Of all the X1 members, WOODZ has easily become one of the most musically and commercially successful. His chameleonic performance style and ability to shift and mix genres with ease has become his biggest asset and one that’s made me a massive fan of his recent work. His adoption of a more rock heavy sound especially has been one of the most fruitful in recent years, giving us excellent tracks like 2020’s Bump Bump, 2021’s Waiting, Kiss of Fire and (especially) Chaser. New single I hate you furthers this rock based sound in incredible fashion with what might just be his strongest and most instant single yet.
For me, I hate you hits basically every single one of my buttons. This kind of pop rock sound is basically in my blood at this point. So many of my formative musical experiences involved these blazing guitars and bouncy pop melodies that I can’t help but love (to a certain degree) any song that goes down that route. But, a great pop rock song first and foremost needs an equally potent central hook and an equally great performance. Thankfully, that’s exactly what Woodz brings here. His performance is just dripping with charisma, imbuing every moment of I hate you with the necessary grit and playfulness that makes songs like this feel alive. In a sense, the entire thing feels like a more upbeat of last years Chaser, carrying a driving energy that is the perfect mix between bright and melancholic. A sound that I just happen to also love. Quite a pattern we have here don’t we?
The central melody echo’s many hits of old whilst still feeling fresh and uniquely Woodz. It’s punchy and anthemic in all the right places, bursting with character and an excellent sense of drive that blossoms brilliantly from the quieter verses. It took a few listens to really stick but once it stuck, there was no dislodging it from my brain. And just when you thought it couldn’t get better, I hate you builds to its euphoric climax, combining all its elements into a knockout finale that goes from anthemic handclaps to a majestic extended melody line that ties the entire thing up in a nice bow that sends I hate you off on a massive high.
Final Rating: 9 / 10