KIM JAE HWAN – 'MOMENT'
1. The Time I Need
2. After Party
4. Who Am I
5. Paradise (feat. PARK WOO JIN)
Kim Jae Hwan (formerly of Wanna One) has just dropped his newest solo EP, 'Moment.' This release has 6 tracks, including one with his one-time bandmate Park Woo Jin. This is his second mini-album as a solo artist.
"The Time I Need" is the title track. And IMHO kinda quiet for the lead track. I was hoping for a little more oomph, and it wasn't there. A lot of it was done in falsetto, which I'm not the biggest fan of, anyway. I think my main issue was that it sounded exactly the same, whether at the beginning, middle or end with that persistent one-note keyboard riff. He gets a little more playful on "After Party." As he should. I like the higher tempo and higher energy here. And in particular, I like how it sounds like a veritable army was manning the chorus. He actually carries that higher tempo over to "NUNA." And while it's just an ode to a pretty girl, sonically it sounds quite cool. He gets a little more enthusiastic about this one. While it does have a chorus, it was still a little weak.
"Who Am I" was pretty epic. It was one of those high-sounding songs, the inspirational ones. And this is where he pulls out all the stops and we get to hear what's he's capable of. He seems to be shouting it to the heavens on this track, not holding back anymore. He transitions back to soft pop on "Paradise." It sounds a bit like a tropical house beat, but at least he doesn't default to reggae. This song features former Wanna One member Park Woo Jin as the rapper, now a part of AB6IX. His part wasn't bad, if entirely too short. He gets playful again on "Zzz." It's cute and stripped down, and picks up more of a beat eventually. And if you're wondering about the title, he wants to see her in his dreams.
So, what do we have? A few ups, a couple of downs. One of the kudos I must give is that the album is extremely consistent. There's not a ballad, then a full-on club-banger. No, Jae Hwan doesn't commit himself one way or the other, just preferring a middle-of-the-road approach. And he seems to do it quite well, at least in the context of that style. We don't hear the highs of "Who Am I" but once -- a reminder that his vocals can soar if he puts his mind to it. And the great thing is, he doesn't sound like anyone else.
In a rather obvious nod to the title, this MV features clocks. He even dances on a clock face during some of the sequences. Curiously, a lot of clocks have plants or flowers as part of them. I'm not sure if they got a deal on that somewhere, or they were trying to make a statement. Regardless, there are tons of clocks.
And the not-so-subtle irony is there's little else. There's almost no narrative. But there are tons of timepieces, from old-style bell alarm clocks to electronic alarm clocks, to grandfather clocks, to a pocket watch under glass with -- you guessed it -- more plants. It's almost like they sent someone out to search for crazy chronometers and they figured they had enough to make a video with them. A script? Nah, who needs one?
He does do a little to shake things up, though. Showing Jae Hwan on a balcony under a blue sky with pinkish clouds was one way to give us something more interesting to look at. Interestingly enough, a girl joins the backup dancers, and Jae Hwan dancing with -- and away from -- she gives us more of a narrative, that story-hungry people like myself can sink their teeth into.
So that's what we have, along with dancers that occasionally move their limbs a bit emulating a clock. For all of that, they could have been lazy, but they weren't. It's not terrible. It's even surprisingly watchable, with cool lighting and beautiful timekeepers. It's not amazing, but it did surprise me how well it kept my attention. I didn't feel I was wasting my time.
And if you're into cute, he doesn't disappoint in these MVs, either:
MV SCORE: 8.3
ALBUM SCORE: 8.0