Over the years, I haven’t been particularly kind to Ravi’s solo music. I settled on an “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” approach, choosing not to write about every song he releases. But, I’m always up for a pleasant surprise and still preview his work in case something sticks out. Happily, this is the case with new single ANI (애니). It’s good! Welcome back to the blog, Ravi.
ANI enlists (G)I-DLE’s Soyeon as guest artist, though her contribution begins and ends with the second verse. Instead, the song succeeds on its bounding beat and catchy hook. I’ve been wondering when the massive success of The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber’s Stay (a bop!) would filter into K-pop, and ANI is one of the first tracks that feels really inspired by it. The combination of driving, synth-supported energy and quick, cathartic verses is quite familiar, but it’s a trick that works.
Sadly, Ravi remains a huge fan of vocal effects, and the slathering here does ANI no good. Soyeon’s verse is far more enjoyable thanks to its rawer nature. But even with all the processing, ANI’s hook is catchy and memorable. It’s not the most complex track you’ll ever hear, but this approach doesn’t lend itself to noodling about. The composition is direct and snappy, bolstered by an equally forthright instrumental. I love how the guitar amps up during the climax, giving ANI a punky rock edge that perfectly fits the song’s energy.