Yoon Jisung’s solo career has mostly consisted of ballads, but last year’s Love Counseling teased a more upbeat sound. It turns out he’s well-suited to the breezy, city pop style that K-pop currently has a huge crush on. Because of this, he was smart to pursue something more buoyant with new single Bloom. The song is hardly what I would call “edgy,” but it sticks out from Jisung’s past discography in a good way.
Bloom’s title says it all. It feels like spring, emerging with a bright energy like a bud blossoming into a flower. The icy synth tones are instantly nostalgic, forging an instrumental that would be right at home on a Yukika album. Add chugging rhythm guitar and you’ve got all the makings of a solid city pop track. The problem, of course, is that K-pop is stuffed with city pop influences right now. Had Bloom arrived a few years ago, it might feel more novel. Right now, it’s a small drop in a very big bucket.
Still, Bloom is successful on its own merits. Its melody satisfies. At times, it even reminds me of an old Infinite song – a mid-tempo Sweetune b-side you’d find toward the end of one of their albums. The whole thing could do with a kick in the butt, forcing that tempo to work harder. But, I love the way the melody slides and curves. It’s focused and catchy without being obvious. Jisung’s vocal powers us to the end, ensuring Bloom is bolstered with plenty of character.