For better or worse, I don’t immediately associate Taeyeon’s solo career with dance tracks. So, when it was announced that new single INVU would have house influences, my ears perked up. A vocalist as powerful as Taeyeon would make a natural fit for a big club banger. But, INVU takes a different approach, painting a vibe rather than dropping blockbuster beats.
This approach shouldn’t be surprising. Taeyeon’s work tends to emphasis emotion and vulnerability. INVU fits right within this wheelhouse, albeit with a more insistent beat. As a song, it’s smooth and assured. A dull electronic throb powers the instrumental all the way through, culminating in a compelling loop during the chorus. I wouldn’t call INVU “trance,” but it has a trance-like quality that’s bound to hypnotize listeners. Taeyeon sounds fantastic – especially when the pre-chorus lets her vocal bust loose. The melodies are satisfying in their dreamlike appeal, and INVU builds toward a suitable climax.
(You all know there’s a “but” coming, right? It seems to be par for the course for my K-pop reviews these days!)
INVU delivers on its intentions, but I wish it would have set its sights just a bit higher. The song feels like it’s holding back, content to ride on groove and mood rather than go for the jugular. I realize this approach probably wouldn’t match the track’s vibe, but I crave a moment or two of real drama. The dynamic pre-chorus comes closest, and could have led into a knockout chorus instead of relying so heavily on the beat. Even so, INVU’s mesmeric qualities are bound to give it strong staying power.