Former B.A.P member Moon Jong Up has been working hard and gearing up for his return as a solo artist. Now, to fan’s delight, Jong Up has come to us with his first mini-album titled “US” and we simply cannot get enough – but what do the critics have to say?
“US” is the main title track from Jong Up‘s mini-album of the same name. “US” is a very upbeat, mainstream pop song that consists of twangy electric guitar rifts, rhythmic clapping, and rather unique uses of tinny sounds through glass and hollow clanking. This gives the song a very “get on your feet and move to the beat” vibe that listeners can usually find in songs from singers like Ed Sheeran or Justin Beiber- the inspiration seems uncanny. Before diving any further, get a feel of the song for yourself and see how you feel about it from start to finish (if you haven’t heard it already!).
The song seems to be well-produced and not all over the place with its melody (which had been quite the major trend for a few mainstream boy groups nowadays). Despite the structure, the song seems to be more enticing with it’s chorus – which is a good thing. Nothing is worse than when the bridge of a song is completly building up your anticipation and a poorly executed chorus just throws you off the ride. The higher pitched-vocals that transition into the chorus really pave the way for listeners to enjoy the tracks instrumental paired with Jong Up’s familiar vocals to full potential. Although, I think what makes the chorus more attractive is Jong Up’s very own whispery way of talking and deeper, husky tone as he says “You, Me, US.” Something about this deeper voice manifests subtle sex-appeal that boosts the songs overall experience.
The lyrics aren’t anything to go crazy over.
“Your view is perfect
It keeps circling around me all night
No need to rush
I think it’s good for us
Let’s get closer, as if it’ll be forever
Nothing to lose
I like your whispering way of talking
What we can do?
So they can be jealous of me a little
Will you share your heart with me?
As if we’ve become one, trust me
Nothing to lose”
Granted, he paints a nice little story throughout, and I do enjoy the way Jong Up wants others to be jealous of his new-found love, yet the song recreates an already overdone concept without adding anything refreshing and simply feeds us a plethora of cliche lines. Still, it doesn’t mean the song is necessarily horrible – the composition could just use a boost of creativity that the choreography and fashion definitely received (Obviously!). If you don’t believe me, just watch one of his more recent live performances down below!
If the lyrics and melody alone don’t seem heavily influenced by Western pop culture enough, Jong Up’s MV also takes place in a desolate desert-like setting with a classic wooden-interior bar you’d find in almost any American town. If this small-town summer love image is what Jong Up was going for, he aboslutely nailed it in this sense. The MV jumps between the standard 4 set locations, with 2 being in or near the bar, one in a more well-decorated room that seems similar to a hotel or well-designed cafe, and lastly an open-grassy field with no real eye-catching visuals other than Jong Up himself.
Overall, the MV quality is good, well-produced and edit from start to finish. Although, like sipping a bitter cup of coffee, the feeling of the MV being on a budget can’t escape the mind and lingers on. It isn’t to say it negatively impacts the song and Jong Up’s efforts overall, it is just something that is easily noticed and fair game to comment on.
In the end, the song is definitely a great comeback and start of his journey deeper into his individual music choices. Overall the song isn’t a bop and isn’t something I would have on my playlist on repeat. However, the song does contain many elements that make it an enjoyable listen A trendy, upbeat sound, simple yet ear-worm of a chorus, and a wonderful blend of English and Korean lyrics that blend that any fan can simply listen to sing along effortlessly. I definitely look forward to lstening to the rest of the album and seeing what other future songs we can expect from Jong Up!
How did you feel after listening to this song? Do you think other tracks on the mini-album are worth listening to? Share your thoughts down below!
FINAL SCORE: 6.5
MV Score: 5.7
Song Score: 7