Song Review: Baekho – No Rules

Baekho - No RulesAfter so many years, it feels weird to be writing about the solo debut of a Nu’est member. Their albums often featured solos (many of them highlights), but watching the guys embark on their own careers makes Nu’est’s disbandment really sink in. As the group’s career matured, Baekho became a driving force behind song composition. Because of this, it’s easy to imagine his solo work acting as an extension of the Nu’est sound.

True to prediction, No Rules feels as if it could appear on any of Nu’est’s recent albums. It has the effortlessly cool, groove-based sound of I’m In Trouble with a few unique sonic touches thrown in. The track is at its best when it defies expectations during its guitar-tinged pre-chorus. Both the production and melody here act as a welcome switch-up from the ultra-smooth sheen that permeates the rest of the track. Baekho’s voice matches this grittier style and I wish he’d let himself further experiment with harsher textures.

Apart from that moment, No Rules is a fine little earworm. It’s not particularly memorable – especially when stacked against other K-pop songs within this genre. So many elements (that sparse chorus, the whistled hook) feel recycled from other tracks and don’t do much to elevate Baekho’s charm. But as a solo debut, No Rules is inoffensive and rhythmically satisfying. That may sound like faint praise, but when a song doesn’t take many risks it’s hard to reap huge rewards. I’m eager to see if Baekho switches things up for his next comeback.

Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.75

Grade: C+


7 thoughts on “Song Review: Baekho – No Rules

  1. Don’t really know why I checked this song out. Perhaps I was charmed by Baekho in the Game Caterers? Either way, this song was pretty boring and fell short from the vocals to the melody.

    7 for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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