As one of my favourite voices in the Korean music scene, I come into every Woosung release with a sense of curiosity reserved for a select few artists. His solo career hasn’t been the most consistent but it’s been very interesting, shifting drastically between sounds to create a discography that feels disjointed but musically quite solid. And though the mid-tempo Moon remains a guilty pleasure of mine, 2021 saw Woosung really come into his own with the synth drenched majesty of Dimples and the dynamic dance pop of No Strings Attached. New single Phase Me goes down a darker, more personal route and *almost* reaches perfection but falls short due to some rather uninspired production choices..
Opening with an incredibly atmospheric guitar and percussion assisted soundscape that works in perfect tandem with Woosung’s unique vocal tone, Phase Me‘s opening minute is absolutely stunning. It hooks the listener almost immediately, conjuring a darker, stadium ready sound that feels as though it’s building to something truly immense, riffing off the sounds that made 80’s stadium rock so exciting. It’s the sound of a showstopper revving up and honestly put me in a state of minor shock considering how tame much of this year has been. All it needed was a great chorus and It would have easily secured a spot near the top of my favourite 2022 songs list.
But alas, it wasn’t to be. After the thrilling, inventive build up of the first verse, Phase Me chooses to drop into one of the most standard and uninspired of centrepieces. The anti-drop. It’s not a bad chorus at all in fact it’s pretty damn catchy but it does undermine all the tension that was built up for the past minute. It’s quite an unsatisfying experience and one that bleeds into the second verse which continues the rather derivative soundscape of the chorus. It picks up big time for its climax however, introducing some searing guitar riffs that send Phase Me off on a high. But it’s all a bit too short to really feel like a worthwhile pay off. And I think that could be said for Phase Me as a whole. A solid if rather unsatisfying listen that given a bit of fine tuning could have really been spectacular.
Final Rating: 8.25/10