SONG REVIEW: Kwon Eunbi – Underwater

With April’s great Glitch, Kwon Eunbi proved just how magnetic she could be as a solo star. Debut effort Door did little to excite me upon release but the sleek electronics of its follow up did much to impress. Now she’s back with her own take on a tropical house track. And though initial previews and track descriptors didn’t do much to raise expectation, the final product proves to be much more exciting.

Though they’re often (fairly) criticised for the incredibly weak promotional strategies surrounding their artists, Woolim Entertainment know how to deliver a great comeback musically. Their 2022 output has resulted in some of the years most thrilling singles and while Underwater doesn’t reach the highs of those aforementioned tracks, it’s easily my favourite Kwon Eunbi track yet. Though oversaturated a few years ago, I’ve always had a certain level of affection reserved for tracks like this. When done right, this particular mix of Moombahton and Tropical House can lead to some really great soundscapes. Underwater gets this part very right, crafting an atmospheric soundscape during the verses before absolutely exploding during its vocally expressive hook. It’s the first time since the IZ*ONE days that we’ve seen Eunbi really showcase her vocal prowess on a dance track and it’s great to see. She sounds great here, imbuing Underwater with a commanding vocal performance that really leaves and impact.

However, Underwater does run the risk of feeling repetitive at times. I adore the repeated synth riff that opens and acts as a through line but I can understand how it can become grating for those not particularly interested in this sound. The house piano that emerges during the bridge is a unique sidestep from the rest of the production and serves as a great breather from the surrounding soundscape. It isn’t the most original of productions but sometimes it just hits. And though I have reservations about its longevity, Underwater makes a great first impression.

Verses: 8

Chorus: 8

Production: 9

Performance: 9

Final Rating8.5 / 10

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