[Review] I Wouldn’t Look For You – Kim Jae Hwan

Next up on the list of solo reviews is Kim Jae Hwan. The former Wanna One member began his solo career in 2019 with releases such as Begin Again and The Time I Need. He then entered a fairly quiet year in 2020 (he did release a few singles, but there was no notable or significant comebacks). Over a year in from his last major comeback, Kim Jae Hwan finally returns with his third mini-album, Change, and the lead single, I Wouldn’t Look For You.

I Wouldn’t Look For You delves back into the Latin pop trend that has been dominating KPOP for the past few years. Personally, I don’t mind this influence in this song, as it felt refreshing with all the guitar work for the entirety of the song and the horns that come into play during the chorus. And this Latin pop influence is all over a basic balladry piano piece, tapping into the genre that Kim Jae Hwan is probably most known for. The rain sound effect was also nice touch, aiding in the delivery of the emotional side of the song. Altogether, the instrumental is very enjoyable and pleasing to me. But the instrumental, especially in this song, only contribute to a small part to the song’s appeal. I Wouldn’t Look For You‘s biggest asset is Kim Jae Hwan vocals. With some songs, the instrumental is what what really plays a big part of getting it over the line to being likeable in my books. This is the case for the more upbeat dance tracks that thrive on dynamism and energy. Like most ballads, the vocals play the most important role especially in songs where the instrumental is fairly consistent throughout the entire song (which is the case for this song). In I Wouldn’t Look For You, Kim Jae Hwan infuses so much emotion into the song. He pushes the song forward with his heartbreaking tone, especially when it came to the chorus. It definitely made the song captivating and worthwhile to listen to. His autotuned high note after the stilling bridge was also really good (and it sounds even better live!). Overall, another really strong showing of Kim Jae Hwan in this song.

Finally, a video with a plot line that I can make sense of! It has been a while, but here is what I think is going on in the video. It seems like Kim Jae Hwan’s character nowadays is more preoccupied with hanging with friends (or are those his bandmates) than with his girlfriend. Once lovey dovey (i.e. Kim Jae Hwan would play music to his girlfriend, while she stares lovingly at them), the pair now fight often, leading to Kim Jae Hwan leaving. However, he makes a stop and attempts to get in touch with her to apologise. Whichever way he gets into contact with her, he is unsuccessful. So I am guessing here that he assumes that she doesn’t want to be with him anymore and continues to drive off into the distance. My guess is that he thinks by going back, he would be doing no good and continue cause grief to her. Hence, he chooses not to find her. Unfortunately, as Kim Jae Hwan races off into the distance, the weather causes him to crash and die. His girlfriend hears of this and is heartbroken when she goes out to the crash site. It is definitely a heartbreaking story and one worth watching.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9/10

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