Song Review: Bang Yongguk – Up

Bang Yongguk - UpBang Yongguk released the exciting Race late last year, building upon the rock/rap sound of former group B.A.P. He also composed excellent material within this genre for rookie group Just B. The style is a perfect match for his low-toned voice, adding an interesting facet to more predictable hip-hop production. Because of this, I was excited to see what he would come up with for his new mini album.

Sadly, Up opts for a less dynamic sound than its predecessor. The track hinges on a solid beat, melding deep bass with trap hi-hats and swerving synth. This instrumental offers plenty of opportunity for a dynamic flow and memorable hook. As Bang Yongguk’s voice filters in, it’s clear Up will have a more confessional energy. His performance is engaging as always, but there’s not a lot going on within the song’s brief running time. I like the flow of the verses and the way Yongguk uses his voice to create a sense of dynamics without too many effects laid over the top. But, Up’s chorus is kind of limp.

Not every track needs a huge whopper of a hook, and Up does fine with a more understated centerpiece. However, its repetitive nature feels especially underwhelming. I kept waiting for an additional melody or loop to arrive and offer contrast. Instead, Up fades out just as it faded in, leaving a muted impression in its wake. I have no doubt the song works as connective tissue within the album. As a title track, it’s an odd choice.

Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7


One thought on “Song Review: Bang Yongguk – Up

  1. The low tones are the best part of the whole song. So distinctive! Except then he goes and ruins the pure low notes with lines thrown in that are all mush mouth with autotune thrown on top.

    Regulars here will know how I feel about mush mouth singing. And autotune.

    It doesn’t help that this week I have been on a Ko Woo Rim and Son Tae Jin binge. Sure, bringing a gun to a knife fight. ‘ ‘


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