bITS 'N CHUNKS
Just when I thought I'd listened to Kids Food with Jane and Jeff until I was sick then (spoiler: I'm not), Jowin has graced us with a season two.
I say season two as opposed to follow up or sequel not only to keep up with the idea of a short, perfectly structured OVA, but this new collection of songs sounds like a straightforward growth of the previous project. I told you Jowin does structure like few other artists I know of as demonstrated on Kids Food, and his latest EP Great Guy DX cements this without rehashing old steps. Please check it out here.
Is it a super upgrade? Yes and no. It feels very familiar. Musically, it gives me the chill vibes of Hyaline firmly mashed with only the finest of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis-grade New Jack Swing. The songs are connected but by emotions instead of a solid storyline. Rather than an opening/ending surrounded by plot, I would say it feels more in media res. But in many ways it's certainly different. The music is still bright and layered but thematically moodier. I think most important to note is that the songs are longer here and hold themselves confidently. Jowin pushes the '90s New Jack sounds of Kids Food even more here, creating a very romantic clash of dreamy video game levels with swirls of smooth RnB vocals filtered through vulnerability and searching. I enjoyed hearing the extent of Jowin's voice, there are times when he sounds like the entire damn boy band. I mean there's rapping too, but damn.
Up for interpretation, but I like the subtle deconstruction of the archetype of the Good Guy. Jowin is still grounded in optimism but the optimism is borne of pragmatism as opposed to youthful naiveté. There is love, longing, deep sighs at life, and at the end acceptance. The theme of picking yourself up from life's bullshit is still heavily present here but it's tempered by age and maturity. It's easy to see the growth from young man to young adult. You don't have to lose your values but your priorities certainly change. From beginning to end Jowin dissects every side of this and still manages to wrap up on a good note. I reflect about things like this in my own life quite a bit. How do you grow without losing sight of yourself? What is truly selling out? How do you open yourself up to another person and what do you expect in return? The truth is, there are no real answers and we can't even pretend to have any. The solution is to move on.
The peak for me was definitely the hypnotically cool "Coco Karaoke" with a vibe so powerful it will slap you into an oversized white suit complete with sunglasses in the daytime.
Great Guy DX is a more than worthy successor to Kids Food and I'm so excited to see Jowin's development as an artist with no end in sight and lives to spare.
Ia! If you've come this far, you're either looking for weird or you know you've found it...