Brand New Music’s Lee Eunsang made his debut with the short-lived X1, moving onto solo and duo work after that group dissolved. I had to search to see if I had reviewed his solo debut (I hadn’t), which gives a sense of how little impact it left on me. Because of this, I come into Lemonade completely fresh. I enjoyed Eunsang’s duet with Kim Wooseok last year, but don’t have any impression of him as a solo performer.
In this case, my lack of expectation greatly benefits Lemonade. We’ve heard its musical bag of tricks many times before, but this is a fun, buoyant pop song that goes down just as easy as the drink that shares its name. I could do with more pucker (always love the sour…), but I’m not mad at Eunsang for being generous with the sugar.
Okay, enough lemonade wordplay. Beyond the gimmicky title, Lemonade unfolds with a bright, summery beat that would have been perfect for early June. The instrumental ties tropical synth to a more driving beat during its chorus. In this way, Lemonade feels stuck between K-pop trends, melding 2017-era sounds to rhythms that are more popular today. This creates a track that feels simultaneously familiar and exciting. Its various segments threaten to bump awkwardly into each other, but the arrangement manages to smooth over any problematic transitions. I love the central beat drop, and wish it came paired with a stronger vocal refrain. There’s not much meat on Lemonade’s melodic bones, and I come away from the track without an added sense of who Lee Eunsang is as a performer. But, there’s an addictive comfort in Lemonade’s amiable energy.