[Review] Don’t Regret – WONHO

Just over a month ago, WONHO made a quick comeback with the single Don’t Regret and his second single album, Bittersweet. It is WONHO’s first comeback in four months, following the release and promotion of CRAZY over Summer. And as announced yesterday, Don’t Regret will also be his last comeback for a while as he is preparing to enlist into the military in early December.

Following the number of dance tracks WONHO has given us since his solo debut, it is intriguing to hear that WONHO brings us on a slightly different direction with Don’t Regret. For this comeback, the new song steps into the trendy territory of rock that has dominated KPOP in 2022 with its many shades and forms. In the case of Don’t Regret, we get a moodier and emotional alternative heft to the rock, which does differentiate it from the rest of the rock styled songs we have heard this year. I quite enjoyed the consistency of the instrumental in this one. Yes, I didn’t find the consistent energy to be a flaw of the song (i.e. make the song boring, monotone or lackluster). Rather, it helped create a whole piece that flowed from start to end quite well and really sold the song to me. WONHO’s vocals in Don’t Regret were a solid effort. The definition in the chorus that accompanies his vocals helped make the centerpiece feel impactful and memorable. If I were to be critical about Don’t Regret, I think that certain parts of Don’t Regret would have benefited from an angstier approach from WONHO. I am on the side of being unsure whether he can pull that off, given how smooth and higher pitched his vocals are. But this would have better complemented the rock side of the song, make the song more interesting and give Don’t Regret more oomph. Despite that, what we got was really good in itself already and suffices. Overall, a strong release from WONHO that leaves me satisfied for the next while as he goes on his hiatus.

The song talks about having no regrets over a breakup, knowing that it was the right decision for both parties. Given that the song does have that emotional undertone since it touches on a breakup, the moody aesthetics and darker lighting we get in the video does a good job of capturing those emotions. I also believe we see snippets of the breakup happening midway into the video. Interestingly, the video largely stays with a similar aesthetic to the very end, so it does beg the question how does the video paint the picture that the lyrics allude to having ‘no regrets’ over the breakup. While there are some scenes where WONHO does appear to be smiling, I liked how the video at the end showed the two walking away in different forms, suggesting that no one is no longer hung up over the breakup. They are moving on and it shows that they have no regrets. Clever and works within the boundaries that were set when producing the video.

I appreciate the fact that WONHO chose no choreography for this comeback (thus, I will not be including a performance part in the final rating). It allows WONHO to focus on his live vocals and emotions that the song packs. And he does a good job of doing just that.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10

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