[Review] Antidote – Kang Daniel

The next review on this blog is for Kang Daniel, who yesterday wrapped up his colour trilogy with the release of single Antidote and his 4th mini-album, Yellow. This release comes after the release of PARANOIA back in February this year. Yellow follows the releases of mini-albums Cyan in March 2020 (featuring the title track 2U) and Magenta in August 2020 (featuring the title track Who U Are). It also serves the final chapter of the colour trilogy (as mentioned), which was a project for Kang Daniel ‘to find his true colours as a solo artist’.

Antidote combines your traditional rock with alternative R&B elements to create a very moody and heavy track. The first few seconds of the song opened up in a way that reminded me of PARANOIA. I have nothing against going down that fierce route again, I just don’t want it to be a rehashed version of the February pre-release. But there was nothing to worry about. After those few seconds, we get another loaded song (the song is all about seeking the antidote for heartbreak that you just cannot cure), but it is more held back compared to his previous release. The first verse was essentially a slow buildup to the chorus. The minimalistic instrumental for the first verse felt like it was simmering away and was very much in the backseat. In the forefront was Kang Daniel’s vocals. He started out with a low husky tone before progressing to vocals that were more piercing. The chorus is when the song combines the rock and alternative R&B, which was layered underneath more piercing vocals from the solo artist. The second verse featured a really nice change of sound, opting for the addition of strumming guitars to the verse mix. It kept the song interesting and engaging for me. If the song had replicated the first verse for the second verse, I would have found Antidote very dry and boring. To me, the bridge of Antidote was its weak point. I felt like it abruptly cut the momentum of the song after its second chorus. Furthermore, I wasn’t much of a fan of going back to those simmering vibes (once again) and typical synths. Not really imaginative and innovative. Kang Daniel’s rapping also felt unnecessarily autotuned in this part. Overall, I felt like Antidote was a strong release for Kang Daniel, putting a nice end to his journey with this series. But it could have been better.

Despite the song being quite heavy with its messaging, the music video seems to be a little more colourful and vibrant than what I had expected. But that’s okay. It is different and I like that. I also enjoyed the simplicity in terms of sets. Like the song, this simplicity allows the focus to be purely on Kang Daniel throughout the four minutes. I really like the start where Kang Daniel is surrounded by those broken body parts, symbolizing the pain in which he is seeking a cure for. Him preforming on stage and everyone viewing him through the mobile screens showcases his struggles as a celebrity and the constant awareness that he is in the public eye, which will take a mental toll on his mind. I also really liked the setup of the final choreography sequence, where he (and the dancers) are performing on top of the building and mirrors, which looked quite cool. It would have been nice to see the other two parts of the trilogy be reflected as part of this music video.

As mentioned earlier, I felt the song held back. And I felt this was really well reflected in the performance side of the comeback. His moves aren’t powerful as powerful as his previous comebacks and take on a more fluid approach. I quite like that. It was a captivating performance and showcases a different side of Kang Daniel that I don’t think we have seen before.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.1/10

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