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Going over my list of album and song reviews that I want to cover, I note that there are a few releases from the first half of the year that I have yet to cover. One in particular is Kim Sung Kyu’s solo comeback from April, SAVIOR, which I am quite surprised I missed. I was a very big fan of Kim Sung Kyu’s solo work in the past and I would always be game to review his solo work in depth. So forgive me that this is almost seven months late, but here is my review of the fourth mini-album from the leader of INFINITE himself.
While it was a while since we last heard from him at the time of SAVIOR‘s release, I must admit the mini-album did a good job of bridging what Kim Sung Kyu is known for from his past solo discography and the more modern elements of today’s industry. I did wish more people are interested in his work, as he has a lot to offer. I personally cannot wait for another release from Kim Sung Kyu, but at least we have five songs to tie us over for the meanwhile.
1. Intro – Kicking off the mini-album is a nice yet short band piece. It is quite nice to hear drums and guitar in a pure form, as it felt like it has been a while since I have heard something straight up like this. No vocals feature in this Intro, but it still definitely did a good job of driving excitement levels up for what is to come. And if you have been a avid fan of Kim Sung Kyu, you know that an intro like this one is something that is right up his alley.
2. Savior (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Savior. (9/10)
3. My Love Will Be Yours – Following the title track is a ballad. My Love Will Be Yours is nice but it is on the fairly typical side of ballads. It does capture his vocals very well, and the instrumental was classically and orchestrally driven. But I found it to be lacking that captivation factor or a swayable/flowy melody that usually draws my attention to a ballad. It is still a good ballad nonetheless, just not one that I would find myself going back to often. (7.5/10)
4. I Dare You – I Dare You is SAVIOR‘s most interesting track. But it is this interesting factor that makes it good. I Dare You starts off with an atmospheric intro and first verse, which I would collectively liken to a suspenseful piece from a sci-fi movie. Here, Kim Sung Kyu concentrates his deeper tone, before soaring in the chorus alongside to some atmospheric rock. For the second verse, Kim Sung Kyu maintains the momentum from the first chorus, and captures my attention with a brief high note. The bridge is forgone for a dynamic and texturally heavy synth instrumental piece that feels like a performance could accompany this section if I Dare You were to be performed live. To me, I Dare You reminds me of his early solo days where he got to try something different from your typical ballad or dance tracks with his rock-styled tracks. Overall, a standout track that I would be revisiting often. (10/10)
5. Fog (안개) – Fog closes out this mini-album with a song that features a heavier presence of rock. I really like how intense the rock feels, despite it falling more on the softer side of the rock profile. I also enjoyed the upbeatness it gave the chorus, which was a nice change to usual softer rock sounds. For this most part, Kim Sung Kyu sounds quite good. This style is what he is known for, and it is nice nostalgic trip down the memory lane of Kim Sung Kyu’s solo work for me. However, at certain points of Fog, I did find the vocals to be quite soft and muffled. But I wonder if this was intentional to mimic how fog encapsulates one’s surrounding. It will be interesting if that is the case. (8.5/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.8/10