A K-pop act’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. Sometimes, b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.
Though he participated in lyric writing for several songs on his new album, A Song For You is the only track where Nam Woohyun has composition credits. This is a shame, because he’s a really underrated composer. The thing about Woohyun is that he’s a total cheeseball, and he brings that heart-on-his-sleeve fan-service approach to his songwriting. His first composition for Infinite (2013’s Beautiful) bounded on pop fluff, but its melodies were sharp and memorable.
A Song For You is cut from the same cloth. At its heart, it’s the kind of track you’d sing at a concert while throwing cute little stuffed animals to your fans and shooting every iteration of heart you can imagine. It’s also the most upbeat, energetic song on the album. The surging, strings-laced instrumental is unapologetic in its enthusiasm, and that confidence is addictive. Woohyun’s velvety voice makes a great guide through this carnival of effusive percussion, tropical synths and swoops of guitar. I could be totally off-base, but I really think this is the kind of music he’d prefer to make. If not, he’s a damn good actor!
Personally, I wish more solo idols would opt for this style of exciting, uptempo comeback song. There seems to be an expectation that soloists can only release ballads or mid-tempos (with a few exceptions, of course). Maybe they’re too hesitant about filling the stage on their own? Whatever the reason, I would have much preferred seeing Woohyun perform this on music shows instead of the solid-but-boring Calm & Passion. He’s a real showman. Let him shine!