[Review] BLOOM – Yoon Ji Sung

Another solo comeback that occurred during the week was Yoon Ji Sung, who returns to the stage with the single BLOOM and his third mini-album, MIRO. This is Yoon Ji Sung’s first comeback in a year, following Love Song. This is also his first release under a new entertainment company, DG Entertainment.

BLOOM is a sweet and pleasant song, consisting of a city-pop instrumental. It is not the knockout track that Yoon Ji Sung needs in his solo work, but it suffices. There wasn’t a second whilst listening to the song since its release did I find it boring, which actually surprised me, given that I find BLOOM to be one of those that are consistent from start to end (and I tend to find that a bit draining). However, time will tell if that statement holds true or not. What I like about BLOOM is how dreamy everything felt. Yoon Ji Sung’s vocals were extremely pleasant and definitely captivated me. The melodies were smooth, peaceful and soothing to listen to. And I liked how the instrumental doesn’t overpower. Even when the guitar solo moment came into play, it all balanced out. Sure, the song could have used a bit more of something, just to give it a bit more uniqueness (but not lose its sweet and pleasant charms). Maybe this something could have been in the bridge, as that was where I felt the least pull. But what BLOOM ended up giving us is quite nice and enjoyable.

As the name suggests and the season in which South Korea is currently in (i.e. Spring), it is expected that the flowers would make some sort of presence in this music video. Well, we ended up getting a heavy presence of them. They definitely made the video pretty to watch. The colours of the flowers and the green leaves really popped out in this video, with all other colours appearing pale in comparison. Other than that, this video isn’t my cup of tea. But it worked well with the song.

The choreography for this comeback was good. But I felt that they tried to jam a lot into the routine, which I didn’t think was necessary for this track. The choreography should have been more graceful. Also, it looked a bit awkward with Yoon Ji Sung dancing alone, whilst the dancers were paired off. I wished they had another dancer to pair with Yoon Ji Sung, just so that the performance looks a little natural.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10

[Review] Beautiful (Part 3) – Wanna One

Never did I think this would be pulled off, but Wanna One has regrouped for the release of a special single, Beautiful (Part 3). This new single was performed by the group for the first time at the 2021 MAMAs (with the exception of Lai Kuan Lin, who was promoting in China), and was then confirmed for release on 27 January 2022. For a brief second in the days prior of Beautiful (Part 3)’s release, there was a possibility that the group would be unable to release the song due to some contracts not being signed by companies, but I am glad to see that they managed to pull everything together in time for the scheduled release. There are ongoing plans for a reunion concert and future album release, however, those plans appear to be slightly rocky with Hwang Minhyun and Ong Seong Woo’s companies announcing that their respective artists would not participate due to focus on their own group’s work and scheduling issues. I guess we have to wait and see if a concert and album can occur. But for the time being, we have a special single on our side.

Like the original Beautiful title track and Beautiful (Part 2) (featured as a side track on the group’s first and only studio album), Beautiful (Part 3) falls into the ballad category. It, as a whole track, definitely brings forth a sentimental and nostalgic feeling, which is no doubt the route that the members and the producers were going for. The pre-choruses in Beautiful (Part 3) were a capsule of these exact emotions, as the melodies and some of the lyrics connect the three tracks together. Elsewhere, Beautiful (Part 3) was new and original. I really liked the burst of sound when it came to the chorus. It, along with the rock elements that featured in the choruses, just took the otherwise simple ballad to the next level. Vocally, it was extremely nice to hear everyone as Wanna One again and I am happy to hear that Lai Kuan Lin managed to get a part in the song despite not being part of the reunion performance. Kim Jae Hwan’s vocals stood out the most of the pack, living up to this main vocalist position in the group. That being said, however, all the other members showcased their exceptional vocals in the song, highlighting their improvement from their post-Wanna One days. I am also glad to hear some rapping from the rappers (Kang Daniel, Park Ji Hoon, Kim Woo Jin, Lai Kuan Lin) as the instrumental for Beautiful (Part 3) allowed for it. Overall, Beautiful (Part 3) lives up to its name, just like the original and Part 2 did, and is a ‘beautiful’ reminder of the group.

The music video showcased shots from their MAMA performance back in December 2021, both on-stage and off-stage. It too did exactly what the song did, evoke these sentimental and nostalgic emotions. I liked how the editors synced up with shots of the actual performance with the lyrics of the song, allowing the performance to serve multiple purposes (i.e. MAMA award performance, this music video). I also liked the inserts of behind the scene shots (both video and images). It helped made the video even more special, especially for the fans of the group. I also wish to point out that it was extremely nice to see the members be given an opportunity to interact with fans and the audience (though from the stage, but still better than nothing!).

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

[Review] Love Song – Yoon Ji Sung

The next review is for Yoon Jin Sung’s recent comeback. After finishing up with Wanna One at the end of 2019, Yoon Ji Sung immediately began his solo career with the release of In The Rain two months after Wanna One disbanding. He later followed up with his comeback I’ll Be There, before going on hiatus for his military enlistment. He officially completed his mandatory military enlistment in November 2020. Yesterday, Yoon Ji Sung released his third mini-album (titled Temperature of Love) and the lead single, Love Song.

Yoon Ji Sung’s pre-military enlistment works have been heavily influenced by the slower paced ballads, fitting for his vocalist status during his Wanna One days. Love Song seems to steer Yoon Ji Sung’s solo work in a new direction, opting for something more upbeat. Unfortunately, it sounds like a typical pop song. But don’t me wrong, I don’t hate it, nor do I think it is terrible song. It does still sound decent and good. But it isn’t really evoking much from me as a listener. Personally, I wouldn’t go of my way to search the song specifically, but I wouldn’t mind hearing it if it randomly popped up on my playlist. And that is based on my experience thus far. I have replayed the song a number of times for this review (on top of listening to the song yesterday when it first came out), but I am failing to notice much that is worth talking about. I had the exact same thoughts for my first initial expression of the song. It is pretty much a song in neutral gear for me, progressing along in a predictable manner. I wished his work was a lot more expressive and engaging. I guess Love Song‘s main driving force is Yoon Ji Sung’s vocals, which was quite solid. While the melodies and hooks were plain and not that memorable, I did like his execution of the chorus and the harmonisation within this section of the song as well. What Yoon Ji Sung could have done to make the song more engaging was commit to the rapping for the second verse. He seems to go in that direction for the second verse, but ends up opting for a rap-sing type of delivery which isn’t as exciting. But unfortunately, I don’t think that would be enough to really make the song a whole heap better.

Love Song is all about missing your significant other. And I guess Yoon Ji Sung portrays it well in the music video, looking bored and unfocused as a result of missing his significant other. That, or he also agrees with my sentiments about the song. But I think the former is a more logical and obvious explanation for this facial expressions. I liked the video revolved around food, which is something essential in life, amongst other things. But the joy of life is sucked out of Yoon Ji Sung, who burns his toast by not paying attention to it, fills up scales instead of bowls for cereal. When he does get that opportunity to communicate with his significant other, he is also quite distracted (i.e. chatting clothed in a warm and steaming bathtub). Aside from actively showcasing the lyrics, the music video was filled with nice colours thanks to the set design and lighting. There is a dullness to them despite picking vibrant colours, which I thought was a great choice for the video and the song.

Like the song, the choreography was pretty unexciting, which fits in with the overall profile of the song. But isn’t a terrible routine, but it was pretty repetitive. I did like the flow of it, as it didn’t feel as tight or strict as other routines. It was freeing, which works well with the pop sound of the song.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 6.5/10
Overall Rating – 6.4/10

[Review] I’ll Be There – Yoon Ji Sung

Now, there was one earlier arrival to the Wanna One mini reunion today. Yoon Ji Sung made his solo return with I’ll Be There on Thursday. I was a little busy with assignments so I couldn’t write an immediate review, so hence why I decided to have him join the reunion as well. This is Yoon Ji Sung’s second promotional track, with In The Rain (released back in February) being his first. Yoon Ji Sung also recently confirmed that he will be enlisting in the military on the 14th of May, making this (possibly) his final release for the next few years or so.

Once again, I’ll Be There takes on the ballad route, which was expected of Yoon Ji Sung when he made his debut. But it is a lot different to his solo debut track. The guitar at the start made the song sound very beautiful and definitely set the tone. The combination of the guitar with some of the other elements remind me of Park Hyo Shin’s Happy Together, released a few years back. One of these elements has to be the melody of the chorus, which paired with the backing vocals, definitely gave off those vibes. I particularly thought the harmonies that Yoon Ji Sung shared with the backing vocals, in particular during the bridge, really gave the song some definition, alongside the guitar. Happy Together was more of a happier song, whereas this still has an emotional component to it. The song talks about writing memories into a book and that the relationship is going due to the number of pages written in. I thought was a nice concept, making this a promising ballad.

Going back to the lyrics, Yoon Ji Sung ends up reflecting a lot in the video. While the song was about writing memories of a relationship, Yoon Ji Sung spends most of his time alone and with his diary. He writes memories in there. My theory is that since this is a special album, it is farewell (for now) song. And the solo path that Yoon Ji Sung makes is kind of like ‘self-discovery’ time, just before his enlistment. So he writes about this in his diary. There is no sadness, rather it looks likes his mind is wandering and we do see some smiles throughout the video. We do also see a glimpse of a page but I am not too sure about what it said. To me, the video is one of those that is on the dry side but if my theory is right, I think it would a nice video for fans.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 6.5/10
Overall Rating – 8/10

[Review] In The Rain – Yoon Ji Sung

After the disbandment of Wanna One earlier this year, fans have anticipated the different routes that each member would take. Most will be returning to the stage as artists. Others have announced that they will be taking breaks, while others have embarked upon musicals and start acting careers. For this review, we will be looking at Yoon Ji Sung’s solo debut single, In The Rain. He is actually the first member to return. Yoon Ji Sung has also been confirmed for a musical and will also enlist in the first half of this year.

In The Rain is a neat ballad that lets Yoon Ji Sung shine brightly. As Wanna One was a large group, we don’t really get an opportunity to see him stand out. Through this ballad, we get an opportunity to hear his vocals in a more clear manner. The ballad is quite pleasant and is actually mostly light-hearted. While I do find emotionally driven ballads more enticing, pleasant sounding ballads that aren’t too focused on the emotions and vocals are often refreshing, which is the case for his debut single. That being said, he does have a nice voice. Also, I found myself swaying to the music, which I think makes it a pretty successful ballad in my books. I personally think the melody could have been a little stronger to really make the song more memorable but it good as it is.

I think I am more used to the ballad music videos having this hazy filter that really reflects the sad nature of the song. In this video, however, the music video features a whole of colour, which was a little foreign for me. I also liked how the music video reflected the peacefulness of the verses and then once the song built up to the chorus, it changed into an overload of pastel colours. In the video, it seems like he is awaiting a special someone, though that is my view of the music video given that I can’t find any translated lyrics as of yet. It is a nice video that goes nicely with the song.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.6/10