[Review] FOCUS – Ha Sung Woon

Making his final solo comeback yesterday before he carries out his military enlistment is Ha Sung Woon. He returns with the title track FOCUS and the mini-album Strange World. This comeback follows his recent special release, Can’t Live Without You, from earlier this year.

FOCUS is another neat pop song to add to the list. More could have been done in the song to make it even better, but that doesn’t mean what we have been presented with is bad. FOCUS is groovy vibes in the midst of its pop instrumental, thanks to the guitar work and that synthesizer synth in the instrumental half of the choruses. Said synthesizer synth was actually quite catchy The bass adds oomph to the song, while the percussion gives FOCUS a snappy effect. All of which helped make FOCUS very appealing as a track. Ha Sung Woon vocals were quite strong throughout. His falsettos in the bridge were nicely done, while the ad-libs he throws in the end were very cool. The staggered effect in which the choruses start off with (accented by the punchy bass) helped add a memorable aspect to the song, which I thought was rather cool. Like other songs recently, my gripe with regards to FOCUS is that the song could have done more. FOCUS never really strayed from its root sound, which I felt made the song too consistent. I kind of wished there was something else to FOCUS to give the song some more flair or dynamism. For example, I felt some rapping could have taken the FOCUS to the next level. Or even may be an instrumental breakdown that changes FOCUS‘ momentum ever so slightly. But as how we got it, FOCUS was still a great comeback track.

The music video shows Ha Sung Woon becoming infatuated with someone who he sees and likes. But he becomes so intent on her that he doesn’t notice that she leads him to his demise (i.e. the hypnosis, trapping him in the car and setting said car alight). We don’t actually see the car go up in flames, but the ending does show Ha Sung Woon in the middle of the ring of fire, which I presume alludes to the fact that he was in the car when it was alight. This storyline matches the lyrics, which is all about the dark side of focusing on a lover. I liked the darker looks and premise of the video, and I quite liked Ha Sung Woon’s looks throughout the video. All his expressions also look really good and conveys the story so well.

The sliding footwork is the best aspect of this choreography routine. It looks cool, sleek and has the potential to become iconic, in my opinion. I really liked the use of the dancers to make the routine more dynamic. The rest of the performance was captivating to watch (emphasising Ha Sung Woon’s performance skills) and I also liked how intense the routine got for the final chorus.

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

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