It’s been almost a year since we heard from Weki Meki, but before we get a full group comeback we have the solo debut of member Choi Yoojung. Yoojung has long been one of the group’s most well-known members, beginning her career in IOI before moving on to become the “face” of Weki Meki. She has all the attributes necessary for a great solo career, but debut song Sunflower doesn’t go far enough to harness them.
On the plus side, Sunflower’s sparse production and subdued, vibey groove leaves plenty of room for Yoojung’s voice to shine. Its sound is well-suited to these late-summer days. You can practically hear the transition of seasons within the track. On the negative side, Sunflower is just kind of… boring. It made me immediately think of New Jeans’ Attention — a song that has gone on to become a dominating force on the charts. Both tracks have a similarly laid-back bounce, but Sunflower lacks the engaging vocal arrangement and natural hookiness that can make this style really shine.
When Sunflower‘s instrumental isn’t recycling trendy percussion, it revs up to deliver rounds of fast-paced, clap-along rhythm. This makes for a potentially interesting turn, but the track’s languid pace keeps it in one gear even when the percussion tries to break free. The producers get bonus points for those wonky, retro synths, though! It’s abundantly clear that Yoojung’s a star, and her skills as a dancer elevate Sunflower’s visuals. I just wish the song itself had the same bite.