[Review] BOOM – HUTA (Lee Minhyuk (BTOB))

Also making his comeback today is HUTA (a.k.a Lee Minhyuk from BTOB) who returns as a solo artist after three years with the title track and his second studio length album, both titled BOOM. HUTA did make a small comeback in 2021 with the single, Good Night, but that flew under most people’s radar and wasn’t reviewable due to a lack of promotive material. So I won’t consider that a full fledged comeback, and so BOOM follows HUTA’s 2019 solo debut release, YA, and his first studio length album, HUTAZONE. HUTA also recently promoted as part of BTOB, who made their grand return earlier this year with The Song.

BOOM lives up to its name, as it is explosive and packs a punch. This is thanks to two elements – the instrumental and HUTA himself. BOOM is described to be a ‘hybrid wonk trap style song with an elaborate bass line’ (taken from SOOMPI). The percussive and trap elements combined with the bass brought a dramatic flair to the song that gets your blood flowing. The wonky sub-genre, which I personally have not heard of before today (or I may have, but never had it described to me as ‘wonk’) or experience in KPOP before, doesn’t really help bring out the explosive side of the song. But it comes through the most during the choruses, and adds a background centrepiece to BOOM‘s centrepiece. Combining the two, you have a pretty powerfully unique track that doesn’t hold back. HUTA himself brings aggression into the song, with his iron solid rapping extremely bolstered and passionate at the same time. This aligns with the instrumental strongly, creating a dynamic piece. But interestingly, it isn’t the instrumental or rapping that takes the cake for me in BOOM. It is HUTA’s vocals that somehow managed to steal the show, especially the ‘aight‘, ‘high‘ or ‘hi‘ we get in the lyrics. He goes high pitch with these words, which contrasts really well with the deeper and harder sounds. The rest of his vocals are smooth, yet maintains a raspiness to them. The chorus was catchy and memorable, thanks to the ‘Boom Shaka Laka‘ line. Overall, HUTA kills it with BOOM and impresses me with his versatility, once again.

Three music videos into HUTA’s solo career (YA, Tonight (With Melody) and now BOOM), and HUTA shown his abs once again. I sense a theme and a connection with fellow soloist WONHO. Anyhow, the music video for BOOM is dark and edgy, as one would expect. The video also uses a lot of red or orangey-red lighting, which I persume is to highlight and emphasise the aggression that HUTA brings to the song. All of this feels very appropriate for BOOM. I liked the forest background for some of the shots, as it felt a bit more freeing than the closed sets we got and managed to still work in tandem with the rest of the shots. I also liked it when he punched the camera. And of course, HUTA looks great throughout the video (abs or clothed)!

BOOM also shows off HUTA’s performance skills with a cool choreography. Based on what I saw in the video, it isn’t exactly groundbreaking. But it had aggression, it had smoothness, it had sensual moves. It practically had everything! What does freak me out are the masked dancers. It takes the idea of masks to a whole new level, as there are no eyes holes on the mask. Instead, the front of the mask is decorated with shiny stones that reflect the light. Sounds cool in theory, but very dark in practicality. The floating throne (made up of the dancers) at the start was a pretty cool idea.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10

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