[Review] Jihyo (TWICE) impresses by carrying her solo debut, “Killin’ Me Good”

Following Nayeon and “POP!” from over a year ago now (!!!), TWICE member Jihyo has made her solo debut with “Killin’ Me Good“. While I’ve always thought the group embodied ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ saying, Jihyo was always the main member who seemed to have solo potential, and she ended up doing her best to prove me right here.


The track has a toe-tapping R&B rhythm to it with snyth usage that’s to my taste, and there’s some New Jack Swing stuff bubbling underneath it all that keeps my attention throughout. But the production of “Killin’ Me Good” never feels quite as sultry as it seems to want to be, and sort of feels dated at times rather than nostalgic, too often passing off responsibility to and relying on Jihyo herself. To her credit, she steps up to take the task on, both through her dancing and visuals in the music video, and via her confident vocal performance, where her lower range is allowed to shine on a track that isn’t pitched to the heavens.

Meanwhile, the groove of the chorus is nice enough, but the trunk-rattling bass was a surprising production choice that I’m not sure works as intended. Thankfully, the main hook of “killin’ me killin’ me good good good” is solid, and the “nega mandeureojunеun i gibun” refrain that follows soon after might be even better, though the pre-chours or post-chorus could’ve been more melodically interesting than they were. The vocal-centric bridge (or any bridge nowadays, I guess) was a nice surprise even if the transition into it was abrupt, and the transition back into the closing chorus was perfect and may eventually end up winning me over. For now though, this is mainly Jihyo hard-carrying the production, and if there were any doubts to her viability as a soloist they should be put to bed by now.


Despite my quibbles about choices within the song, it’s definitely an overall debut success for Jihyo as a soloist, as the release effectively serves as a showcase for her potential going forward with her charisma, dancing, and mature vocal standing out. “Killin’ Me Good” itself is more above-average to good than great, but I’m already looking forward to listening to the rest of the songs on the strength of what’s seen here, and of course also what she has in store for us in the future.


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