Review

Song Review: Kwon Eunbi – Door

Kwon Eunbi - DoorSeveral months after IZ*ONE’s disbandment, we’re beginning to see the re-debut of its members. Some will form new groups or join projects already in progress. Others – like Woollim Entertainment’s Kwon Eunbi – will debut as soloists. It’s always interesting to see which members pursue which careers, and which end up being successful. IOI, Wanna One and X1 have had decent-to-strong luck in this regard, though there’s been a wide variety of commercial success between members.

It’s always nice to see the debut of a new female soloist, and Eunbi clearly has what it takes to command the stage. It feels like Woollim have thumbed through my imaginary rolodex, enlisting both e.one and Monotree’s Hwang Hyun to produce Door. That’s a personal dream team, setting my expectations sky high.

Unfortunately, Door feels a little throwaway. I’m not a big fan of this jazzy swing sound. In this case, it comes off a little cheesy – particularly when the brass riff kicks in to deliver a repetitive pre-chorus hook. Eunbi counters with a strong chorus, commanding attention. But for me, the groove is too straightforward. There’s not enough modulation, making Door feel overly monotonous. I prefer songs that build toward musical catharsis or climax, but Door just bops along happily without change. This crafts a streamlined sound that’s catchy from first listen. However, it keeps me at a distance, unable to find an entry point to fully vibe with the track. Still, it’s hard to argue with Door’s pedigree. It may not be for me, but it’s a strong first step for this promising soloist.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.5

20 thoughts on “Song Review: Kwon Eunbi – Door

  1. Even though this brazzy, jazzy sound has certainly been done before in kpop, I still very much enjoy “Door”. The instrumental, opening portion of the chorus hearkens back to Orange Caramel’s “My Copycat” (quirky, simple, almost cartoonish quality) while the more vocal driven, post-chorus is very much an IZ*ONE hook in nature (elegant, a bit magical). It’s fun and full of personality, and the MV reminds me of Heejin’s “Vivid”. In fact, I would say that “Door” is Eunbi’s “Vivid” era in
    a way. Both are undeniably playful and refuse to conform to the current “girl crush” and “teen crush” kpop tropes . My apologies for all of the comparisons, this isn’t to imply that this song is derived from any other song. I just have a habit of bringing up other songs haha. 8.25/10, I love it!!

    Since I’m a long time lurker, I have a couple of “extra” questions if you don’t mind me asking…

    1. Have you listened to any of MINSEO’s work? She’s a solo artist who debuted in 2018 and in my opinion has released some REALLY stand out work (specifically Zero and Is Who)…I would love to hear a song review from you!
    2. Super random but has your rating for Sonamoo’s “I Like U Too Much” gone up at all? I recall you giving that song a 6/10 but that was 4 years ago so has it grown on you? In my opinion it’s a very beautiful, lovely, and fun song with gorgeous orchestral flourishes

    Love your blog btw, once again sorry for making this comment so long haha

    Liked by 5 people

    • Minseo is awesome! I love Minseo! Ah, but NIck doesn’t usually review vocalists, unless enough of us protest often enough. I came across this gem recently although its from a few years ago – Minseo dueting with Yoon Jong Shin singing Like it / Yes.
      ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOT1nh-eiyY

      Like

  2. The drop reminded me very much of onf’ we must love. The same melody in a lower key. And as you’ve said, I don’t know where to grasp onto the song as it’s not particularly engrossing to me but a neat solo debut and will definitely grow on me.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Eunbi was one of my fav I*zone members. I always felt she was one of the powerful voices that defined their vocal sound. She always came in at powerful moments, high intensity, and drama. Her and Yuri really held down the vocal line.

    So it’s nice to see her do something a little less dramatic, even though the melody of the chorus has the power I expect from her vocals.

    I think Eunbi has a lot of range, so I was initially disappointed to see such a “Spring” “fresh” teaser images, and I do think the song/video does a good job balancing that with sass and character.

    I also don’t usually like this type of jazzy/electroswing sound but in doses it can work. Some Mamamoo and Orange Caramel verges near this territory and is tasteful. Door is similarly tasteful except for the very jazz bridge. That part is a bit too corny for my tastes.

    I think this is a strong debut, for me, and I hope she has a lot of success, prompting frequent comebacks and a strong solo fan base. I hope she can keep working w E.one and Hwang Hyun and release some even more potent material.

    Nice one Kwon Eunbi!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really like this – it feels stuffed in the best kind of way. I’m enjoying the EP so far as well. “Blue Eyes” in particular is one of those weird songs that I enjoy even while I can’t quite figure out which playlist to put it on. Although my brain kept responding to “I’ve got blue eyes” with skepticism, so that’s a little distracting.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I feel that with this sound there’s so many places you could take it. What holds it back for me is that the energy comes and goes but not in a way that builds tension. The brass loop is the major culprit and I wish they got rid of it. In addition, they also pull back too much in the verses and bridge. The time would’ve been spent better there than with the Initial brass loop. On the other hand, I love the chorus and have a bias towards brassy songs. I think Eunbi does a good job on this track. From her time in izone and produce48 I never would’ve predicted this sound from her, but she always came off as one of the stronger performers from the group. I can’t wait to hear more from her and the rest of the members

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  6. I think it is fine, and good enough for the stans. Closing my eyes, I swear this sounds like one of the Loona early introductory songs, the ones they blew all the budget on.

    Re: the jazzy brassy – I think its the nth reference to “La La Land” with touch of Orange Caramel. Like they watched the BToB “Blue Moon” kingdom performance from earlier this year and thought “yeah, lets add something like that”.
    ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJQhBWIRrBE

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I only recently subscribed to Woollim (because Ra Pam Pam), abd this suddenly came out of nowhere.

    I really like this kind of jazzy, brassy sound, so it’s only given that I would like it. I haven’t listened to a single Iz*One song ever, so I came in totally blind about who she was, but still liked it. 8.5.

    In unrelated news, both Tuunderous and Thrill Ride have greatly grown on me.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hey, remember when I was asking for more K-Pop jazzy electro swing? Hell yes. I’m a sucker for this sound so of course I enjoy it, though I do wish it was a bit more… brisk. Not necessarily faster per se, but the topline vocal could’ve stood to be a bit more kinetic especially in the verses. Still, I otherwise can’t complain too much; this is a pleasant surprise!

    (I like it more than all of her former group’s Korean titles and almost all their Japanese titles — Suki to Iwasetai continues to reign supreme and I’m still baffled at how quickly their Japanese material got so bad.)

    Liked by 2 people

  9. As a stan of OT12 with bias towards the Woollimz, I can’t ask for more with the genre she chose to debut with! Very Eunbi-like, said one of the members and I can agree that among the 12 IZ*ONE members, she pulls this sound off quite well! But reading this review, there is a certain streamlined feeling with it–not enough tension–maybe it needed the tension from CL’s new song for it to be fully engaging….?
    Album-wise, I am also leaning with Blue Eyes, and Woollim didn’t disappoint me with the ballads either! (as someone who listens to the Infinite solo albums) But will there be any featured b-sides off this mini?

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  10. It’s a dive in to jazzy electro swing, though I can’t say it’s the most strong of its kind. Still, it’s a nice song. I’d prefer a bit more brass, but that’s just personal preference.

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  11. It’s a nice song, and I enjoyed it while listening to it, particularly the jazzy feel, but I don’t see myself returning to it too often. Just doesn’t interest me enough to have me want to listen to it again. However, I’m excited to see the solo debut of one of the IZ*ONE members! Eunbi was always considered one of the most likely out of the 12 to debut solo, and from this she’s definitely showing her potential. I wish her success, and I’m interested to see in the upcoming months what her former groupmates do as well.

    Like

  12. A liveish dance performance video just released reveals more IU-like musical production style, like La La Land.
    ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUylPcPVFw0

    Like

    • I grew up in a musical theater family – my mom directed and my sister and I performed/worked for our town’s children’s theater for most of the time I was in grade school – so this kind of staging is right up my alley. That said, it feels more Vegas or Ziegfeld Follies to me than movie musical. Either way, that lift at 1:29 is breathtaking, both because it looks really cool and because I keep expecting her to break a leg.

      Also, why are the Play Color performances always some shade of orange? There are other colors!

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      • Another kids musical baby here! This feels more contemporary movie musical like a La La Land, and not classic movie musical era. Or IU doing her version of musical dream sequence. But, yes, there is no Cyd Charisse going on here.

        rahr Cyd Charisse
        ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6SqoqS9Xrs

        To overthink it too much, another way to see it is the choreo –
        ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at2sz5GmGOI
        Like after the lift section (which is cool), in the next part what are the legs doing? Starting about 1:32 the legs are doing nothing, just standing there. Until about 2:15 the legs are under utilized. At least for 1:32 to about 1:50 she could have her knees together in cute but sexy Betty Boop poses. Knees together, ankles apart, rock the hips side to side. Its not like she has to catch her breath because its all lip synced. 2:53 to 3:05 have pretty clumsy grape vining going on. There is no snap to on the steps. Like trying to do a tap dance without any actual tap. It is clear Eunbi comes from hip hop school of dance and not all jazz hands Chorus Line school of dance.

        I think I have seen green and yellow color play?

        Like

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