KANG DANIEL – 'COLOR ON ME'
1. Intro (Through the night)
3. What Are You Up To
5. I HOPE
Kang Daniel (aka "Daniel K") has just debuted as a solo artist, with 'Color On Me.' The EP has five tracks in total. The ex-Wanna One singer's mini-album has already topped iTunes album charts in 15 countries, and the title track "What Are You Up To" grabbed the top spot on several real-time music charts.
"Intro (Through the Night)" is obviously the intro track. It's a little different than some we've heard, simply because he sings on it. It's not just a taste of what the album will sound like, though it kind of sounds like "Color." The first proper track is, in fact, "Color," a slower R&B ballad. Overdubs help him sound like more singers are on the track, but it's pretty much all him. He has a pretty good range here, and this track helps show it off quite well. "What Are You Up To" is the title track. It's got some things in common with industrial, using not quite musical sounds as instrumentation. I like the effect, and it makes it sound different than the run of the mill pop tune. There's a tender bridge on here which serves to showcase his falsetto.
I like what they do with the synths on "Horizon." It's like they're sampled backward, which makes this tune sound so different. The stripped-down chorus is interesting as well. Daniel manages to wind his voice sinuously around the melody, darting behind one pillar of sound, only to emerge from behind another one. It's a nice effect. "I HOPE" is the last tune on here. An R&B ballad, it starts out quiet and unassuming. It quickly picks up steam, buoyed by Daniel's vocals. I like how they did that. The chorus is almost drowned out by the synth honks, but more and more songs are being made like that nowadays.
So what are we to make of Kang Daniel's solo outing? Well, in some ways it's different from his Wanna One days. As a boy band, you're a bit tied down to how the company wants you to sound. In this case, he might not have the same restrictions. And he does an end-run around the genre, refusing to stay in strictly R&B territory (where they stick a lot of solo artists). Yes, there's R&B on here, but there's some experimental stuff like "Horizon," and "What Are You Up To." It's a pretty solid album, and its success shows you that willingness to throw convention to the wind is not a bad strategy at all.
"One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small..." -- Jefferson Airplane
And that's just some of what goes on in Kang Daniel's newest MV. Only there are no pills.
This is another MV that alternates between cheap and nice-looking. There are backgrounds that are utterly, painfully sound-stage fodder. But there are also more interesting shots woven in, such as his face in a moving clockwork mechanism, glasses that magically drain of liquid, and copious wardrobe changes. There's also some connection between the micro-world and the macro one, as Daniel reaches through a portal in the wall, only to find him sitting there on an armchair looking at the giant hand. And some of those scene transitions are dizzying.
We also get to see him dance as well. There are a lot of shots, but they don't show a whole lot of movement for the choreo. Probably because the title track is not quite a club-banger. They do alright, though, and Kang Daniel pulls out some flourishes that top the dance sequences off nicely.
"Dude! Pull my finger!"
And there are some interesting callbacks to previous parts of the MV, pulling all of it together. Not only that, interesting scenes like how his phone activates to show you another scene from the MV is a nice use of technology.
I like how this is filmed, and the color choices are just electric. It was definitely fun seeing just what he'd do next, and, at the end of the day, isn't that the point of a good MV?
MV SCORE: 8.6
ALBUM SCORE: 8.6