HONEYST show promise with “Like You”, though the end product is not quite there yet

FNC Entertainment has been working overtime, debuting HONEYST just seven months after launching SF9. Both groups were featured in the agency’s ‘Dance Or Band‘ series, which — despite its competitive nature — felt more like an advertisement for everyone involved than an actual rivalry. And though SF9 were chosen to debut first, the acoustic-leaning HONEYST fits more comfortably within FNC’s wheelhouse. The band seems to be pitched as a younger version of CNBLUE, though their songwriting and vocals actually sound closer to indie group Dickpunks.

Like You” rides on an oft-repeated hook that functions more like a continuous through-line than a typical chorus. We hear this melody as both a vocal refrain and a whistling ad-lib. But even the portions of the song that don’t follow this strict pattern feel similarly pitched, often coming back to the same series of notes. This limits the song’s sense of dynamism, but also gives it a comforting rhythm — like the tides pulling in and out with relaxing predictability.

Everything about “Like You” seems designed to lull the listener into a pleasant daydream-like experience. The richness of main vocal Chulmin’s tone is well-suited to this atmosphere, though more interplay between him and the other members would have added excitement. Groups like DAY6 have been able to tackle a wide range of sub-genres with their diverse set of vocal styles. From the get-go, HONEYST feel a bit more limited in scope. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s going to require dynamite songwriting each and every time to maintain a sense of freshness. “Like You” is a pleasant taster, but I’ll be curious to hear what they have in store next.

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