[Review] Uh-Heung – DKZ

DKZ is nominated for Rising Star and Most Underrated Song (for Cupid) in the 2022 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Support DKZ and your other favourite artists, songs and performances by clicking here to vote today.

Final song review of the year! And the honour this year goes to DKZ! DKZ has had a very big year in 2022. They rose on the charts with their biggest hit yet, Cupid, and scored their first music show win since their debut in 2019 with their latest single, Uh-Heung. Both of these aspects played a part in earning them a nomination in the Rising Star category of the 2022 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Today, I will be reviewing that latest single, Uh-Heung, which was released in October of this year.

Uh-Heung is a 180° turn around from DKZ’s other 2022 comeback (Cupid). That previous comeback was all bright and bubbly. Uh-Heung, on the other hand, is all dark and intense. While I do enjoy a change in sound or style, I did hope that DKZ was going to pull off something unique, given dark and intense is pretty ordinary territory for male groups in KPOP. Unfortunately, I don’t think they pulled off something unique. Uh-Heung had all the basic hallmarks of a typical male release. However, there are aspects of the song that still allowed me to enjoy Uh-Heung, however I still believe it is firmly rooted in that ‘typical territory’. The greatest appealing aspect of the song is he presence of the guitar at the start of the song. It started off the dance track in a very cool and refreshing manner. It hooked me in from the start and reeled me in for the rest of Uh-Heung. Interestingly, the guitar is replaced in the second verse with some traditional Korean instruments, which I thought was okay. It wasn’t as interesting or riveting as other examples of traditional instrumentation in an intense dance track as I felt like it was overpowered by the synths. But it was a decent effort. If I had it my way, I would have stuck to one or the other (preference is the guitar work at the start of the song), as it does create a bit of a mix-bag. The second big thing about Uh-Heung is the intensity of this track, which I find to be full-on, especially in the chorus. It felt like the tempo increased out of nowhere. But the increase created a very cool and robust backing that got the adrenaline running in your body. I also really like the rappers’ line that bridges the pre-choruses and choruses together. There was something quite invigorating from those lines that launched into the chorus and made it more intense and epic. Talking about rapping, both Jaechan and Sehyeon really shined in this song and showed off raspy tones that matched the intense side of Uh-Heung. The anthem-like chant at the end of Uh-Heung was also a great way to end off the intense track, by intensifying the track in a way that successfully caps it off. Overall, while DKZ does turn to typical territory in Uh-Heung, the group and their producers managed to make Uh-Heung shine enough for me to really enjoy the song.

Something I didn’t mention in the song component of the review is that Uh-Heung is the sound that a tiger makes, and there are tiger sounds throughout the song to further intensify the song. With this in mind, it makes sense for a tiger component to appear in music video. For Uh-Heung, the tiger comes at the start of the video, when we see Jaechan running away from something that looks like tiger (based on the shadow). Later on, we see Jaechan being cornered by someone donning a motorcycle helmet that has tiger prints over it, which is later revealed to be Jaechan himself. But what does this mean? Well, Soompi’s says the song ‘delivers the message of walking one’s own path with confidence and bravery in a world rife with temptation and fear’, and I think that the two Jaechan’s are one person – one that is walking with confidence and bravery, while the other is tempted and in fear from the world. Guessing on the intensity of the song, confident and brave Jaechan wins. The rest of the music video is quite cool, aside from the inflatable tube men we get in the background of one of the choreography scenes. They looked funny (as they always do) and don’t really add much fear or power to the video (though the messages written on them might say otherwise).

The intensity follows through in the choreography aspect of the comeback. And while the moves where the members go ‘Uh-Heung‘ definitely adds to the intensity and powerful energy, the constant repeats of it did feel a bit cringy. I much prefer the scratch move, which was less cringy and more subtle.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.2/10

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