Say what you will about Woollim Entertainment’s dicey promotion, but their team sure knows their way around a good song. The agency’s output this year has ranged from ‘very good’ to ‘excellent,’ with a refreshing independent streak that doesn’t always kowtow to trends. Soloist Kwon Eunbi seemed to find her niche with this spring’s Glitch – an icy dance track that reveled in its own artificiality. New single Underwater feels warmer in tone and texture, but no less beguiling.
Right from the start, Underwater teases its big chorus. A catchy (vaguely familiar?) synthline launches the instrumental and drives both verse and pre-chorus. It modulates slightly as the song goes on, but the melodic roadmap is clear all the way through. This has the potential to become overly repetitive, and I worry about that in the long run. But, the counter melodies in the verses are strong enough to compete. And, when the chorus eventually comes around, the production is given a boost that helps it stand out.
Underwater is the kind of track that makes a big impact the first time through. You’ll be humming the melody after one listen. Again, I think this might be to the song’s detriment in the long run. It’s not what I’d call melodically diverse. But, Eunbi’s performance goes a long way in selling the intensity of that hook. And when Underwater veers toward house piano for its bridge, we get a peek at the varied sonic texture she’s capable of exploring.