The next mini-album up for review this week is KIHYUN’s first mini-album, YOUTH, which featured a title track that shares the exact same name. Alongside, YOUTH (the title track), four side tracks also make up the mini-album. YOUTH (both the album and title track) follows KIHYUN’s solo debut earlier in 2022 – Voyager, which was released back in March 2022. YOUTH was a neat follow up to VOYAGER, showcasing more of KIHYUN and delivering that mini-album that KIHYUN definitely deserves to flaunt his talents and undeniable potential as a solo artist. Next up on the wish list is a speedy solo comeback from KIHYUN (Side note – he just returned in MONSTA X’s Beautiful Liar) with another album.
1. Youth (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for YOUTH. (8.5/10)
2. Bad Liar – Kicking off Bad Liar are some vocals on a lower register, before KIHYUN soars upwards with some powerful vocals when it came to the chorus. I found the instrumental to be a dramatic one, but also quite electrifying once we get into chorus territory. I do think some more substantial electric guitar riffs would have been really cool addition to the song and taken Bad Liar to even more electrifying heights. (8.5/10)
3. STARDUST – Next up on the mini-album is STARDUST. It is a straightforwardly fun and upbeat track that brings some retro synths into the mix of band instrumentation. I like the head-nodding potential behind the track and how KIHYUN sounds throughout the track. It is a fairly simple track, but definitely a standout for me on this mini-album. (9/10)
4. Where Is This Love – Where Is This Love is an all-English ballad that really showcases KIHYUN’s vocals. I honestly did not expect an all-English track from the soloist, let alone an all-English ballad. This is probably the hardest type of an all-English track, given that is it hard for a non-English speaker (regardless of their vocal abilities) to convey emotions just as well as when they are singing in their mother tongue. But he does just that. Throughout Where Is This Love, I really liked how KIHYUN shows range with this track, going effortlessly between soft whispery moments and the more powerful moments where KIHYUN really shows emotions. It is a nice balance between delicate and passion, which makes Where Is This Love a strong track. (9/10)
5. ‘Cause of You – ‘Cause of You ends the album with a soft and lovely pop track. I believe there are some acoustics influences present in this track, along with some piano work and very light and subtle sprinkling of synths in the background. It is a very airy track, overall. Melody and vocal-wise, I didn’t find the track interesting. KIHYUN does sound pleasant throughout ‘Cause of You, but it isn’t his most impressive display of vocals on the album. (7/10)