[Album Review] VOYAGER (1st Single Album) – KIHYUN (MONSTA X)

As mentioned yesterday on Twitter (yes, I have a Twitter account – @kpopreviewed), there would be two album reviews today (as I was slightly busy yesterday). The second album review of the day is for KIHYUN’s official solo debut, which occurred back in March of this year. The solo debut was titled VOYAGER, and is the title for both the lead single and single album. In addition to VOYAGER, the single album also consist of two additional side tracks. Following his solo debut, KIHYUN returned with MONSTA X through their LOVE and Shape of Love comeback (which I will be writing an album review for some time in the future). It was also recently announced that KIHYUN had renewed his contract with Starship Entertainment.

I am a bit disappointed that KIHYUN’s solo debut came in the form of three songs (i.e. the very typical length for a single album). It is far too short to appreciate what KIHYUN has to offer. He definitely deserves a mini-album, at the very least. But hey, this is what KIHYUN has provided us, so I shouldn’t be complaining. Again, a strong album release from this seasoned KPOP artist. VOYAGER takes the cake for best song on the album, but the other two songs have their own charm. Continue scrolling to see what I thought about those songs.

VOYAGER Album Cover

1. VOYAGER (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of VOYAGER. (9/10)

2. , (COMMA)COMMA continues the pop rock vibe from the title track, but opts for a much softer and more emotional atmosphere, expressing his own desire to take a break or rest when he is lost, similar to how a comma brings a brief pause in a sentence. It is a completely different energy to what we got before it, as KIHYUN’s vocals convey more emotions in this song. I quite like the oomph he puts behind his vocals during the chorus, in contrast with the softer approach he takes in the verses. It makes for a slightly more riveting piece. The instrumental feels on trend, but I wished it was a bit more innovative, just so COMMA can have a bit of an edge. (8/10)

3. RAINRAIN opts for a more intense instrumental piece, featuring what felt like a slow burning rock instrumental. The intensity is so gripping, it was quite hard to be distracted from the song (or to turn away from the song). KIHYUN’s vocals are powerful and felt so loaded, particularly during the chorus, which in turn felt relatively explosive. I did like how he kept held himself back throughout RAIN, keeping that energy and intensity simmering away until the end to make it a captivating piece. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.7/10

VOYAGER Teaser Image

[Review] VOYAGER – KIHYUN (MONSTA X)

Next up on the comeback rush of this week is KIHYUN, MONSTA X’s main vocalist, who made his solo debut yesterday with the track VOYAGER and single album of the same name. KIHYUN is the second member to go solo, with fellow rappers Joohoney and I.M being the first members of MONSTA X to have officially released solo tracks (i.e. Joohoney with his mixtapes and I.M’s God Damn). But this review is for KIHYUN’s latest song, so let’s check it out.

As a main vocalist, I expected KIHYUN to go down the typical route of a ballad of some sort for his solo promotions. But VOYAGER is no ballad. Instead, VOYAGER delves into an upbeat rock profile that is both refreshing and lively to listen to. The consistent drumming in the chorus was definitely a highlight for me. VOYAGER isn’t strictly just rock though, with the instrumental composed in a way to be almost funky, tapping into current trends in KPOP. There are also some jazzy undertones in VOYAGER when the piano becomes more present in the bridge, which gives VOYAGER a nice accent. Other than the instrumental, KIHYUN does an amazing job vocally to make VOYAGER more dynamic and charismatic. I really like the cheerful tone to his vocal colours in the chorus, which makes VOYAGER instantly appealing. This also compliments the upbeat nature of the song. I noticed a slight raspy texture to his voice that allows him to work so well with rock instrumentation. I would definitely be down to hear more of KIHYUN as a solo artist, in particular exploring more of the rock genre, as he is well suited from how VOYAGER was pulled off and what we heard.

Not exactly sure if the music video is meant to string together and form some sort of theme or message. It seems like there might be hints towards one, but nothing too recognisable. Instead, the video comes together more so like a collection of closeup shots of KIHYUN. This is absolutely fine and would make for a great video. I just got the impression that there should have been something in this video to pull everything together in this video. But aside from that, I liked how confident and cheerful he appeared, which comes off and stays with you after watching the video.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.6/10