Next up on the solo comeback list is U-KNOW Yunho, leader of the KPOP duo TVXQ! And this review is a double one, as U-KNOW Yunho made his comeback last week with two title tracks, Thank U and Eeny Meeny. It has been a while since we have heard anything from this member of TVXQ, with his last solo comeback being his solo debut with his True Colours mini-album and the title track Follow in 2019.
Thank U was released last week on the 18th of January and is the main title track off his latest mini-album. And it kicks off U-KNOW’s return to the industry with a very energetic and upbeat dance track. Personally, I like the pop sound of the song and the overall energy of the song. Both of these elements come together to make the song quite bold. It isn’t anything new in KPOP, but its lack of reliance on electronic synths and genres is quite refreshing. What is also bold is Yunho’s delivery throughout the song. I cannot say the song is not addictive when there is such clear cut repetition in Thank U. The whole chorus is built on this simple technique and I think it pays off. It has a really nice ring to it and works extremely well with the pulsing pop instruments. I also really like the bridge of the song, with the slow down motion and that brass that just makes everything suspenseful. The only problem with the song is the ‘I hate this‘ shouting line that pierces through the rest of the song in the second verse. It felt overwhelming and distracted me from enjoying the song. Overall, Thank U is definitely a really strong song, well positioned with a powerful instrumentation, bold delivery and an effective yet uncomplicated hook.
Eeny Meeny, released on the Monday that just passed, takes on that more funky trend that has no doubt taken over the KPOP industry. It is another bold number, this time with a more unique but exciting profile. A dance centric percussion introductory sequence kicks start the song and pushes the song forward. The song then gears up for the chorus with falestto-like high note in the centric position of this section. We then push into the chorus with the appropriate ‘Eeny Meeny Miny Moe‘, alongside a very textural piece that I am not sure how to even describe. It feels brass-like, but I am not entirely sure of this. What I find enjoyable about Eeny Meeny is that it showcases more of Yunho vocals, while the former song focuses more on rap (rap-speak delivery). And it is safe to say that he sounds stunning during those pre-chorus moments. The other parts were a bit ordinary. I also do wish we get more substantial rapping sequence than the super deep groans we get at the end. But that doesn’t mean this song isn’t fun or enjoyable.
The music video for Thank U is essentially a cinematic noir film (and you will need to be of legal age in your own country to view the music video due to the violence that is shown in the video). U-KNOW is brutally stabbed at the start of the video and is left for dead by a gang leader. Somehow, he is saved and escapes the hospital. Knowing that he would do that, the gang leader sends his henchmen in to kill him, but they all fail. Yunho ends up meeting with the gang leader and the pair ends up playing a game of lethal Russian Roulette. It is definitely an intense wait to see who would end up dead. The game is briefly stopped for a gunfight, which leaves the gang leader dead. Yunho (proving his immortality once again) leaves after dumping a pin (of which I don’t know the significance of). Honestly, it was a really great music video. I liked how they incorporated choreography shots into the storyline and managed to still continue the momentum (and the actual storyline). I just wished the gang leader said more than what he said at the start and wasn’t grunting his way through second meeting of the pair.
The music video for Eeny Meeny is more casual and lighthearted. It features Seulgi from Red Velvet as the person to steal U-KNOW’s attention. The urban setting of the music video works extremely well with the lighthearted but energy filled music. And I like how U-KNOW interacts with his surrounding throughout the video by stepping on and off cars and other vehicles. Or dancing away on big trucks. It all fits together and the video flows extremely well. I am confused about the ending of the video with him bleeding from the head (that should be looked at) and Seulgi just smiling at him. Maybe this is a dream sequence for when he is in hospital from the previous music video? Who knows?
When it comes to the performances, I prefer Eeny Meeny‘s one more. Simply because it is more likeable and carries on that casual and carefree feeling I mentioned a moment ago. Yunho looks like he is enjoying the routine and it feels a lot more vibrant. Thank U‘s performance was quite good as well, showcasing a more skillful routine that feels heavier and loaded. I really like the turns in the performance and how it compliments the punchier moments of the song.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9.5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 9/10
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10