3 MIN READ
Cho Seung-young, singer-songwriter who is better known as WOODZ, made a comeback after almost 7 months on October 5th. In his much anticipated double-titled 3rd EP “Only Lovers Left”, WOODZ helped in writing & composing all tracks and wished to present it with a particular concept in mind. Through the 6 tracks, he wanted to express the stages of love and all its emotions in a journey progressing from the fluttery beginnings to the sorrowful heartbreak endings.
The album opens with “Multiply” that has a chill, lo-fi intro, also being one of the 3 tracks written in English. The warm, rhythmic melody is complemented by a strings section and tender lyrics that revolve around confessions of love in the early stages of a relationship, multiplying the love and taking it to the next levels.
Love in its infancy is continued in “Thinkin Bout You”, the second English track. In this stage of the relationship, the lyrics talk about being so head-over-heels in love that one is constantly thinking about their lover. With a blend of EDM and pop, it’s another light and airy song, a vibe which is also reflected in WOODZ’s vocals where he showcases his falsettos.
At #3 is the cheeky “Sour Candy” that opens with the sound of a kiss and the repeating line “gave me sweet kiss”. It is quite a cheerful song with a playful tempo, giving me the feeling that it could be something produced by Pharrell. WOODZ displays his multi-faceted artistry here by including both singing and rapping in this, so it’s a track that reflects a sweet and sour theme, all in one.
That sweet kiss is now turning more passionate in the 1st title track “Kiss of Fire” which is also in English. It expresses a burning desire of love in the highs of a relationship. A song with a blend of synth-R&B, pop and a trendy bassline, completing the whole sensual vibe of this track.
Love that was once blazing hot goes up in flames and combusts with “Chaser”. Here the relationship heads towards a shaky and dramatic stage signaling its imminent end. The lyrics signify a fiery love that has now turned ice cold and bittersweet. Musically, this song reminds me a lot of one of my most favorite bands, Fleetwood Mac, (think songs like “Big Love” and “Everywhere”) because of its pop-rock style, addition of electric guitar, ad-libs and those particular backing vocals. It’s got a catchy chorus and the song reaches its peak in the final third with more dramatic vocals and instrumental, including a guitar solo. The song has elements of classic rock from the 70s-80s but with a modern groovy flare. For all these reasons, this is my most favorite track and I also feel it’s one of the best on this album.
The love story comes to its sorrowful end in the final track of this EP and the 2nd title track “Waiting”. This is the only song on the album accompanied by a music video which is quite cinematic in its production and feels like a mini movie thriller that even ends on a cliffhanger. WOODZ’s acting in this music video is commendable, more so by the fact that he had to portray 2 versions of himself here. Although the track sounds quite upbeat and groovy with rock elements, the tragedy of the failed relationship is expressed in the heartbreaking lyrics and the darker themed music video. The storyline revolves around an obsessive lover who cannot seem to come to terms with the fact the relationship is ending nor break free from its toxicity, desperately waiting for a turn of events.
Through “Only Lovers Left”, WOODZ has presented us a solid album with songs that blend multiple genres. His vocal delivery is excellent throughout the EP, expressing all the dynamic emotions and moods well. He has shown once again that he is an impressive, multi-faceted, versatile soloist who can do great in all aspects - from writing, producing, composing, singing, rapping and even performing. I enjoy this EP a lot, on repeat, because it perfectly fits my own personal music tastes. The decision to include multiple English tracks in this new EP was made because WOODZ hopes to connect better with international fans and wishes for them to enjoy his music even more. Another reason being that he also aims at becoming a more global artist with his music who tours and performs all around the world. WOODZ had said that he continues to pursue new styles and genres in his music because he wants to keep showing newer sides of himself to his fans. And without a doubt, he has definitely been successful with that.
- WAJIHA WAZIR