Oh, Yuju. You are perhaps my favorite female idol vocalist of the last seven years. Your powerful voice is responsible for the most incredible parts of incredible GFriend songs. When you embarked on a solo career, I hoped you’d meld this power to material as dynamic as your potential. But alas, like so many idol soloists before you, you’ve wandered into that sleepy little coffeeshop and opted for subdued naval gazing.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Yuju’s voice is a treat no matter what she’s singing. But, this style of drowsy mid-tempo rarely does anything for me. It needs an unforgettable melody to have any shot of occupying my playlist for long, and exciting melody-writing is not often a hallmark of this genre. Instead, new single Evening (이브닝) is all about viiiiibe. It feels designed to calm the listener – a perfect little tonic for soundtracking everyday chores and lazy summer afternoons. Yuju invites rapper Big Naughty for contrasting texture and style. His performance is fine, but not nearly as memorable as his stage name suggests!
Evening is perfectly pleasant. Its structure feels instantly familiar and ingratiating and allows for ample spotlight on Yuju’s vocal. It has a calming effect that lulls you into a state of docile detachment. But, it takes a pretty bland song to accomplish this. I wish Evening had a bit more bite – or at the very least a standout hook that broke from the monotony to tickle your ear.