The fourth release from Monday that I will be reviewing is Love Me Harder, which is the solo comeback by soloist WOODZ, who may be more familiar now as Cho Seung Youn. Fans started to know of Cho Seung Youn through his participation in Produce X 101, where he placed 5th and debuted as part of the now-defunct X1. But the solo artist has quite an extensive connection to the KPOP industry including being a former member of UNIQ (a South Korean and Chinese idol group), participated in Show Me The Money 5 and went on to debut as a solo artist under the name Luizy and WOODZ, with the latter being his currently used name in the industry at the moment. So with a history like that, it seems like WOODZ is an act to look out for. Let’s have a listen to his return to mainstream KPOP through his new single.
Kicking off Love Me Harder is this addictive whistling melody in the instrumental. It is short at first, but its repetition really drives it into your memory. It also adds a classy yet fun element to the song. The rest of the instrumental is made of a deep bass beat, which really drives the song along. When the two would merge together for the final chorus, you would have a very strong and exciting instrumental combination. And all these elements seem to quite trendy, which helps the song fit in neatly with the current era. WOODZ, for a sub-vocalist and main-rapper during his time in UNIQ, has a very strong and versatile set of vocals which he shows off really nicely in this song. There is a breathy nature to the vocals that adds colour to the song. I really liked the bridge of the song, where it sounds like he far away. Interesting texture there. He has a strong rap in the second verse and I would definitely like to hear more of it in the future. In addition to all of this, Love Me Harder has great rhythm, catchy hooks and appealing energy that will have me returning for many more listens. For someone who was practically unknown to me, WOODZ has proven to be worthy of my radar and I will definitely be checking in with his future releases. And you can attribute Love Me Harder to this.
We see two alter egos of WOODZ in the music video. Let’s say one of them is the Edgy one (i.e. leather jacket) and the other is the ‘Boy Next Door’ type of guy. The video starts off with WOODZ’s ‘Boy Next Door’ version getting into an argument with his girlfriend, who leaves him. Edgy WOODZ gets on top of the car that they were in and this forced ‘Boy next door’ WOODZ to get out and exit a crime scene (i.e. his car). We presume that the girlfriend is dead. Confused, ‘Boy Next Door’ WOODZ searches for Edgy WOODZ thinking that Edgy WOODZ had something to do with the crime. This leads ‘Boy Next Door’ WOODZ to a hideout full of illegitimate bills. Edgy WOODZ sends the ‘Boy Next Door’ WOODZ back to the car and we see the start play out all over again. ‘Boy Next Door’ WOODZ gets angry and has a go at Edgy WOODZ, but then it dawns on him. WOODZ’s girlfriend had shot him and stole the money that ‘Boy Next Door’ WOODZ had printed. The crime scene that he stepped out of was his own (which allowed him to leave the scene unnoticed, as he is dead) and Edgy WOODZ was basically taunting ‘Boy Next Door’ WOODZ the entire time for his naivety and stupidity. It is a bit confusing in words, but I thought this was a great music video with an awesome storyline.
Not only do the dancers help fill up the stage, but they also give WOODZ an opportunity to focus on the live element of the performance. During the verses, they do all of the choreography while WOODZ sings and rap. A prime example of this is the entire second verse when they form a circle on the floor around him. When WOODZ does participate in the choreography, those moves actually looked quite good. WOODZ puts a lot of effort in to make up for the lack of choreography on his part during the verse for those sections and I liked the hand gun action. I would like to see a version where he does more dancing, but overall a good stage.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 10/10
Performance – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 9/10