The month of August brings to mind reaching the bottom of an iced drink; I know the glass is empty, but I can’t help but suck on the straw in hopes that some drops remain. Similarly, though I know that August means that green leaves will soon rust and wither, I can’t help but cling to what remains of the summer in hopes that will last.
Upbeat, cheery songs released in August are big enablers of this season-change denial. Winner‘s “Everyday” and Sunmi’s “Gashina” allowed me to stay in summer throughout September in 2017, Red Velvet‘s “Power Up” and BTS‘ “Idol” helped me fight fall last year, and this year’s contender is looking a lot like Winner member Jinu‘s “Call Anytime.”
This month, Jinu joins the ranks of boy group members going solo this year, alongside Exo‘s Chen and Baekhyun, former Wanna One member Kang Daniel, Btob’s Peniel, and TVXQ‘s Yunho. He is the third in his four-member group to go solo, not counting former member Taehyun. Leader Yoon went solo with “Wild & Young” before he debuted with Winner in 2014, and Mino‘s solo, “I’m Him,” was a B-side on Winner’s debut album, 2014 S/S.
Yoon and Mino have also featured on songs and OSTs apart from writing and composing Winner’s music, solidifying their musical sounds. The same is not true for Jinu and Hoony, which is why I was curious about how Jinu’s solo would sound—and afraid that it would be a ballad, given Jinu’s position as a vocalist in Winner.
Luckily, much like a popsicle on a warm summer day, Jinu does not disappoint. His debut single album, “Heyday,” consists of one song—”Call Anytime.” The song, featuring Mino, begins with electric guitar riffs punctuated by whistles. This is combined with bass guitar, synths, and snaps to create a groovy pop song that wouldn’t sound out of place if it were playing on a square, staticky TV with long antennas circa the 80s.
As implied by the song’s title, “Call Anytime” is about Jinu being left on read by his crush and imploring them to call anytime because Jinu just wants them to respond.
I call you again again again
I sent you a text message, knock knock knock
I wait for you again, oh oh oh
I spend this long night alone, no no no
Call anytime (Every night, Every day)
Call anytime (Call me)
The lyrics are incredibly relatable—who amongst us hasn’t been left on read by someone we’re incredibly eager to talk to, and drowned in self-doubt and desperation as a result? Mino’s verse, especially, adds an extra layer of relatability as he types and retypes his text to his crush.
“Haha” seems too stiff
“Ha” seems flakey, so “Haha” it is
But I made a typo because I sent it in a rush (Oh no)
What are you doing? You must be busy
“Call Anytime” is a fun and catchy song, and is made doubly so by its MV. The MV begins like a typical lovelorn ballad would, with Jinu staring listlessly at his phone in a dimly-lit room. However, it then changes scenes to show Jinu in an Inside Out situation where an Inside Jinu monitors a moping Outside Jinu. Inside Jinu grows increasingly frustrated as he tries to solve Outside Jinu’s love problems, and even recruits the devilish Mino to teach Outside Jinu how to be more confident.
The dim lighting surrounding Outside Jinu compared to the bright interiors of Inside Jinu highlight their contrasting personalities and moods, while the constant presence of both red/orange and blue tones in each scene can be interpreted as the hot and cold nature of Jinu’s relationship.
The scene where Jinu is flicking lettered puzzle pieces across a board can be illustrated as him literally puzzled by how to respond to his crush, while the shot of him stuck in a claw machine filled with emoji-balls both corresponds with Mino’s lyric about “finding a cool emoji to send,” and represents Jinu feeling overwhelmed by a myriad of emotions.
“Call Anytime” is a beautiful MV, but more than that, it is fun, hilarious, and fresh in a sea of aesthetic-driven, rather than plot-driven, MVs. Jinu appears sure of himself, and his confidence translates to a catchy song and eye-catching MV that makes me look forward to Jinu’s journey as a solo artist.
The only regret I have regarding Jinu’s debut is that his single album only contains one song. Three, or at least two songs would have helped us get to know what exactly Jinu’s solo sound is, and how it differs from Winner’s music. Additional tracks would also have allowed Jinu to perhaps talk about his growth as an artist from Winner’s debut to date, so that listeners can truly understand why this is his “heyday.”
(YouTube, Genius, Images via YG Entertainment)