Golden by Jung Kook
Brief review of Golden
Catchy, well-performed, but lacking novelty and soul
Jung Kook has just released his first solo album, Golden, to much fanfare. I took the opportunity to review the piece as the artist strives to carve his identity away from BTS. Overall, the album is a boon for the supermarket space (and a bane for the employees). The sounds are inoffensive on the ears and Jung Kook as a performer executes very well. Additionally, his vocals are uniquely catchy, providing earworms and immediate memorability. The numerous features establish Jung Kook as a serious solo artist even without the support that came from being part of BTS.
However, the album seems to be a collection of themes and sounds and doesn't expand or introduce novelty. Additionally, there is no throughline for the album (contributing to it feeling like a collection rather than an album). I am not sure if it's a product of overproduction or Jung Kook's lack of presence in the writer's room but the music is sanitized and doesn't have the edge that carves an identity (such as Miley Cyrus's voice or Renaissance soundscape). For example, the songs "Hate You" and "What I Was Made For" by Billie Eillish have similar chords and feel but Eillish's production feels more stylized whether it be through the voice or other factors.
Thus, while the album places the limelight on Jung Kook, it doesn't feel personal. I hope that for Jung Kook's next project he can get closer to the writing and really carve out an identity not just as a performer but as an artist.
Favorite Song: Hate Yo