Release Date: August 24, 2021
- Amigo feat. BabySoul
- Blue Eyes
IZ*ONE’s former leader Kwon Eunbi is the first of the group to go solo and release music post disbandment. Therefore, the expectation for Eunbi’s solo among WIZ*ONE’s was understandably high.
Now that the album is out in the wild, does it live up to the lofty expectations?
The lead single DOOR is a flirty pop song with light jazz and swing influences that immediately separate Eunbi from her IZ*ONE identity. It’s a rather bold statement to come out strong with a track such as this. She could have easily just coasted with an IZ*ONE song reject and most people would have eaten it up.
The trend continues with Amigo featuring BabySoul. Unlike the title track, Amigo is a “get the hell away from me, you lying jerk” type of song. Again, it’s something that the sugary sweet IZ*ONE never even came close to attempting. The Latin-influenced beat and fiery verse from BabySoul sell the intensity of the song well.
The remainder of OPEN contains three slow songs. Of the three, I found Blue Eyes to be the least interesting. Although I do admire that Eunbi went for the crazy high notes at the end of the song. Out of the other two songs, I preferred Rain. It was hard not to get caught up in the emotional build-up as the track progressed.
I have mixed feelings about taking OPEN as a complete entity. The first two songs are fantastic and different from what Eunbi has performed in the past. Then it starts to regress a bit into more generic lite radio-sounding material as the album comes to a close. Despite that, it’s still a decent debut.
Even though I haven’t given this album the most glowing look, I believe that Kwon Eunbi has a lot of room to play around with different themes and genres for future releases.
Given the slight taste of what she has to offer on OPEN, she could have one of the unique post P48/IZ*ONE career paths to follow when it comes to the members who decided to stay in music.