K-pop hasn’t always had precedent for girl group members going solo – especially while their group is still actively promoting. But, Cube Entertainment has done a nice job establishing the individual talents of (G)I-DLE. In fact, I prefer some of their solo efforts to their group work. Next on the docket is main vocal Miyeon, with the breezy, melodic Drive.
I didn’t know what to expect from Miyeon’s music, but this is a nice surprise. The light pop sound of Drive feels very IU-esque, but echoes her more anthemic tracks to great success. The producers were smart to bolster the song with an insistent drum beat, giving it plenty of heft. It’s easy to imagine Drive as a sentimental ballad, but the arrangement twists it into something much more upbeat. That buoyant energy fits Miyeon’s bright performance.
Melodically, Drive crests and soars in all the right places. It’s a one-trick pony, but that trick is pretty satisfying. The structure delivers a sense of movement right from the start, varying speed and emphasis to craft momentum. If anything, I wish Drive felt just a bit grittier. The synthline that emerges during the chorus hints at a more dynamic texture, but often the track is so light and wistful that it feels as if it might float away. That ethereal sound is part of the song’s appeal, so I understand the approach. Ultimately, the memorable melody carries the day and gets Miyeon’s solo career off to a solid start.