It has been a while since we have heard Wonho. Aside from his pre-release single (Losing You) release last month, Wonho has been absent from the music industry after his abrupt departure from MONSTA X. After his name was cleared from all allegations made about him (which lead to his abrupt departure from his former group) in March of this year, he signed with Highline Entertainment (a subsidy of Starship Entertainment) and started to prepare for his solo debut to the excitement of his fans, whom have been named WENEEs. His solo debut title track is Open Mind and is (obviously) the focus of this review.
Right from the start, you could tell that the driving force of Open Mind is the groovy instrumentation. But this isn’t some standard fun filled groovy KPOP track. It matches Wonho’s style, going down a classy, expensive-sounding and sensual direction instead. I like the pulsating nature at the start and how the song built to accommodate this pulsing effect. When we approach the first chorus, we get some funky guitars and a strong retro-centric instrumentation. As Open Mind progresses and we approach the second and final choruses, we get smoothness vibes from Wonho and lyrics as well! I liked that the first chorus was simply instrumentation, allowing Wonho to flourish with his performance skills, before getting down to business with vocals in the later sections. I also liked his voice in Open Mind. No doubt that the song was tailored to Wonho’s voice. Smooth (as I already mentioned), refined and mature. All great signs for a groovy track like this. Personally I would have preferred a strong hook when it comes to the choruses. The melody is great, but I felt it was lacking that something that we could always associate to Open Mind and Wonho in the future. But apart from that, big ticks for Open Mind.
Whilst it was expected that abs and muscles would be on full display for this music video, Wonho still manages to blow me away with his visual game throughout the music video for Open Mind. Sensual and masculine is the concept and Wonho nailed it! And I am quite sure fans aren’t complaining about the heat coming from this video. Aside from the visuals of Wonho (which are so damn captivating – he is making it hard to talk about everything else), I really like the straightforwardness of the sets throughout the video, which works excellently with Wonho’s visuals (literally keeps on coming back to this).
When it comes to the performance, I don’t think any other KPOP artist can pull off a choreography like this. There is a uniqueness that Wonho brings with this sensual choreography. It might be his visuals (well, well, well), but it could be his charisma and skills that make Open Mind‘s choreography work perfectly for him and just him. The best moments of the dance routine is whenever he moves slowly. There is just a captivating aura when he does just that and it wows me each time.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.2/10