[Review] WINNER’s Jinu debuts solo with “Call Anytime”, which lacks distinctive sound

I first gained interest in Winner via a solo release. In fact, it happened before Winner was even a thing. Back in the summer of 2013, Kang Seung Yoon dropped the brilliant pop rock of Wild & Young. As I watched the group debut a year later, I hoped that he would continue releasing solo work in conjunction with Winner’s comebacks. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened. So far, the only solo material the group has given us has come from rapper Mino. That changes with the release of Jinu’s Call Me Anytime (또또또).

Unlike Seung Yoon, I’d never really considered a solo career for Jinu. That’s not to say he’s undeserving, but of all the members he’s always seemed the most traditionally K-pop — like he could’ve comfortably fit within any number of boy groups no matter the concept. That sense of versatility might explain why Call Me Anytime has trouble committing to an interesting idea of its own.

This is the kind of song that’s hard to write about. There’s just not a lot to grab onto here. Call Me Anytime sets its ambitions low, content to ride a groovy, mid-tempo beat rather than make waves. A healthy dose of rhythm guitar gives the instrumental a touch of funk, but otherwise this is a low-energy affair. Jinu is joined by Mino, making this closer to a duet than a purely solo effort. As such, the song acts as an extension of Winner’s sound — down to the chant-like hook that closes the track. Fans of this chill style will find plenty to love, but I yearn for a more dynamic melody. Too much of the song fades into the background, offering little distinctiveness for Jinu to hang his hat on.

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IATFB says: Yeah, pretty much. If it was by a random indie artist I wouldn’t think twice about it.

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