Song Review: Lee Jinhyuk (UP10TION) – Work Work

Lee Jinhyuk - Work WorkOctober’s been a pretty lousy month for K-pop so far, and I’m finding myself in a bit of a slump when it comes to new music. This happens from time to time, and always turns around eventually. Sadly, Lee Jinhyuk will not be the idol to unleash that much-needed U-turn. He and I seem to exist on different musical planets, as I haven’t enjoyed any song he’s released thus far.

Unlike his two previous singles, Work Work isn’t actively obnoxious. So, I guess that’s an improvement? Instead, the song is a big nothingburger. This comes in spite of some great collaborators behind the scenes. Whenever I see the name “Monotree” attached to a production, my attention instantly piques. Unfortunately, Work Work is the kind of generic mid-tempo track that never fully draws from the strengths of its genre influences The instrumental is laid-back but tinny, and could have explored its brassy elements further. There’s also a persistent whistle. You all know how I feel about whistles in pop songs…

Work Work flits between rap and sing-song melody, with the former being more enjoyable. Jinhyuk’s not a vocalist, and the melody here is meant to sound rough around the edges. But, his performance isn’t compelling enough to make it work, even when we culminate in a literal “work! work!” shout-along. Had the track found a better groove or more raucous energy, these exclamations might have been more endearing. But, Work Work never carves an identity of its own. There are much stronger examples of this same style to be found in K-pop.

 Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 6
 RATING 6.75

7 thoughts on “Song Review: Lee Jinhyuk (UP10TION) – Work Work

  1. Mrs Cranky is in da house! Crank pot in your area! 2021 has been a low for me too. I am eagerly awaiting this year’s “Wonderland” October surprise, and I don’t see it happening, unless Nam Woo Hyun or Park Jihoon rescue me next week.

    I swear I have heard this song several times before. Someone else on some other thread brought up the memory of the “Shine” era of Pentagon, and this song would fit right alongside that era.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that was me talking about one of BLITZER’s b-sides. I think this is where being pretty new to kpop works in my favor, because I haven’t heard enough of the better versions of styles I like to hamper my enjoyment of the “not bad” versions.


  2. It’s not as obnoxious (i.e. AWESOME) as his prior releases, but I still like it. Mid-tempo songs don’t always do it for me, but the random sound effects and the whistle are right around my speed. And I appreciate that TOP continues to be generous with the b-sides, because this month has been pretty weak on bangers, and “Dunk!” is 100% obnoxious farty-brass-loops banger.


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