It’s been over two years since The Rose’s Kim Woosung released his first mini album, though he returned with digital single Lazy earlier this year. His material usually maintains an alternative edge while flirting with pop sounds. In a trendy but welcome shift, he’s put on his disco shoes and sparkly shirt to deliver the synthwave banger Dimples.
I often complain about K-pop’s overeager embrace of trends, and I’m sure there will come a time when this retro synth sound has worn out its welcome. But, I haven’t reached the point of oversaturation yet. Granted, this is one of my favorite genres so my tolerance may be higher than most listeners. What can I say? Give me a robust synth riff with resonant percussion and atmospheric drive, and the battle is already half-won.
With that said, Dimples is K-pop synthwave by the numbers. Its simple, ascending chorus feels predictable, though it matches the cathartic surge of the instrumental. A last-minute key change would have added some variety, especially on the heels of the fantastic bridge. However, Woosung’s performance forges a distinct identity for Dimples. I usually find his fluttery vocal style grating, but it adds needed character that pierces through the track’s generic leanings. And when it comes down to it, “generic” isn’t always a bad thing. I may see Dimple‘s post-chorus synth assault coming from a mile away, but it’s still ridiculously satisfying when it hits.