Since the conclusion of Produce X 101 and the disbandment of resulting group X1, most of the groups members have embarked on solo ventures. However, most of these (especially the UP10TION boys) seemed like simple cash grabs or opportunistic efforts to increase member popularity. However for someone like Cho Seungyeon (Woodz), solo work was expect. Of all the members he was the only one who was a soloist before the show and because of this, his post produce solo work is also much stronger.
One thing that I’ve really missed this year is a sense of groove. Some of my favourite tracks this year have pulled from this general aesthetic and while Love Me Harder doesn’t reach those heights, its groovy funk backbone is much appreciated. This alongside a more aesthetically pleasing inclusion of trap and deep house and you’ve got a rather enjoyable backing that feels much more genuine and alive than any other X1 related solo project so far. This is also probably the most instantly enjoyable song he’s released and while the lack of a concrete chorus doesn’t do the track many favours, the whistling hook is a wonderfully catchy addition. This coupled with the post-chorus refrain does act as a rather enjoyable centrepiece.
No onto Seungyeon himself, the guys proved to be both an incredible rapper, vocalist and just overall magnetic performer. Like the two other solo efforts released today, that charisma goes a long way in selling a track like this. There isn’t anything particularly ground breaking or revolutionary about Love Me Harder but boy is it a good time from start to finish. It all around manages to be both funky and sinister whilst still giving the listener a better understanding of Woodz as an artist. And in that regard it is by far his strongest solo effort yet.
Final Rating: 8.25 / 10
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