Also making their comeback this week was ASTRO’s subunit consisting of Moonbin & Sanha. The pair returned with the single, WHO, and mini-album, Refuge, on Tuesday. It follows their unit debut back in 2020 with Bad Idea and is the second subunit from ASTRO to release music this year (the first being JinJin & Rocky’s Just Breath). Moonbin and Sanha were also quite lucky in making their comeback as schedule, as both were diagnosed with COVID-19 a week prior to their comeback. Many groups are delaying their comebacks or postpone the start of promotions due to COVID, whereas Moonbin & Sanha managed to just dodge this potential impact and recovered just in time for their scheduled comeback. However, ASTRO’s fan meet event, which was scheduled for 13 March, had to be pushed back to April.
It is clear from this comeback that Moonbin & Sanha (the subunit) was formed to showcase a very intense and more mature side of the group. Bad Idea definitely had mature vibes, while WHO has adopted a darker profile. And at the helm of this ‘darker profile’ is a powerful dance track. It is also quite minimalistic throughout – to the point where WHO felt very bare. But the powerful and intense nature of WHO helps offset the bareness of the song. Part of me likes that. Unique and innovative in a way. But another part me of felt like it wasn’t enough. And sadly, I am leaning more to that latter side. While the powerful rock influenced flair we get in the chorus definitely gets WHO into the memorable category, I fear its stay would be short-lived. In other words, the intense beat is enough to get it there, but WHO didn’t have anything to keep it there. The chorus could have been backed up by a hook, through a two part chorus, and this (provided it was executed properly and fitted in with the rest of the track) could potentially have ‘sealed the deal’ for WHO to stay in the ‘memorable category’. It also could have potentially helped offset that bareness that I had mentioned in a more satisfying and fulfilling manner. When I turn to the verses and bridge, there are some good vocals in there and there was a really bone chilling ‘Who you looking for’ line. But nothing captivating or strong enough.
The dark side of the pair is definitely shown throughout the video. The video takes on a religious concept, which I think is a bit of a unique concept in KPOP. Some scenes of the video seems to depict the idea of hell and possession, which is a pretty cool topic to portray. It also fits in with the lyrics of the song, which is about express the confusing emotions between evil that cannot be escaped and the desire for healing (taken from Soompi). Both Moonbin and Sanha’s visuals were definitely top notch in this video, with the mature look really shown off in this video.
The powerful nature of the song lends well to the performance aspect of this comeback. It allowed them to show off their performance skills, coolness and fierceness on stage. Definitely a performance I recommend you watch.
Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10