BOBBY - I LOVE YOU
BOBBY is probably the most well-known member of boy group iKON which is not surprising after he won the third season of Show Me The Money. Just a little over a year ago, he made his solo debut with "HOLUP!" and collaborated with fellow label mate Mino for a 4-track mini album that I personally really enjoyed. Here we are now, and BOBBY is back with a full solo album titled Love And Fall. "I LOVE YOU" is one of two singles for the album, and from the teaser I was curious to see how BOBBY would do with a track in this style.
The song takes a pretty clear shot at attempting the still trendy tropical house style that's been infesting K-pop for over a year now. The characteristic steel drum beat gives it that Caribbean flavor, while the synthesizer provides the upbeat pan flute sound that one expects from this genre. BOBBY surprisingly sings quite a bit in here, something we've heard very little of up until now in terms of title tracks he's involved in. The first verse and chorus feature his singing, while the second verse has him toning down his usually aggressive rap style in favor of one that matches the lighter mood of the song. We do still get a quick bit of his usual boisterous sound during the bridge, but it's very brief and doesn't overstay its welcome.
I'll just start off by stating that I'm obviously incredibly tired of the trophouse trend. It's seriously been done so many times over at this point that it's just depressing to hear another song try to blend it in. Regardless, I do think that for people who still manage to enjoy the genre, the song hits all the points correctly. BOBBY does a surprisingly good job of singing and moderating his tone so that it doesn't stray into his usual intense style, and even when it does during the bridge it's not as harsh on the ears alongside the shift in musical style for that quick bit.
The video opens up on a bright blue car fading into view. It snaps over to a shot of BOBBY in the car and looking through an old slide viewer (as if anybody recognizes what that is.) The rest of the video is pretty much dedicated to shots of him singing or rapping, with a majority of the scenes taking place with a beach or lush greenery in view. There's some girls in bathing suits running about as well, though they do little else. During the instrumental break before the bridge, there's some cute shots of BOBBY acting silly presented through a few film "stills."
Most of the video is pretty much just your standard fare of shots spliced together and making something that's easy on the eyes. If you're a fan of staring at a shirtless BOBBY, you've got some stake in this video. Otherwise I think it's just a bit too straightforward with having him run about the beach, or having a car drive circles around him. I think if there were more clips of him simply acting silly and having a good time, I'd have enjoyed this a bit more. As it is, though, it's just a video that matches the tropical house style of the song, and neither are particularly new concepts.
I probably sound like I dislike the song and video more than I do, so I'd like to clarify that I don't think either are bad per se. They're just things we've definitely seen before, especially out of the past year or so in K-pop. I can't help but feel like this track was an attempt by YG to recapture some of the glory they received with WINNER's "Really Really," and that isn't a knock on BOBBY because he doesn't make the big decisions in the end. He himself worked with what he was given and I think he did a fantastic job of adapting himself to the style of music and showing that he actually does have the potential to diversify, and that he isn't just a rapper.