Last year during their second appearance on Weekly Idol, Infinite’s visual member L humorously pleaded for their leader to break his personal ambitions by holding off on releasing his solo album. At that time, this little statement was hilarious, causing Kim Sunggyu to laugh in embarrassment as his dongsaeng teased him. However, now that Sunggyu actually came out with his first mini album, I’m sure Inspirits everywhere are wrapped in euphoria. “Another Me” contains six amazing tracks that can be said to sum up who exactly Sunggyu really is. This album represents him as an individual and expresses his personal color, a color that blazingly flourished before he tamed it in order to join and become the leader of Infinite. So if you want a piece of him, check out these next couple of tracks!
The first song is an intro called “Another Me”. This track sets the tone for the entire album due to its angelic sound that basically resonates throughout all of the tracks. It opens with a soft and pretty piano piece, eventually turning into a whimsical and moving arrangement as Sunggyu’s vocals were layered into the composition. Even though this track was short, it was able to loosen our blindfolds and enabled us to see another side of Sunggyu, making this reveal feel almost intimate. “Another Me” is just so beautiful to me that it left me with goose bumps, making me listen to it over and over again.
“60 Seconds” is the second song in this album as well as the title song. Surprisingly, this track was made by Sweetune! I love the arrangement of this song because of its ability to invoke deep feelings. The meter is steady yet almost unstable, as if it is implementing how people try to hold in their over bearing emotions by putting on a bright smile. The song then quickly builds up both musically and lyrically until everything is released in the chorus, similar to an emotional outburst. However, don’t be confused by this description; the song is not harsh at all. It is actually easy on the ears. The guitar is most prominent in the chorus; it is flawlessly paired with the keyboard. In regards to the lyrics, it tells the story of how it only takes sixty seconds for someone to enter into your life and then simply leave; quite the tragic reality there. The music video features fellow Infinite member L, with filming done mostly in a café as well as in an apartment setting. The story within the MV can be interpreted in many ways, which is good for the viewers because understanding the plot from different perspectives is insightful. I think that “60 Seconds” is a great song since it can appeal emotionally to international fans even when most won’t be able to understand the lyrics and the message behind the song.
This next song was also promoted by Sunggyu as his follow-up. “I Need You” takes a step back and plays out at a much slower pace. Since Sunggyu personally looks up to Nell, his label mates actually composed and gave him this song to use. Just like the expressive and somber music that Nell is known for, “I Need You” is chokingly complex. The feeling of loneliness and despair is what you may feel when one listens to the beginning of this song but once the chorus arrives, there seems to be a sign of relief and as the song concludes with the outro, hope can be found. This series of emotions and thoughts didn’t come about out of thin air. I think everything that was put into this track was all meticulously planned so that the listeners can conger up such feelings. First off, the music arrangement, particularly the keyboard, is essential in the assistance of Sunggyu’s delivery of the lyrics. The lyrics then, depicts feelings of abandonment and pleas for someone’s embrace in order to carry on. Next, the black and white filming of the MV is done to create the solemness of the mood. When the film changes into color as Sunggyu sings the outro, it signals the emergence of hope. Last but not least is Sunggyu’s ability to manipulate his voice so that all of these elements can come together to tell this story to the listeners. Now, I’m sorry if this was quite a bit of rambling but I just wanted to fully explain my analysis of this track. All in all, I really like “I Need You”.
“Only Tears” is a song that was previously released in Infinite’s recent album “Infinitize”. However this time around it is performed only by Sunggyu just like when he first introduced it to the world during their Second Invasion Evolution Concert in Japan. This track is actually a heartfelt ballad and has less of a Rock feel due to its sole use of the piano. It is a song about a man who feels he has nothing he can offer to the woman he loves and so he pushes her away. All he has left with him is his heart and is tears. At times like this, it makes one think about what love can really offer us in life doesn’t it? This whole song contradicts what everyone pictures love to be, saying that love will find a way and how it will help people conquer over their trials. I guess this is true to a point; however when reality hits, if all you have to offer is love then you can’t really do anything for the one you love in times of plight and pressure. This is such a sad and disturbing song.
The fifth track in the album is “Shine” which was also pre-released before the rest of the album was exposed. Even though the intro of this song is upbeat, the verses of the song are quite mellow. The chorus on the other hand is delivered in a much faster pace with Sunggyu singing in a higher pitch. This song reverts back to this cool, indie, retro Rock & Roll sound that reminds me of the band Fun. due to how the chorus is sung. The song is about how at particular times of the year, days are spent walking through memories of an old love. At first I thought I wouldn’t like this track but it’s actually quite appealing and stands out the most out of all these songs.
“41 Days” is the last track and closes for the album. This is probably one of the better endings to an album because of the message that is carried through the song. Although he did reveal that the story contained within the lyrics is not based off of his own experiences, Sunggyu actually wrote the lyrics for this song! Lyrically, the song expresses a kind of love that was never truly meant to be. Although the actions that took place during the relationship were sincere, the love that one would expect from their significant other is not there. I think that the bass licks in this song are awesome! The mood that is created through the sound of the song is amazing as well. Personally, the song actually takes me somewhere; it gives me the feeling of floating about and drifting in between different worlds. It’s almost dreamlike where I feel as if I’m in and out of consciousness, trying to figure out what is reality and what is fantasy. Now, other than my irritation with the fact that I have no idea why this song is called “41 Days”, I love this song and I love Sunggyu’s vocals. He delivers the lyrics with this moaning like voice, expressing the ache and burden that is trapped within his heart, it’s perfect!
Overall, “Another Me” was a wonderful album that transcends all negative aspects. Although I have to admit that these songs seemed a bit typical and almost predictable, it doesn’t downplay the quality of the album. I think that the reason why the tracks were expected is because they fit Sunggyu’s persona perfectly and does a very good job at translating the essence of his musical ability. Another thing I want to point out is how extraordinary Sunggyu’s voice is. Now the thing about his voice is that although his voice is very well suited for carrying out meaningful lyrics, it is not as strong or as powerful in comparison to other vocalists. However, there’s this very distinct and compelling charm in his voice that literally caresses the souls of his listeners. I’m sure that many will be able to understand what I mean by this if they give this album a chance, so go for it! Help out Sunggyu by purchasing his album!
These are the music videos for his 2nd and 3rd tracks.
Review By: Samantha Her
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