With half of Winner currently enlisted, Kang Seungyoon and Mino have each delivered a full album this year. In Mino’s case, To Infinity is his third full-length, making him a prolific soloist. I haven’t connected with much of his music, despite enjoying a lot of his solo tracks on Winner albums. New comeback TANG!♡ (탕!♡) follows suit. I appreciate his skill, even if the song isn’t really for me.
It feels like guitar has made a resurgence in K-pop this year. So many tracks have bolstered their sound with rock elements, and TANG!♡ augments its spare hip-hop beat with bluesy guitar that adds a constant emotional jolt. The production is satisfying, even if it rarely pushes in unexpected directions. Mino varies his flow throughout, hitting us with a rapid-fire verse two that injects drive right where the song needs it. The pre-chorus is more melodic, offering an effective transition.
However, I think TANG!♡ needs a stronger hook. I’ve never been a fan of onomatopoeia choruses, whether they’re part of a hip-hop song or any other genre. TANG!♡ loses me when it devolves into a straight-up repetition of its titular sound. The structure is catchy enough, but doesn’t distinguish itself from the rest of the track. Given a more compelling peak, I think TANG!♡ could have been a big success. Even so, it’s nice to hear Mino tackle a more playful sound. The song is sure to please his fans, and stands as another convincing display of his charisma.