The final review this weekend’s focus on solo artists (I really need to get back to the usual program of reviewing all artists) is Lee Jin Hyuk’s comeback. Lee Jin Hyuk made his solo return to the stage on Monday through the release of 5K and the mini-album, Scene26. This is the soloist’s first comeback since Bedlam in June of last year (and we are still awaiting for the day in which Lee Jin Hyuk makes a return to UP10TION). Since Bedlam, Lee Jin Hyuk was scheduled to make his acting debut early this year through the drama Dear. M, but the drama has been put on hold due to a scandal involving the lead actress. But that is acting and I am not here to review that. I am here to review 5K, so let’s get going.
Lee Jin Hyuk’s solo work have been a miss for me, so far. We have the boring single (i.e. I Like That) and the (to put it bluntly) off-putting releases (i.e. Bedlam). 5K seems to not fit in either of those categories. Gone are the shouting vocals that dominated his previous song, with Lee Jin Hyuk opting for a more pleasing delivery of traditional raps and vocals. When he isn’t overwhelming, he actually sounds quite skilled. I do like that he goes in and out of rapping and singing, which gives the song a wide range of variety. It also seems like Lee Jin Hyuk infuses a bit of a fun character to his delivery, which makes his vocals and rapping even more appealing. I don’t follow Lee Jin Hyuk personally, but my assumption is that this character is what fans would commonly associate with him (based on what I am reading in the YouTube comments). To match the colourful profile lee Jin Hyuk presents us in 5K, the song’s instrumentation opts for a fun profile. Brass, which seems to be the industry’s go to sound for something fun, is heavily employed in the chorus. The jazzy piano that features as part of the chorus is also a nice addition. I also enjoyed the funky sound profile that the song opts for in the verses, further tapping 5K into current trends. So far, so good. But it is the song’s major hook that acts as the hurdle this time around to liking the song. The constant repetition of ‘5K’ (which is a pun on ‘OK‘, as 5 sounds similar to O in Korean) wears off by the midpoint of the song and frankly is annoying by the end of the song. But given his past two releases, I think 5K is his best yet. There are still some improvements that can be made to make the song (and his title tracks) more appealing.
I thought the music video was fantastic. It was a little dizzying, given that the camera constantly spins around to capture Lee Jin Hyuk (and his many counterparts) walk around it in a circle. The whole point of that was to follow the female actress who catches his attention at the start (and the artwork that he is featured in). The music video is set in an art gallery. At first I wasn’t keen on this setting, but it soon made sense to why they had chosen this concept. Obviously, the producers wanted to highlight that 5K is a step up from the ultra high definition of 4K. The 4K that I have seen makes me feel like I am watching the video live (i.e. in the room). So obviously a step up would be that in a literal form, hence the art gallery was an excellent choice. I also like that Lee Jin Hyuk is ‘The Walking Man 2’ and does a lot of walking to play that part. The part in which the female actress was an actual piece of artwork was a bit predictable for me, but it still made for a fun video to watch.
I felt the choreography for this comeback was a let down. There wasn’t anything great about, let alone mind-blowing or new. It just felt like we have seen the moves done before. On top of that, it felt like the choreography was very repetitive. I did like the energy and smiles he brought to the stage. But that isn’t enough in this instance to save the choreography.
Song – 7/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 5/10
Overall Rating – 6.9/10