Song Review: Kang Daniel – Upside Down

Kang Daniel - Upside DownAfter nearly three years as a soloist, Kang Daniel has finally released his first full album. That’s a huge accomplishment for anyone — let alone a guy who started his own agency and essentially manages his own career. Though I’ve not always connected with his music, I admire how often he infuses it with his emotion and experience. It’s fitting, then, than this new project is called The Story.

After his Color series, Upside Down lightens the mood with a soft R&B groove and amiable energy. When writing about this track, I fear I’m going to be repeating much of my thoughts from GOT7’s release yesterday (it wouldn’t be the first time!). I tend to be pretty picky when it comes to mid-tempos like this. Upside Down doesn’t quite pass the groove test, but it gets close. The percussion that opens the track ticks off just about every pet peeve possible, from the pots-and-pans percussion to the muted synth. But, things improve as we hit the pre-chorus and more interesting drum tones rear their head.

I like the chanted portion of the chorus, but the melody itself feels a bit clunky. It’s pleasant and catchy, yet lacks the bite I’d hope for in a song of this style. With both the instrumental and Kang Daniel’s vocal quite subdued, Upside Down could do with an injection of energy. This comes briefly during the dance break, which jolts the track with rugged synth. The switch-up kicks off a strong finale, where Daniel’s vocal is supported by some great ad-libs.

Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7


7 thoughts on “Song Review: Kang Daniel – Upside Down

  1. I know that this kind of songs might be not for everyone, and someone may find it boring. But….damn, for me, as an Ukrainian who’s currently experiencing the war, it’s just impossible not to enjoy such a soft, soothing track like this, and I can confirm that this song helps me to reduce stress a lot. 8.25/10 for me.

    At least, this is not another loud, obnoxious hip-hop tune!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. This is what overthinking fun sounds like.
    I wish his people would pick better songs for him, as he has more talent than this. “Hush Hush” gets replayed by darling daughter all the time, a song picked and produced by someone else.


  3. This is pretty nice. Not close to last years stuff though for me but I like his voice. The bsides are pretty cool though! Enjoying Parade and The Story now! He’s definitely one of my favorite soloists and I rarely get bored by his stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed this although probably not going into my playlists.

    Even though I don’t usually care for lyrics, they kinda spoke to me so I can’t really ignore them. As such, I do gotta say that they are rather depressing/hopeless and not really what I thought they would be with this sound lol


  5. It takes a while to warm up, but by the end I was really enjoying it. Kang Daniel’s more quiet version of charisma is quite refreshing.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Upside Down really spoke to me on the first hearing and when I saw Daniel present it on stage, it gave me a message of hope. “I’m gonna turn this world upside down”

    Liked by 1 person

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