[Review] (G)I-DLE’s Yuqi makes impressive solo debut with addictive rock ballad “Giant”

Not gonna lie, when I initially saw the news that Yuqi would be (G)I-DLE‘s next member to have a solo debut, my reaction was: 1) assuming it would be in China and 2) confusion.

My impression of Yuqi prior to this was that she was cute, energetic, and funny, shining in her variety roles and generally competent musically within the context of a group. Basically, I had just never given much thought to Yuqi in terms of musicality on her own, and perhaps that was the point of her solo debut with A Page, because it certainly opened some eyes, including mine.

Due to my unfamiliarity with her musical potential or talents, I was completely in the dark about what this solo debut might bring. I loved that instead of a standard, tropey ballad to prove how artistic and legit she is or whatever, she instead went a bit riskier with the rock elements.

The tempo definitely starts slow, but the foundational elements separate it immediately. From the pounding drums that transition to a snare, tension is always building and it gets a nice release with the inclusion of the intense guitars that add a bit of edge to things for the chorus. Of course, a rock ballad requires the vocalist to be competent, and Yuqi acquits herself well. Her husky voice fits the pensiveness of the verses and imparts emotion onto the track, and she demonstrates the ability to ramp that up effortlessly in the chorus to really put her stamp on the song.

That said, after looking into what she’s capable of vocally after my initial impression and listen, I actually feel that “Giant” was more restrained than it needed to be. I think she has the ability to really blow out a song like this into either a more dynamic peak or into a harder rock slant, and it seemed like they (perhaps understandably) played it a bit safe instead. But I’ll be wanting that next gear at some point, Yuqi*.

*Also collab with Dreamcatcher‘s Siyeon on a rock song. Excuse the stan manifestations.

Still, if the primary complaint about a song is “this could’ve been elite-tier instead of just very good and enjoyable”, then needless to say “Giant” was a success. Now (G)I-DLE fans might be reading this and thinking “look at this fucking idiot who didn’t know about Yuqi’s talent”, and sure, that’s why you’re a fan. But there’s more casual listeners like me out there than you, and efforts like this help make an impression in a big way, and it has certainly has left one on me.

I had some reservations about the replayability of “Giant” given how straightforward it is towards the end, but it’s held up well thus far. And between this and the b-side “Bonnie & Clyde” (which will get a music video and a review as well), this is about as good of a solo debut as I can imagine.

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