[Album Review] Grey Suit (2nd Mini Album) – SUHO (EXO)

As alluded earlier this week through my review of Hurdle, I will be reviewing SUHO’s most recent album, his first release since completing his military enlistment last year. Titled Grey Suit, this is SUHO’s second mini-album and was released back in March of this year. Alongside Hurdle, the mini-album also features the title track Grey Suit (links below) and four other side tracks.

It was extremely hard for me to pick a favourite song from this mini-album. All the songs on Grey Suit were top notch and very strong contenders for perfect rankings. I only ended up handing out one perfect 10/10, after considering the songs side by side. But Grey Suit probably has to be one of the best sounding albums I have reviewed thus far this year. Continue reading to see more of my thoughts on the album.

Grey Suit Album Cover

1. Morning Star – I really liked the way the song opened up and eased us in. It was a fantastic way to open up the album and left such a strong impression on me. I really enjoyed the laidback and softer nature of this rock style. Despite the softer tone, however, Morning Star still proves to be a jam with its upbeat and energetic nature, making the song perfect for a road trip. SUHO’s vocals are so light and delicate in this song, complementing the instrumental. Morning Star starts the album on an extremely positive note. (10/10)

2. Grey Suit (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Grey Suit. (8/10)

3. HurdleClick here to read the full review for Hurdle. (9/10)

4. Decanting – SUHO continues to impress with Decanting. But this time around, SUHO revisits the slow side of the album with a ballad and R&B hybrid. I love the slow nature of this song, as it feels very sensual and deliberate. The electric guitar riffs that we get in Decanting helps drive this. SUHO himself sounds loaded with emotion, but maintains a tone that compliments the sensual nature of this song. Decanting doesn’t jump out at me straight away as a standout track, but it definitely builds towards being a strong track. (8/10)

5. Bear Hug (이리 溫)Bear Hug is a ballad. And this ballad really put SUHO’s vocals into the limelight. His vocals really soar in Bear Hug to impressive levels that we don’t see elsewhere on this album (or within his parts in EXO’s works). The combination between the slow rock and classical instrumentation was very beautiful and sets a stunning backdrop to the song. I love the swayable melody of this song, as it is very drifty and captivating. (8.5/10)

6. Moment (75분의 1초) – Final song on the album is Moment, a rock ballad that feels like an appropriate closer for this mini-album. Again, great vocalization from SUHO himself. And the instrumental was quite pleasant and neat, for the most part. But this does change towards the end of the album. Moment definitely peaks at the end and this turns the background into a stunning piece. The violins in this section really shocked me (in a good way), while there was also some clashing of cymbals. All of this heightened the ending of the song, finishing the album on a very positive note. (9/10)

Overall Album Review – 8.8/10

Grey Suit Teaser Image

[Review] Hurdle – SUHO (EXO)

It is finally happening. I am finally making a start on the masssssive backlog of releases that I have not reviewed yet. I have a long path ahead. Anyway, back to the review. Here is my review for SUHO’s Hurdle. For those who missed it, EXO’s leader made a comeback back in April this year with Grey Suit, the title of both the lead track and his second mini-album (an album review is coming your way very soon). A few days after the release of Grey Suit, SUHO also dropped a music video for a second track, Hurdle, which will be the focus of this song review.

Hurdle is very different to the likes of Grey Suit. Grey Suit was a slow rock styled ballad that captivated me for showcasing SUHO’s divine vocals. Hurdle, on the other hand, takes on a much more upbeat and energetic style. One that I find to be equally as captivating as Grey Suit. Hurdle features a vintage rock sound, and does a grand enough job of bringing up the tempo on the mini-album from the title track. There is a head nodding vibe to the song that had me enjoying the track when I first heard whilst vetting the album to see if it is worth reviewing (spoiler, it is!). At the 2:15 mark of the song, Hurdle brings forth that an even more intense rock vibe, giving the song a climatic peak and adding some (unexpected) oomph. From then on out, Hurdle maintains the momentum and closes out the song in spectacular fashion. SUHO displays great vocals throughout the song, and I quite enjoyed the autotuned effect during the chorus, adding a fashionable and retro-like edginess profile to the song. The chorus had a great anthem like melody that adds to the memorable appeal of Hurdle. The only aspect of Hurdle that didn’t feel like it live up the rest of the song was the verses. They were easily forgotten in the midst of the chorus and climatic energy. I wished they had something going on that was more prominent, as this would have allowed Hurdle to get a perfect rating.

The song is about being stuck in the beginnings of a relationship, with time being the hurdle that is getting in the way of his partner giving him a clear response on what they are. For the video, it is depicted as working in a workplace where you are essentially ‘stuck in time’ similar to the parallel that SUHO draws about running hurdles to get that answer from his partner. We see what seems to be the usual 9-5 situation that is on repeat each day. SUHO clearly is the different person in the crowd, going the other way and dressing differently from everyone else. His boss does not make things easier and appears to make SUHO’s life hard day-in and day-out. In the end, it looks like SUHO emerges with an answer, as the video changes from boring office to a party and SUHO is not ‘tangled’ in the hurdles as we see him earlier in the video. Quite liked the purple and yellow colours throughout the video, which feels very retro but funky at the same time.

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

[Review] Grey Suit – Suho (EXO)

Starting off this week is SUHO, who makes his long awaited solo comeback with Grey Suit, the title of both his second mini-album and title track. This is the first time we are hearing from SUHO after his solo debut back in 2020 with Let’s Love and Self Portrait. Following his solo debut, SUHO enlisted into the Korean military and recently completed his civic duty back in February of this year.

I quite enjoyed Grey Suit as it is. The slow and soft rock style of the song is totally up my alley. And I found that there was a lot to like about the song. Within Grey Suit, SUHO showcases divine yet emotionally loaded vocals that are just so captivating. Within the delivery of Grey Suit, I found that SUHO brought a hint of huskiness to some parts of the song to give it a really welcoming texture, while there was also a presence of a higher tone during the bridge and chorus that sounds charming and heavenly. All of which helped emphasise and reiterate the pleasant side of Grey Suit. The melodies in which SUHO brings to life in Grey Suit are drifty and gives off that swaying effect I commonly refer to when I review ballads. As for the instrumentation, I liked how it clearly differentiates the different parts of the song by amping up the background and playing with the intensity. It is quite appreciable, especially when there are a number of recently released songs that blur the different parts together (in some case, too much). I guess it is the small things that ultimately win me over. I did feel that Grey Suit could have been a bit more adventurous. I did notice that there was some backing ‘spoken words’ that resembled a bit of rapping for me. I think this could have brought an interesting dynamic to the song and given Grey Suit a bit of uniqueness. But overall, a nice track.

There really isn’t much going on other than SUHO feeling grey throughout the entire video, which is the whole point of the song. I quite liked the idea of the closet full of grey suits. Your outfit is where you would bring out the colour from within you (i.e. your mood, your personality etc.), and grey is usually a used to depict emptiness and plainness. To reiterate the emotions he is feeling, I noticed that the colours are glitchy around SUHO at first, to represent the conflicting emotions. But this also suggests that it is something that can be changed and it is most likely one’s outlook is preventing from experiencing the colours again. At the end of the video, when SUHO escapes the wardrobe, you will notice the colour is consistent and confirms that he had moved on from post-breakup emotions. I also like how they managed to also bring the band into the video, which works extremely well with the rock sound.

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

[Album Review] Self-Portrait (1st Mini Album) – Suho (EXO)

I guess you didn’t see this one coming. Another album review! And it isn’t a Sunday or Friday, which is when I usually publish my album reviews. Given that I had a day off work today and I didn’t want to fall behind in the schedule as I find a lot of albums recently released to be worthy of an album review. Today’s focus will be on Suho’s recent solo debut mini-album, Self-Portrait, which was released at the end of March. It features the title track, Let’s Love, which I reviewed on the same date of its release. Let’s see how the rest of the mini-album is.

Self Portrait Album Cover

1. O2 O2 opens the album in what I would describe as a spectacular manner. The start of the song really feels like an atmospheric piece that is very aesthetic, while the subsequent energy that comes from this song really wanted me to continue listening onto the album and is extremely thrilling. The combination of the rock band instrumentation, the heavy bass and the classical orchestra gives off a grand and epic vibe that makes it so appealing. Suho’s voice is very light in this song and just manages to be heard over the instrumental at the end. A fine track to begin the album off with. (10/10)

2. Let’s Love (사랑, 하자)Click here to read the full review for Let’s Love. (8.5/10)

3. Made In YouMade In You is a song for Suho’s fans. I thought his vocal style in this song was very nice and you can feel his intent to really want to connect with the audience through his voice. The melody that he sings was very pleasant and beautiful. The instrumental is more of a typical pop style, so there was nothing that special in that regards. But the drumbeats were very prominent and this made song captivating to me for a while. I don’t really have much else to say other than it is nice sound song. (8/10)

4. Starry Night (암막 커튼)Starry Night is a rock ballad takes time to build up to its final form. But it is a ride that I am willing to take again and again as one of the charms of Starry Night is essentially that music journey that Suho takes us in this song. At the start, the song keeps to that ballad side and driven by just piano. A band influence kicks in when he enters the chorus region. More of that rock influence comes in as the song progresses. Once we reach the final chorus, the epic vibes return as the song reaches the climax during this part. I also like how the song returns to how it started at the end, which gave it a nice ended. Suho also sounded very dreamy in the song. (10/10)

5. Self-Portrait (자화상) – The album’s title is Self-Portrait and is also the same name of the fifth track on the album. The song has a rock ballad-like instrumental and it had a very pleasant melody which I enjoyed. The instrumental was also very complementary to Suho’s vocals, which were quite blissful. The harmonies in the bridge with the backing vocals really helped bolden this rock ballad and I really liked the autotuned echo during the chorus. There is a sentimental feel to the song, which you also get from the lyrics as well. Altogether, the song came together quite nicely. (8.5/10)

6. For You Now (ft. Younha) (너의 차례)For You Now finishes the album with an piano dominant track. There is a bit more to the instrumental, but everything else sounded very minor to the piano. The song also features Younha, a well-known vocalist in the Korean music industry (I will get around to reviewing her comeback earlier in the year sometime in the future). I also find this track to be breathtaking. The two singers go extremely well with one another. Their harmonies blend nicely with one another. During their individual segments, there is a good sense of stillness that comes over me as I listen to the song. Altogether, it is a captivating ending to the album. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9/10

Self Portrait Teaser Image

[Review] Let’s Love – Suho (EXO)

We kick off the new week with a solo debut that I am sure many fans will be overjoyed to hear about. I am talking about Suho’s return to the music scene with Let’s Love. For those who may not know Suho, he is the leader of EXO. Recently, the group was announced to be focusing on solo promotions this year and Suho’s solo debut would be the first of the many solo activities we can expect from the EXO members. We last saw EXO and Suho through their Obsession comeback in late November/December.

Let’s Love takes on the modern rock genre and it sounds amazing. There is a level of aesthetics in the sound profile to this song that amazes and floors me at the same time. And it is genre that I need to get back into as Let’s Love just shows me how blissful the genre can be. But enough about the genre. Let’s Love capitalise on Suho’s vocals, as you want to in a solo release. I have never really been a fan of Suho’s voice, as I do find it plain in most EXO’s songs. But here, there is a sense of balance that just makes his voice feels right. He doesn’t push himself too hard, which definitely compliments the softer rock style. His ad-libs are definitely within his range and adds that ‘main vocal’ touch to the song. My favorite part has to be the ending, where he sings in a very huskily manner, ‘You’re My Dream, You’re My Dream‘. The main concern I have with the song is its lack of a strong hook to really make listeners want to return to the song. There is a decent melody that makes me sway along to the music, but I don’t think it will serve in that purpose. But other than that, this is another great solo debut.

The song itself is about the desire to go back to a previous relationship. It talks about how his former partner completed him and how he followed them to get their attention at first. We essentially see the aftermath of the relationship, that period of desire in the video. Now that his partner had left, his world is barely nothing. We see his world is full of infinite darkness and the long concrete corridor extends further and further as he looks into the distance. But as they always say, there is light at the other end of the tunnel. And that is what Suho experiences at the end of the video, that there is that chance to go back. But that chance is reliant on that former partner. That is is my interpretation and understanding of the song’s lyrics and music video. Please note: I may be completely wrong (I have been told many times previously) and would like to hear what you thought the video. I thought the imagery was quite nice and the monotone colour palette to be very suiting.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10

[Double Review] Do You Have A Moment & Dinner – Suho (EXO) & Jang Jane

At the start of the week, it was announced that Suho (leader of EXO) and Jang Jane (vocalist from MYSTIC89) were going to collaborate for two new singles. The first is Do You Have A Moment, which was released on Friday by MYSTIC89. The second is Dinner, which was released just a few hours ago (on Saturday) as part of the SM Station Season 2 lineup. Both songs are said to be in regards to a relationship, where each song was written at various points of a relationship.

Do You Have A Moment can be described as a pop ballad. It has a soft piano based instrumental which does seem a little ordinary for my taste. It could have used other instruments to keep the song a little more interesting towards the end and given the song some freshness. The start felt like it could have developed into that typical ballad song but once we reach the first chorus, the song features a cheerful sound, setting the tone for the rest of the track. The vocals here are really nice, with both singing complimenting each other.

Dinner has a more serious and seductive tone to it, which I actually like. Like in the previous song, their vocals are the strong point of this song.  Their solo sections were on point. When they sing together (such as the chorus), they change up the dominance between two depending on who’s part of the song it is. The instrumental is the complete opposite of the previous track, going for synth-based and pairing with the slight autotune which I think I can hear. The main part of the song which has me second-guessing is the bridge. I think they were singing ‘Love Love Love’ but it came out to be more like ‘LOL LOL LOL’. But besides that, it was a really good song to listen to.

Do You Have A Moment’s music video reflect the lyrics in a very literal sense. Essentially, the lyrics of the song are about making the first move towards the person that catches your eye. The video is done is a cafe like setting, where both singers don’t really face each other, clearly acting out the lyrics. It literally ends with both singers finally facing each other, already clearing the first (and the most daunting) step of all.

The music video for Dinner also goes well with the lyrics of the song. Judging from the video, the two are experiencing a breakdown in their relationship, illustrated by the lack of chemistry they share when at the table together or when one of them is completely absent. I like how they started off with the final scene (the clock) from the previous video and used the same set to show the difference between the two stories. I also liked the lighting and the extra sets that were used.

Do You Have A Moment 
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8/10

Dinner
Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10