[Review] No One Knows – Seo Eunkwang (BTOB)

It is time for another review for another Monday release. I believe this is the final Monday release that I will be reviewing and I shall move onto reviews for other days that I may have missed over the weekend. The star of this review is Seo Eunkwang, who is the leader and main vocalist of BTOB. Seo Eunkwang recently returned from his military enlistment earlier this year and marks his return with his first solo mini-album, FoRest: Entrance and the title track, No One Knows. In other related news, the majority of BTOB are currently fulfilling their enlistment, so it might be some time until we hear from the group again.

As mentioned earlier in the week and multiple review posts in the past, main vocalists tend to go down the ballad route as this style allows for their vocals to be shown off. I know I sound like a broken record as I mention it every time I write a review for a solo release by a group’s main vocalist. When it comes to Seo Eunkwang, however, ballad is the way to go. While the work that BTOB have released in the past have been upbeat (take Beep Beep, as an example) and a little crazy at times (referring to some of their side tracks), I just don’t see BTOB’s main vocalist releasing a dance track as a main promotional track. Maybe a slow R&B track, at best. Why? Well, No One Knows is probably a good indication of that. He nails ballads perfectly. Over the 3 and a half minutes or so, I was captivated to the point where I couldn’t write my review while concurrently listening to song. I had to stop typing as I was in awe. Definitely a sign of a good ballad. While the ballad does follow standard backbone with its classical instrumental, there was a nice buildup throughout the song that made it sound so grand and heavy towards the end. I liked the electrical guitar that peeped through at the end, as well. It wasn’t much, but you can still feel its presence in the song. But the real captivating element of the song is Seo Eunkwang’s voice, which we already know is amazing through past solo tracks and his BTOB work. But we hear it in its full glory, which is probably the best thing about this track. Not only does his voice soar, but it powers through the heaviest instrumented parts to be the main element of the song. I really liked how he dragged out the final word, before repeating it 3 more times in short and sharp delivery. Its kind of a ‘Thank you, move along’ type of vibe that suits the song’s lyrics and meaning so well. The other melodies are just so good, it is hard to find a fault in the song. After all, I do like a good ballad and this one is as good as it gets.

The music video opens up with Seo Eun Kwang singing the song to himself. We get a sense in this scene alone that he is very lonely. After all, the song is about being alone, yet pretending that everything is okay. I thought it was a really good video, emphasising loneliness is the recurring theme in all the scenes. And in all these scenes, we see his facial expressions. You can tell that he is very stuck in his thoughts and lonely (yep, that recurring word). He interestingly does not show sadness on his face, though he does carry himself in what seems to be a depressed manner. I liked the cinematography of the music videos and like not all of Eunkwang is the shot. It makes the video artistic and aesthetic in a way.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 10/10
Overall Rating – 10/10

[Review] So Do You – Seo Eunkwang (BTOB) & NC.A

A few days ago, Seo Eunkwang and NC.A joined forces with a new duet, So Do You. We all know Eunkwang as the main vocalist of BTOB, while NC.A is a soloist who recently participated in the reality rebooting show, The Unit. NC.A also placed in the top 9 ranking at the end of the showing, earning her a place in the upcoming group UNI.T. They aren’t necessarily the first two artists to put together but their latest track proves otherwise.

So Do You captivates me for one particular reason, vocals. Both singers make this song so interesting to listen to. Their solo parts just confirm their skills in the singing department. I just like how they voice climbed higher as the song progressed, pushing the song further than the previous second. But when the two comes together, there is a clear balance between both singers, allowing harmonies to sound so good. Despite the content in the middle (i.e. their vocals), the song started off soft. More interestingly, the song ended on a much softer volume, which is an intriguing yet contrasting aspect of the song. The instrumental wasn’t that impressive, which left the biggest emphasis on the vocals. Needlessly to say, whoever wanted these two to come together was definitely on the right track and it resulted in such a good song to listen to.

The song is about the memories we have of a past lover so it would make the most sense to show that storyline in the music video. Interestingly, the video opens to Eunkwang and NC.A singing on the streets, with the male character of the music video stumbling into the picture. Listening to the song, he starts crying and reminiscing about those fond memories he had. We see the couple act our their lovey-dovey days and see the relationship progress to a sad breakup. At the end of the video, we also see the female character run into the guy, who is still busy crying. Yet, we do not know what happens afterwards. The idea of the video is quite great and fresh in a way. The thing I would change was to make him cry later on. It just felt too soon to have him start crying at the start of the video/song.

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