Making his epic return today is Kang Daniel with his brand new single. PARANOIA. This follows the release of 2U and Who U Are, his two 2020 singles (which were featured on the two mini-albums he released last year as well). It also follows the release of State of Wonder last month, which is a collaboration between himself, inverness and Anthony Russo. They are also the creative minds behind PARANOIA, alongside Kang Daniel. He has also been recently announced to be making his acting debut. But while he prepares for that, it seems like he has to shake off some PARANOIA.
What I really enjoyed about this song is its fierceness. This persona fits in with the whole message of fighting inner demons and emphasises the edgy nature of the song. I also find that the fierceness strikes at the best moments, just as we are coming to the chorus. Why do I think that this was the best moment? Well, the verse felt like suspense was simmering away. While the chorus was the more melodic and what you could call a mini-peak in the song’s momentum. The use of the harsh, rough and deep tone electric guitar as a tunnel for the fierceness really adds so much energy to launch the song into its chorus. As mentioned a moment ago, the chorus is a lot melodic and flowy compared to the verse and pre-chorus launch. But yet it showcases Kang Daniel’s vocals really well. The melodic hooks really make the song memorable and the instrumentation is quite atmospheric/mysterious to a degree. In addition to that, the heavy use of English really helps make the song even memorable for the international audience and gives us insight into the lyrics of the song. His rap-whisper sequence in the bridge was the next best thing in the song. It just had so much behind it and drove the song forward. Without a doubt, the whisper delivery was intentional, serving purpose to the lyrics of the song and just add more momentum towards the final chorus. As for the final chorus, I liked what they done. But I wished they peaked the energy at the start to carry on that momentum from that bridge. It felt like the energy was drained away, which I personally do not like. But once it did peak, the song ended on a really strong note. Overall, PARANOIA is a heavy track, both in meaning and its execution.
The music video is awesome. We see Kang Daniel struggle to fall asleep and is haunted by something. He cowers under the table in fear, and (I assume) he is haunted by whatever is going on when he closes his eyes. It looks like the video hints at some drinking to help with this fear. But obviously, it doesn’t help much. He does have brief moments of solitude where he is aware that those fears are lingering, but they don’t touch him. But the briefest distraction sets him back and he is reminded of those fears. The video chugs along with the same story, though at the end, I think the video shows these fears are just his inner demons. We are shown Kang Daniel with one red eye, indicative of an evil side. Towards the end, we see him struggle with someone who comes so close to stabbing him. But at the very end, we just see him with a bloody hand with no-one else in the room to show ‘he won’ the battle with his demon. While we are on the topic of bloody hand, there was a scene in which we saw a grate at floor level with Kang Daniel on the bed. On the floor is a trail of blood, which suggests to me something a little more sinister. I wonder how this all plays with his future comeback, as this does tease for that comeback.
This performance is on point. I enjoyed all aspects of the choreography, from the complexity of everything once it is put together to the individual moves. I really like how some of the moves made it seem like Kang Daniel and the dancers were possessed, moving in such a manner that really looked intriguing and cool. The dance itself is quite powerful and definitely one of watch in detail.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.2/10