[Review] What U Like – Lee Gikwang (HIGHLIGHT)

Lee Gikwang, who is commonly known to be part of HIGHLIGHT (formerly Beast), was actually previously a solo artist under the stage name of AJ before he debuted with the group. However, his solo career was put on hold for the debut of Beast and has not promoted as a solo artist since his debut in 2009. Until today, where he dropped his track What U Like and 2nd mini album, One.

The track is underwhelming. It doesn’t appeal to my taste and it just doesn’t have the energy that I sought. I can see why some people would like it. It has some nice hooks and the overall sound contributes to a nice atmosphere. The track is easy on the ears and seems to separate itself from the competition for its combination of styles. The song is a mashup between that ongoing tropical style trend that KPOP has been experiencing and that minimalistic style of music. But the two doesn’t really go together. Tropical based music is meant to be energetic and the minimalistic nature just kills those vibes. And the same can be said the other way around. The vocals were great. They actually have this smoothness to them, which I thought was cool. This is just my personal opinion at the time of writing. It may or may not change with even more listens in the coming weeks and months. Gikwang’s solo return is definitely much appreciated but his song doesn’t do the job for me. (There is actually another song on the album which drew my attention: Misunderstand. Check it out here!).

The same can be said about his music video. I liked the setting (some urban place in Korea that keeps popping in music videos) and the cinematography was pretty good. The use of those coloured clouds looks amazing, as well.  But I found the video a tad boring to watch. Besides some solo shots and choreography, there isn’t anything else in the video to talk about. So I am going to poke at something that I usually don’t speak about. His outfits in the video look really good. I would never be able to pull off his style and it makes me slightly jealous.

Gikwang is known for his dancing. From his solo stages to his group work, there is a lot of expectations for his comeback in terms of choreography. There hasn’t been a full performance yet. However, from what I see in the music video, I think it looks like it is going to be a nice performance to look out for.

Song – 5/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 6/10

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