Kicking off this week’s rush of comebacks is Kim Sung Kyu with HUSH. This is Kim Sung Kyu’s final release as part of Woolim Entertainment, the company in which he has been apart of since his debut in 2010. For those who don’t know, Kim Sung Kyu is a member and the leader of male group Infinite, who has gone on to become one of the top male groups in the early 2010s and are widely known for their synchronized choreography. It was announced that Kim Sung Kyu would leave Woolim Entertainment in early March, however still remaining a member of Infinite. It seems like the pair are still on good terms, with Woolim picking up promotions for HUSH and Kim Sung Kyu’s first single album, Won’t Forget You (you will notice that HUSH’s music video is release on Woolim’s home channel and carry the company’s branding as well). We last saw Kim Sung Kyu make his solo comeback in December of last year with I’m Cold and Inside Me.
My first impression of HUSH is that it reminded me of Kim Sung Kyu’s previous title tracks, Kontrol. This is simply because of HUSH‘s 80s synth pop instrumentation. The new song initially started off like your typical traditional band style ballad, a sound that is explored territory for the solo artist. The synths start filtering into the song soon after and the song starts building momentum towards that synth pop instrumentation. What I do like about the song is that it isn’t too much like Kontrol, which seemed more committed to the synth pop genre. While I do like the reminding notion of HUSH, it is still its own style. HUSH maintains that traditional band underlay as part of its instrumentation, creating a fine balance between band and synth. The resultant product sounds amazing, atmospheric and powerful in its own way. What obviously makes any Kim Sung Kyu song better is, of course, the presence of Kim Sung Kyu’s vocals. I find his vocals so captivating and gripping in this song. You can feel the emotions behind his vocals, relaying the song’s message (the powerful power of attraction and emotion that is conveyed even without words – sourced from Soompi) very nicely. I liked the way the song’s title is delivered in the song, feeling present but also distant at the same time. While I have made comments about excessive use of autotune, I also really liked how it was used for ad-libs. I also enjoyed the ‘echoing’ that rounded out the song. To me, these kept the song very grounded and makes the instrumental do the ‘soaring’, which is usually something you describe the vocals. I find this related to the lyrics, with the words doing less and the music being more powerful as a result. Overall, HUSH is a really nice way to round out Kim Sung Kyu’s time as part of the Woolim family.
The music video stars both Kim Sung Kyu and IZ*ONE’s leader Kwon Eun Bi, who is also a fellow Woolim labelmate. Based on the lyrics, I believe it is assumed that the pair do not exchange words throughout the video. Rather, we see their emotion be portrayed in their facial expressions. At the start of the video, we see the two sad and distant. In one scene, where Kim Sung Kyu goes to hug Kwon Eun Bi, she vanishes into the air. This signifies that they have broken up. But the memories between the two lingers and we see the pair smile towards the end, which drives Eun Bi to return to Sung Kyu, where they hug one more time. This time, she doesn’t disappear and the pair are reunited without the exchange of words but rather memories and thoughts.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9/10