[Review] ALIEN – Lee Suhyun (AKMU)

We take a little moment to steer away from this week’s comebacks and focus on a comeback from last week. Once again, I apologise for the week long delay for this particular review. It somehow just got away from me.But back to introducing the focus of today’s review – Lee Suhyun, who made her solo debut last Friday with the single, ALIEN. If Lee Suhyun is unfamiliar to you, you might recognise her as one half of the sibling duo, AKMU (Akdong Musician). Lee Seehyun’s brother, Changhyuk, is the other half of the musical duo. While her brother is not performing with her, it looks like he is working with others to write and compose songs for her. It seems AKMU will always be a pair.

ALIEN takes on a funky disco profile, something that has been trending in KPOP a lot lately. If you are becoming tired of the re-emergence of the retro trend, then maybe ALIEN would be an eye-roll to you. But Lee Suhyun’s take on the genre is quite pleasant and refreshing. ALIEN isn’t oversaturated with the trend and it actually feels held back quite a bit. Holding back in this sense makes the song feel more refined and gives it a modern, despite the disco influences still being prominent. I also felt that holding back from going full on vibrant and powerful retro was done so to compliment the delicate nature of Lee Suhyun’s vocals. Her breathy vocals take the song to the next level and she slips into this falsetto style which really adds to that refinement I mentioned. I also find the chorus to be super catchy and the melodies throughout the song to be enjoyable. Everything comes together to be quite pleasant. However, I find the song lacks something. While it has been out for a week, I haven’t really gone back as much to the song as I hoped for. A theory behind this lacking element could potentially be a stronger and more defined climax. What we good was consistent and logical, but I think something with a little more oomph could have given ALIEN extra mileage and appeal.

Lee Suhyun is super cute in this music video. Visual game aside, I really like how it is revealed that Lee Sehyun is an alien (just like her mother told her so in the lyrics). The music video constantly changes between a human form and a comic form. This conversion made the video appealing and a little more interesting. It allowed for the ‘Earth saving mission’ storyline to be incorporated alongside the increase in self confidence that she experience once she is aware of this secret (i.e. she plays the arcade game in her room and then later on in the public arena). Another clever and well thought out video.

Lee Suhyun focuses more on the live vocal aspect of her performance, which meant she had to forsake some of the performance aspects. I would have liked to see more energy behind her moves and sharpness. It is her first time as a solo artist, so I understand why she would nervous and stiff. Hopefully as time goes by, she feels a little more comfortable. I raise this because I felt that the performance had some attitude and I wished it was reflected in her moves.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 8.1/10

[Double Review] Re:Bye + How People Move – AKMU

AKMU has finally returned to the stage after two years. It has been a very long time and probably every fan of theirs squealed when they learned of the news. I started to like them a lot towards the end of their last promotional run. It was somewhat disappointing that they did not make a comeback in 2015 (but what else do you expect from YG Entertainment?).

Re:Bye is a somewhat soulful and retro song. It has that classy feel to it and I really like that aspect of the track. Their vocals were superb in this song. I just found that they were limiting themselves a lot on the track. Chanhyuk’s rap just did not feel like that youthful or bright, for example. But I guess I am used to their more upbeat tracks. Actually, this song displayed a more mature side of the members. I just didn’t connect with the song like I wanted to. AKMU to me is a playful duo and this was the opposite of that. How People Move is a much better track in my opinion. From the very start, it was lively and upbeat. The song I would prefer any day. Of course, they sounded wonderful in Re;Bye and their past ballads, but I feel like How People Move showcased more of them than any other song. It was catchy and it actually made me want to bounce as I listening along to it. The opera mashup was amazing and completely different to what we hear often.

The music videos are pretty good. I do prefer the video for Re:Bye more than How People Move. The way they told the story in Re:Bye was completely in full. I got everything from start to end, which is pretty rare in my experience of understanding the plot for these Korean videos. It is made to look like the duo are sabotaging the “lead female” in the play. But in the end, the duo was trying to protect the lead female and catch the sabotager. How People Move was a more weirder video to understand. There were some fables that the video had going on in there that mashed up into a nice and bright video. The other half of the video was probably my worst nightmare. When Toy Story decides to hit back and scare the daylights out of you. I actually did like the sets in this one more than Re:Bye.

In terms of the dances, I like How People Move. Love the bouncing effect. My favourite out of all. It also suits their more lively and bright charms. It wasn’t spectacular or anything, but it fitted with the song pretty well. Re:Bye’s dance more of a classy feel to it but did manage to fulfil that youthful side of the duo pretty well.

Overall, I did like How People Move more. Re:Bye is still a song that you should check out,  because it is still equally amazing. But which AKMU song did you like more? Vote below!!

Re:Bye – 9/10

How People Move – 9/10

I’m Different – Hi SUHYUN ft. Bobby (IKON)

YG is known for putting artists together to form collaborations and subunits within the company nowadays. Recently, the company has put together two female artists together. Lee Hi and Suhyun from Akdong Musician joined forces with the help of Bobby from YG’s yet to debut new boy band, IKON. The three later went on to dominate the charts with their new single, I’m Different.

Like the song I last reviewed, this song has a really strong jazzy feel to it. I was reminded of this other song, like a long time ago, just I can’t pinpoint a name to the song. Another thing that sets this song a part from the others is that this song is a lot more cheerful and different rather than sad and depressing. Basically saying, the lyrics and the style the song was presented in falls in the 10% of songs released this year that had a happy side to it, rather than the 90% of song released this year which was about breakup or really dark love. I have to say this song is pretty catchy. I like Bobby’s rap in the song, despite only having like 3 lines in the whole song. His voice complimented the girl’s voices and also the song. Overall, this was a really nice song to listen to.

The music video cracked me up. Not to the extreme side, but it did make me laugh. Here are some observations I made. Bobby reminds me on Himchan a lot in this video. The girls were super cute in this video. And the whole plot line was really funny. The two girls play stalkers in this video and they end up stalking Bobby, who in turn has a girlfriend revealed at the end of the video. They at the end try to get back at the guy for wasting their time by bumping into their dodgem cars. This whole video was really cute, especially their facial expressions which I absolutely love. Particularly, the ending and the scenes were they are stalking him. Overall, nice video.

There is not much of a choreography for this song.

Overall, I liked the song and video. It was much different from the sad or dark comebacks we usually get during winter. Well, Winter for you Northern folks, while down here in the South Hemisphere, we are sweating it out over summer. But still… 7.4/10