Song Review: Yuju – Without U

Yuju - Without UThus far, Yuju’s solo career has played out exactly as I feared it might. Her voice was the anchor to many a great GFriend song, providing a powerful sense of drama worth looking forward to. There’s nothing I love more than a dynamite vocalist tackling a big dance track. But, her ambitions seem to lie closer to the coffeeshop, crafting sleepy sounds that comfort rather than thrill.

There’s nothing wrong with this approach, even if it’s something I’m not personally drawn to. But, it feels like a waste of Yuju’s incredible potential. Without U is pretty and emotional, and she sounds fantastic on it. But, the song doesn’t go beyond this. It’s music I’ll stop and admire for a moment. I may even put it on a playlist as a sort of palette cleanser between bigger moments. But, I doubt I’ll remember it at the end of the year.

Without U’s greatest asset is its chorus. I like the melody here. It sweeps in like a warm hug, curving upward to take advantage of the higher end of Yuju’s voice. She performs with plenty of nuance and personality, compelling with her vocals alone. There’s definitely a future for her in this subdued genre, and if we had never experienced songs like Rough or Navillera I might have different feelings about the track. But, too often Without U feels like the ending credits to a more exciting career that preceded it.

Hooks 8
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7

Grade: C


9 thoughts on “Song Review: Yuju – Without U

  1. The melody and lyrics, along with her swelling delivery of the chorus, tugs my heart. I love this song. I assume that Yuju and I have a relatively close personality. This speaks a lot to me. “Nothing’s ever gon’ be the same.” I feel that Yuju. I wish you the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I waited a whole year for her to comeback with this snoozefest? What exactly happened to gfriend? They went from being the group with arguably most solid discography to releasing these nugu level of music. Yes it is insulting to say that when even nugus can afford to get a good song these days *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds like every song ever from every soloist who earns a decent living on OST and noraebang (the Korean version of karaoke). For those of us outside that cultural sphere, it is just too schmaltzy. We also just don’t have that niche of the music business and music delivery here. It is literally and figuratively foreign to us.

    I mean, Yoon Jong Shin “Like It” is still on the Gaon noraebang charts after how many years? Since June 2017, I looked it up.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’m always happy to hear Yuju’s voice, I just wish it was on something more compelling than a ballad. The bsides on the album are a bit more interesting, I really liked Full Circle and Dreaming! Hopefully dance-Yuju will return one day ❤


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