Wonho began his solo career abruptly and with a bunch of question marks, but after his seductive, addictive debut with “Open Mind”, he at least laid a solid foundation for the road to come. I had hoped he found his sound and with “Lose” it thankfully seems apparent that he did.
Wonho has always had charisma, so the potential for a solo career was there, but perhaps the fixation on his image/body has led to an underestimation of his musicality, either in ability or selection. Regardless, he has taken the blueprint from Taemin and Rain before him, and he’s molded that into his own style with “Lose”.
Wonho goes down a darker route, still relying on a pulsing beat and a sleek groove to carry the instrumental, which is supplemented by guitar riffs to add a little funk at times. It’s a formula that has broad appeal, and is something that’s in my personal wheelhouse. He then opts for a more intense performance for the most part before bursting forth a bit in the back-end of the track, providing a necessary energy. “Lose” itself is definitely a slow burn, and I wasn’t sold on it until it surged forward, and it’s one of those songs that’s greater than the sum of its parts thanks to the gradual escalation.
It’s tough to live up to a debut like “Open Mind”, but “Lose” definitely continues him down the right track and is at least imminently listenable if not something that eventually becomes an earworm. Going forward I’d like to see something a bit more dynamic or even how he fits in a collab, but Wonho’s pushing all the right buttons for now.