistic drive is always appreciated. The sprinkle of piano during the chorus is an unexpectedly jazzy touch, adding to the instrumental’s sense of buoyancy. The transition from melody to rap also works well, and Jinhyuk lends each approach a sense of swaggering charisma. But, 5K’s chorus is just too irritating to warrant many replays. I guess I’m just not okay with all those “oh-K’s.”

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.25

9 thoughts on “Song Review: Lee Jinhyuk (UP10TION) – 5K

  1. I’ve never seen an agency so incapable and unwilling to reboot their own group after sending members to a major survival show. Just doesn’t make sense to me but I guess making that sweet solo money (by solo stans who are kinda… insane) is more appealing.

    UP10TION released some of my favorite songs but I’ve accepted nothing will come out of their future anymore.

    Regarding this song, definitely less annoying than Bedlam, still not that good. Jinhyuk tries to save it with his charm but eh.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The OK’s definitely wear themselves out half way through the song, just like how others have overdone “oh yeah, oh yeah oh yeah’s”. The song also hits a personal pet peeve of mine, being a song that is intended for a group instead performed by one person – the song is divided up into parts deliberately. Its not the parts per se or that he can do all the parts pretty well, its the lost opportunity for a soloist to do what they do best and not sound like a group on a song that anyone or any group can do.

    It is performed well-enough. The instrumental really kicks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like a good pun so I’ll appreciate the little “wink wink did you get that?” pun in this song that not a lot of people would pick up if they don’t know Korean. But that’s pretty much it, the song is very meh. He’s a good-looking guy who does have some charisma but his music feels insipid.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I find this song just a notch better than Bedlam. 5K is just annoying to me and I just want a Up10tion comeback which we know we won’t ever get. I will never understand Top Media’s unwillingness to reboot Up10tion correctly.. With members of Up10 already enlisting I think disbandment is inevitable … Man they made bops though


  4. This is really fun and catchy! Like cutesy shouting, ultra repetitive hooks don’t bother me very easily. I could do with less, but it’s not enough to put me off the song (yet, anyway).

    Liked by 1 person

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