To put it frankly, most of AB6IX’s new ‘5INALLY’ project is completely faceless. While I gave Woong’s Moondance a decent review earlier in the month, that track has all but faded from memory. The same could be said about last week’s More, which although I enjoyed more than Moondance, was equally as faceless and thus wasn’t reviewed. Thankfully, Lee Daehwi’s Rose Scent Kiss acts as a beacon of hope within an otherwise lacklustre project.
Co-produced by Frants, a common collaborator with k-pop diva Sunmi, Rose, Scent, Kiss is an excellent distillation of sensual atmospheric dance pop. Though most of the verses do divulge into a trap laced arrangement, i actually enjoy them quite abit. If you want to use trap this is how you do it. The ticking hi-hats are used artistically, acting as more of a backdrop to the low ambient beat that takes prominence during most of these segments. This results in an instantly captivating build that’s further enhanced thanks to Daehwi’s incredible charisma. The boy has one of K-pop’s most unique vocal tones, and it’s incredibly satisfying to see his growth from Produce poster boy to established artist. Out of all the tracks on ”5INALLY’, Rose, Scent, Kiss feels the most authentic.
This brings me to the chorus, which is one of the strongest hooks we’ve heard this year. The hook pulses with immense character, making excellent use of the English language to get its point through loud and clear. The arrangement shifts here, providing an incredibly potent and surprisingly gritty beat. This shift in texture is a real revelation, providing an otherwise strong centrepiece with the kind of unique calling it needed to truly elevate itself into something extraordinary. This grittiness carries over to the repetition of the title which anchors the post-chorus hook. In fact, it recalls much of Taemin’s and most notably Prince’s work in more ways than one. For someone as young as Daehwi, this is an incredible comparison.
But if I were to have one complaint, it would be the bridge. The trap elements here are unfortunately a little too prevalent, and take the place of a segment that could have provided an incredible build had the arrangement been slightly altered. It’s that incessant ticking that always gets on my nerves. But apart than that, Rose, Scent, Kiss is a brilliant solo track from Lee Daehwi and is the easy standout on one of the years most underwhelming projects.
Final Rating: 9 / 10
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