To say that Lay’s solo music is not for me would be an understatement. Apart from a solid track here or there, I find that most of his work represents the worst of what modern-era pop has to offer. It’s hookless, joyless, and utterly devoid of originality. Fun fact: he’s the owner of the lowest-rated song on The Bias List. That’s its own kind of honor.
New single “Honey” is passable, but bends over backward to emulate western trends of the moment. Songs like this just feel so low-effort — almost like a first draft before producers come in to inject an interesting melody or add layers to the instrumental. Nearly the entire track is performed in the dreaded triplet flow, which means that no actual work had to go into composing this. Just follow the template, interject a few cringe-worthy pop culture references, and call it a day. For a performer as talented and charismatic as Lay, this kind of laziness feels especially insulting.
The spoken-word chorus could have been cool in a sexy, Prince-inspired way. Instead, Lay just sounds bored, too tied to the song’s repetitive flow to pull off any interesting hook. The spareness of the instrumental isn’t an immediate deal-breaker, but the cut-and-paste trap production is. Imagine how amazing this would have sounded with an actual groove! Sadly, the beat of “Honey” slogs along without any real modulation (the post-chorus injection of bass doesn’t count). And then there’s those maddening “brrt brrt!” vocal ad-libs. Do people actually make these sounds in real life? I’m clearly too old for this.