Kim Woo Seok – ‘2nd Desire [Tasty]’ review: not enough flavour to balance out the sweet

On his second EP, the soloist offers an array of sugary pop treats – though some more bland than others

Nine months after making his solo debut with ‘1st Desire [Greed]’, Kim Woo Seok sets out to present a sweeter and fluffier side of his music this time around with his sophomore mini-album ‘2nd Desire [Tasty]’. And much like his previous release, Kim co-wrote a majority of the tracks on this new project with the exception of one.

Kim sets the tone for the mini-album with opening track ‘Tasty’, a radio-friendly tune that incorporates EDM and hip-hop elements. Yet, the song’s saccharine lyrics (“Sweet sour spicy on the tip / The feelings between us are lovely and tasty”) are a pleasant contrast to the powerful melody, creating an exciting taste (wink) of what’s to come.

The K-pop idol shows off the versatility of his voice on the title track ‘Sugar’, an otherwise disappointing R&B-tinged dance song. He switches between sweeter, breathy vocal lines (“Cuz I got the sugar / Adding more meaning to the spice lips / Feeling like a pop in my heart”) and deeper, huskier tones (“You know that I offer you / My heart / I want you more (gotcha)”), adding some dimension to this lacklustre bubblegum pop tune.

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But it’s not all sunshine and roses on ‘2nd Desire [Tasty]’ – Kim gives a nod to his debut mini-album (and potentially future releases, if the title is anything to go by) with the mysterious and dark closing track ‘Next’. It makes use of a spellbinding string melody, a slow drum build-up and moody synths, an alluring combination that leaves listeners wanting more – but it’s unfortunate that the track acts more like an outro, coming in at just over two minutes.

Although ‘2nd Desire [Tasty]’ starts things off on the right note with ‘Tasty’, setting the bar high for the project with its groovy and exciting melody, ‘Sugar’ lacks the oomph to truly carry this comeback as its lead single. Instead, it’s the B-sides that are the saving grace here elevating the mini-album with their uniqueness (such as the use of bagpipes on the Eurovision-esque ‘Better’) that show how diverse Kim Woo Seok’s voice is and how his music could and should be.

Details

kim woo seok tasty review
  • Release date: February 8
  • Record label: TOP Entertainment
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