We’ve seen quite a few post-IZ*ONE solo debuts over the past two years, and by-and-large they’ve been successful. In fact, former bandmate Kwon Eunbi also has a comeback today! Lee Chaeyeon’s visual teasers promised a Halloween-friendly concept, complete with religious iconography sure to raise the eyebrows of some listeners. But despite all this daring styling, Hush Rush turns out to be a pretty light and breezy debut.
When I press play on a WM Entertainment track, I’m predisposed to expect something a bit quirky. Those touches appear in Hush Rush’s instrumental, which bursts with unique flourishes begging to be further developed. In fact, the production plays a more important role during the chorus than Chaeyeon herself. This segment is vocally sparse, but not the kind of “beat drop” breakdown often employed by K-pop. Instead, it echoes the laidback rhythm that drives the rest of the song and adds a catchy synth melody that feels almost buried in the mix. It’s lo-fi in approach, but undeniably pop in execution.
While I wish Hush Rush had more meat on its bones, the track brings an oddball sense of catchiness that’s quite appealing. Chaeyeon makes for a compelling soloist even when she’s not given much to do. She sounds great on that looping background vocal. I’m eager to see if WM can harness this potential for stronger works in the future. As it stands, Hush Rush feels like a sweet, slightly offbeat teaser of Cheayeon’s take on pop music.