I’m going to try hard not to compare Dawn to G-Dragon throughout this entire review, but there are too many similarities to ignore. G-Dragon was one of my entry points into K-pop, and still one of my absolute favorite artists, so this comparison is definitely not a dig. And, it’s clear that Dawn seeks to forge a solo career similar in tone and fashion. His impish cadence gives his music a comparable texture, and new single DAWNDIDIDAWN has moments that feel very much like a 2020 reworking of One Of A Kind.
With this said, DAWNDIDIDAWN falls victim to a few stumbling blocks that prevent it from becoming a total standout. Dawn’s higher-pitched voice lacks the grit that would add a welcome pathos to the song. When he adopts a more melodic style, it’s often marred by too many vocal effects. On the plus side, his flow is loose and fun, giving DAWNDIDIDAWN an enjoyable energy. Current it-girl (and label mate) Jessi joins Dawn for the song’s conclusion. Her verse is reliably animated, though it could use some editing. The “Hey Dawn, what’s going on?” line might have been cute one time. Three repetitions moves it closer to “annoying.”
DAWNDIDIDAWN’s self-referencing chorus is memorable, but I’m not sure how it will age. It’s a little too on the nose to be clever, and a bit juvenile to base an entire song around. The chanted “hey, fellas” line is much catchier (and VERY One Of A Kind). When it comes down to it, DAWNDIDIDAWN feels more like a punt than a triumph. Dawn clearly has charisma to spare and I feel like he’s capable of delivering material that’s much more original than this. But then again, Jessi’s sleeper hit Nunu Nana ended up growing on me immensely, so I wouldn’t be surprised if DAWNDIDIDAWN shared the same trajectory.
IATFB: The G-Dragon comparisons are unavoidable, as it got to the point where the look in the beanie at certain angles made me think it was actually GD. The main appeal to me of this release is the lyrics, which have some fun one-liners, but the music itself is rather predictably not up my alley. That said, it doesn’t have to be for me, and I think if he’s to find success as a soloist, this is exactly the route he needs to go down.