Kris Wu’s debut solo album Antares is the first in a step away from the Chinese-Canadian’s beginning with Kpop boyband, EXO. Shoved into instant success, Kris was the first of three members to leave EXO by filing a lawsuit to terminate his contract back in May of 2014. Four years later, Kris’ star power has seen him become a force to be reckoned with, particularly in the Chinese market. Released via Interscope Records, Kris has been putting in the overtime to show that he’s more than some famous guy in China.

The 14-track album features a mix of both English and Mandarin tracks. Lamenting his lack of freedom during his time with EXO, Kris has honed in on the American rap scene. There’s also some recognisable names for a Western audience via features from Jhene Aiko on 'Freedom' and Travis Scott on 'Deserve' also included.

There’s some rather embarrassing moments in Antares. On a basic level, the instrumentals are all acceptable beats that are plagued by tired sounding mumble rap, over-processed vocals and some more than cliche lyrics. 'November Rain' is a welcome start that’s dreamy and, shamefully, rather catchy despite lines such as “suicide when I can't see my shawty”. Despite awkwardly appropriating terms and repeatedly calling himself a “savage”, Kris Wu is anything but.

For a 14-track album, Kris has limited himself to the same style, the same repetitive beat, and the same formula. Once dissected, there’s not much difference between 'Coupe', 'Tough Pill' and 'Selfish,' for example. It’s not that it doesn’t work - it’s that it’s tiring. Kris has talent and star power to produce a better body of work than Antares. It’s brave for him to step out and release a multilingual album in a market that rarely recognises Asian talent but Antares could do with something fresh instead of an attempt on something that is already familiar.

I respect the hustle though. Plagued by rumours of bots and chart manipulation, Kris Wu’s Chinese fans (stuck with a delayed release in China) were so desperate to listen to Antares that they used VPNs to mask their IP addresses in order to listen to the album on US iTunes. Dedication like this doesn’t come from hiding away at home. For longtime fans, this was finally Kris’ moment to do something entirely his own, and he's done nothing fresh, or even genuine, with it.