Somi’s been through a lot in her life. From Sixteen to Produce 101 and finally her transfer to the Black Label, it seems like she’s been through an entire careers worth of events. This all culminated in her debut last year with the surprisingly safe and generic Birthday. But while most of the reception surrounding that release was positive, I always found it to be an odd little misfire. New single What You Waiting For acts as a correction course adhering to a more melodic template whilst feeling distinctly Somi.
Before I start the review, can we just have a round of applause for Teddy? The man finally got his act together and wrote a full chorus! In 2020 too! After the disastrous, How You Like That, this makes What You Waiting For feel like an honest breath of fresh air. That alone proves two things:
One, miracles are possible.
Two, it shows just how god damn low the bar is.
The best thing I can say about What You Waiting For is that it sounds like it could have been ripped right out of the early 2010’s. While many may call it generic and old-fashioned I happen to love this period of Western pop music. And this songs chorus could have fit perfectly within that musical landscape. Its melody may not be wholly original and the lyrics might be a little cringe but there’s no denying the power of the rousing instrumental and Somi’s equally charismatic delivery. It would have made a great Blackpink single actually. Even the ascending post chorus hooks feels anthemic in its own right. In an era limp hooks, What You Waiting For feels classic in the best way possible. Somi may not be the most naturally talented or magnetic soloist but this song proves that she can more than easily hold her own.
But while the surging chorus is an easy highlight, my main qualms are around the tracks connective tissue. In comparison to the bright chorus, the verses are a little forgettable. They’re fine but fail to really match or really differentiate themselves from the chorus. This makes the track feel more like a flat line rather build the natural peaks and troughs you would expect. It also feels way too short, building to a rather exciting instrumental breakdown before kind of fizzling out. In my opinion it feels like the tracks really begging for an extra minute. This kind of premature ending feels underwhelming and prevents me from loving the song as much as I theoretically should.
But regardless of these issues, What You Waiting For is a massive upgrade over her debut and would be a strong template to stick to for any following releases.
Final Rating: 8.25 / 10