Here is another review for a release from a few weeks back. PARK WOO JIN, the rapper of AB6IX and former Wanna One member, made his solo debut back at the end of February with the single Top Tier and his debut mini-album, oWn. Top Tier follows the pre-release of the single Self Portrait (which accompanies Top Tier on the new mini-album) and features fellow former Wanna One member Kim Jae Hwan. Unfortunately, that release doesn’t have a music video and so I won’t be reviewing it in the standard song format. But it my revisited in an album review if I choose to write one for oWn. But for now, here are my thoughts on Top Tier.
I found Top Tier to be a very typical hip-hop release. I do commend the effort in which both PARK WOO JIN and Top Tier goes in hard and that the energy does have a relentless side to it. But Top Tier’s downfall is its repetitive nature. The repetition comes through the instrumentation and the song’s main hook. The former basically sounded the same all throughout its 2:50 minute run time. A bit more variety in the backing piece could have made Top Tier more dynamic and this would have improved the song by a great deal. The latter just felt monotonous and didn’t elicit anything memorable, which is not ideal for the song’s central moment. All of this adds up to a disappointing song. As mentioned just now, I wished there was more to Top Tier, maybe building on the intensity by way of an abrasively instrumented instrumental break to make way for a dance break in the choreography, or even a bolder and expressive hook that drives the energy upwards and doesn’t stay flat. But while my disappointment with Top Tier is abundant, I do commend PARK WOO JIN’s delivery and flow throughout the song. He himself definitely propels the song forward, as is the main driving force that makes up (partially) the effect of the plain and repetitive nature of Top Tier. The pre-choruses provided a brief look into the PARK WOO JIN’s husky vocals and this was an strong showing of skill as well. Overall, Top Tier does show off PARK WOO JIN to a degree, but I wished the song itself had more to it.
The music video shows PARK WOO JIN as different types of top tier individuals. We see him as the winner of an arcade game fight (who might also be the leader of a dance crew), the winning avatar in the game, a king on a throne (who might double up as the next individual), and a highly acclaimed artist. I liked how the video intertwines all of these different ‘top tier’ individuals into what felt like a cohesive video. I also enjoyed the darker tone the video took, which matches the heaviness of PARK WOO JIN’s song.
Choreography-wise, I felt that the routine did a decently good job of showing off the intensity the song had and the energy that PARK WOO JIN had injected into the song with its delivery. But nothing stood out to me in the performance that makes me want to go back for a re-watch.
Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 7.5/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 6.9/`10