It is the start of a new week in the KPOP industry and that brings new releases. The first new release on the reviewing block is Han Seung Woo’s solo debut, Sacrifice. There is a lot of anticipation for this solo debut, given that Han Seung Woo is one of the former members of the project group X1 (which was formed through Produce X 101). Upon confirmation of the group’s disbandment earlier this year, Han Seung Woo instantly returned to VICTON and particpated in their Howling and Mayday comebacks, further extending his popularity. Now, captialising on his new found popularity, Han Seung Woo debuts today as a solo artist with his new mini-album, Fame.
For some reason, I was going into Sacrifice with the mindset that it was going to a be a hard hitting song, full of drops and energetic energy. I don’t know why that is the case, but I had that feeling when I heard of his impending solo debut track. Unfortuately, none of my unexpected expectations were fulfilled. But that doesn’t mean Sacrifice is a bad song. In fact, it shows off the talent of Han Seung Woo in a very refined yet powerful way. The song is made up of a trap-based instrumental and delves into the R&B side of music. Pretty standard, but there is some bass in it that really give the song some life and some oomph. It is also the source of that powerfulness that I was talking about. The instrumental itself would not have been as strong if it wasn’t for the lacing of the bass throughout it. The chorus has some synths that add texture which prevents the song from going down a bland route (which is a minor concern when it comes to some R&B tracks). Han Seung Woo’s vocals are shown off in a spectacular manner. We also get to hear a very brief rapping delivery from the artist, which I would have liked more of. There is also some nice contrast between his high pictched vocals and the deep instrumentation that backs the track. Overall, Sacrifice nails the brief of a strong debut song.
The opening scene of Han Seung Woo kneeling in front of a car burning some rubber pretty much sets the tone of the music video. The mature sound of the song comes off quite visually in this music video. That is essentially how I would describe the concept of the video in a nutshell. In addition to that, he also brings an edgy image to the mix, which I really liked. Regarding a plotline, I am not sure if there is one explicitly in the music video. We do see a scene where he is grabbing the collar of a friend (or a fellow gang member) at the climax of the video, showing us that he is willing to sacrifice loyalty for a lover. We also see him mindless walking to somewhere afterwards, which might tell us something about this lover (i.e. he is addicted to them, plus it seems like everyone is mindlessly walking towards this lover at the start). It definitely hints at this lover having some effect on Han Seung Woo and co. I wished they delved into the plotline a little more, as it does sound interesting.
[Updated] We don’t get much choreography in the music video. But from what I can see based on the first and final chorus, it looks good. He has a really strong stage presence and this is definitely highlighted by the intensity of the performance. Nothing really stood out at me, but it was definitely thrilling to watch him perform Sarcifice.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7.5/10 [Updated]
Overall Rating – 8.4/10 [Updated]