Park Ji Hoon also made his solo comeback on the same day as the release of the last review. For this solo artist, who has been active for 5 years (on the music front – he was also previously a child actor, which extends his years active beyond 5 years), his new single is titled NITRO and is featured as the lead song from his 6th mini-album, The Answer. We last saw Park Ji Hoon on stage through his Serious comeback, back in October of last year.
The standout aspect to NITRO is its chorus. There was a subtle groove to it, which I quite liked. This, on top of the synthwave backing, was pretty strong centrepiece. The deep “Mmmh” and vocals we do get from PARK JI HOON exuded a mature and sensual vibe, which I also enjoyed. And the oomph that comes from the chorus is what I have been craving from a PARK JI HOON release, as it feels more aligned with his earlier works during his early days as a solo artist which had oomph. Unfortunately, the rest of NITRO is pretty forgettable and plain (and relatively dry). We still got synthwave during the verses and other parts of the song, but it wasn’t as riveting. PARK JI HOON’s husky/raspy vocals could only do so much, so I wished there was a stronger melody to the first verse. I am glad he reverts to rapping for the second verse, but there isn’t much rhythm to it for me to find memorable or (at the very least) alluring enough. His rap is also kept low and in a rap-speak delivery mode, which I felt was too safe for NITRO. Something something more upbeat, punchy and dynamic could have potentially been more eye-opening and given some lift to NITRO. His high note in the bridge was probably the second best moment of NITRO as it felt very clean and well-executed. But it is sandwiched between the same two non-memorable repeats of what felt like the verse, and so I often forgot about its existence. It does make for a nice surprise each time I listened to the song. Overall, NITRO had the foundations and centrepiece to a really good song. It just wasn’t evolved enough elsewhere in the song.
I admit the start of the video where PARK JI HOON is spewing blood was quite an opening. It definitely got me interested to see how or why this scene exists. So essentially, a mysterious figure kidnaps him and forces him to swallow a mysterious bullet. PARK JI HOON then proceeds to run, whilst the bullet weakens him. He gets pretty far and probably realizes the end is coming. The mysterious figure, which is revealed to be PARK JI HOON himself, shoots the PARK JI HOON with the bullet in his system and we presume this is the end. Well, I wished the video ended here as the shooting just ends the storyline. Slightly messy, but not as confusing as what actually did happen. The shot PARK JI HOON wakes up alive, so that bullet made him immortal? We aren’t given an explanation to what it all means, nor about the existence of the second PARK JI HOON. So, we are left with even more questions. Though I can potentially see some parallels with the sexy lyrics of NITRO. Other than that, I did like the darkness of the video and the contrast with the bright white scenes (which I assume was a depiction of Heaven).
Not this most riveting routine to date, but it was good to watch nonetheless. He is a good performer, and I feel like this routine did a decent job of highlighting that. I did like the sensual vibes that the chorus had when the moves were slowed down.
Song – 7/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7/10