The second solo debut today has been a long time coming. But finally, Kang Daniel has returned to the stage with What Are You Up To and his first mini-album, Color On Me. It has been a choppy few months for Kang Daniel, who left his LM Entertainment after nullifying his contract with said management. After the courts ruled in his favour, Kang Daniel established his own agency (Konnect Entertainment). But his debut was further delayed after LM Entertainment decided to appeal, which LM later lost, allowing the popular solo artist to return to the industry via his own agency. This also makes Kang Daniel the final member of Wanna One to relaunch their careers after the disbandment of the group earlier this year.
But we are here for the review, aren’t we? For some reason, I expected something a little more intense from the artist. So, my first impressions of the track were not that positive. However, while writing this review, I am warming up to it a fair bit. What Are You Up To is a synth-pop track and its biggest weapon was pace. I found the instrumental to be perfectly paced. It didn’t get right to the point, opting for some suspense building. I find this very cool, especially since the song opted to stay very neutral overall. I really like the loud metallic banging that could be heard during the chorus. That really amped up the intensity for me. While it is a dance track. it falls towards the pleasant side of the spectrum, which is another intriguing aspect. His dance break sounded quite trendy and sleek. Kang Daniel’s vocals are great and I like how he used autotune to help prevent his song sounding monotone and prevent repetition. I think the only thing that could have been added was a rap sequence. Doesn’t have to be done by Kang Daniel but I felt it was missing that extra oomph.
The song is about yearning to catch up with one’s lover. And the video shows that I think. Kang Daniel starts off bored, wanting to meet with his lover. We see him attempt to reach for his lover through many mechanisms but is unable to get through. It is definitely nice to see the familiar face again. Besides Kang Daniel’s visuals, I find the music video to have a nice pastel colour palette. Overall, things looked cool and visually appealing.
At this stage, there doesn’t seem like there will be promotions. However, his agency and the broadcasting companies are still actively discussing promotions. It will be a total miss opportunity to not bring him on board, especially with his fanbase and popularity. I thought the choreography showcased a lot of Daniel’s dance skills, appropriate for the song. The dance break and the pre-chorus routines have to be my pick for the best parts.
Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10