We’re at the point in the year when upbeat summer releases should start becoming more common. Given the season, I’m surprised May was filled with so many darker concepts. If you’ve followed The Bias List for long, you’ll know how much I love a summer concept album. I’ve got a whole playlist of these songs and it’s always a reliable mood-lifter. Jo Yuri’s new single Love Shhh! will likely join that list, though it tempers its summery vibe with the punchy pop-rock sound that’s become a burgeoning 2022 K-pop trend.
Releases from former IZ*ONE members have generally been strong, with Yena’s Smiley standing as the best solo track so far. I wasn’t as smitten with Jo Yuri’s Glassy. In fact, eight months after its release I couldn’t tell you a single thing about it. Love Shhh! leaves a bigger mark, bounding out of the gate with lively guitar and an explosive energy. The verses take familiar turns, cribbing liberally from K-pop summer tracks of years gone by. But when it comes to songs like this, that familiarity is part of the charm.
Love Shhh! takes a more dynamic route when we reach its chorus. The rock elements grow more prominent, anchoring a multi-part power pop hook. Jo Yuri brings the requisite attitude, but I’m not sure the vocal arrangement is the best match for this style. Love Shhh! would have made for a stronger group track, with multiple voices layered to give the chorus more punch. Even more robust multi-tracking of Yuri’s performance would have brought a stronger variety to the song’s texture. That hook just calls for a larger than life sound.