In preparation for Kim Wooseok’s new single, I looked back at his previous solo comebacks and realized that none of them have made any impression on me. Yes, I reviewed the songs. But, they came and went so quickly that I hardly remember them. Beyond the bubble of Produce 101 hype, I’ll never understand Top Media’s decision to have Wooseok and fellow UP10TION member Lee Jinhyuk go solo (and stay solo!).
In Wooseok’s case, I think he shines much more as part of a group. That isn’t a read on his skill or charisma – some idols are just a better fit for solo work than others. New single Switch is aptly titled because it makes me want to ‘switch’ to another song halfway through. There’s just nothing interesting happening here. I mean, there’s a melody and some shuffling percussion. Wisps of synth float around the arrangement. Guitar adds texture. But, the track feels smoothed of every edge, making it impossible to gain a foothold.
Wooseok’s vocals don’t do anything to help the situation. His performance is impossible light – more air than voice. Even if Switch boasts some enjoyable moments, it has no dynamics. The song needs to pull back and push forward to create the highs and lows that might compel interest. Instead, it simply bops along without consequence, vaguely embracing the popular tempo of the moment. It’s a shame, because a sonic makeover could easily turn this into a standout rather than another characterless bump in his solo career.