[Review] Y.O.U – DONGKIZ I:KAN

Making their subunit debut on Tuesday was DONGKIZ I:KAN. I personally wasn’t aware that DONGKIZ was debuting a subunit (I thought it was a group comeback when I say it on the list), so this was a surprise for me. The subunit consists of Jae Chan and Mun Ik and this follows the group’s Lupin comeback earlier in the year (a comeback that I really enjoyed). Subunits usually offer listeners a different sound to what their main group usually offers, so it will be interesting to see what DONGKIZ I:KAN will delve into, given that DONGKIZ doesn’t really have a strong association to any genre.

The one thing I do remember as a common theme in DONGKIZ’s track is its funky and retro vibes. And in a sense, Y.O.U (the title of the subunit’s title track) conforms to that common string in their main group’s release. At the same time, the subunit brings forward the new jack swing genre from the early 90s. And this music direction is great! It is full of energy and there are some fun vibes to it. There is also a refreshing appeal to the song, given that I don’t think the group has ever delved into this particular genre yet. The most exciting part of the song was the dance break that brought me a strong sense of nostalgia. While I do like the sound they had gone with, the main flaw of Y.O.U was how lacking their vocals and rapping were. I wanted more oomph to their delivery of both elements to add some depth to the song. What we got was good, but it is another situation where I wanted them to go further. If they had somehow defined their vocals and raps, this would help make the hooks more catchy and addictive.

The duo is singing about a girl they see passing by and that is exactly what the music video is showing. The two members are competing against each other to get her attention. I liked that it showed the two’s facial expression while they are on a mission to get her attention. That is a little different from similar music videos. However, it was revealed at the end that the girl already had an interest in a guy named Kirin, which shocks the guys. I thought that was a fun little twist, despite it being a card played multiple times in the past. Aside from the generic storyline, I really liked how simple the video was, yet how retro the video ended looking. From the outfits to the post-production editing of the dance break, everything looked like it would have fitted into the 90s.

The bright atmosphere which they show on stage is very fitting for both the members and the song. I do like the twisty moves they pull off. It looked weird at first, but it soon became interesting as I tried to work out what they were doing. The dance break was fun, though it wasn’t as intense as I hoped it would be.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.3/10

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