Lee Chan-hyuk and Lee Su-hyun of AKMU (brief for Akdong Musician) may perhaps nevertheless be at the cusp of their young adulthood, but they possess a creative capability, aptitude and wisdom perfectly beyond their many years. This is evident in the audio they’ve set out since creating their mark as teenagers in the 2012 truth Television competitiveness K-Pop Star 2, in which they emerged as champions.
Now in their early- and mid-20s with a few full-size albums and handful of other releases to their name, the talented sibling duo have returned with the retro-tinged ‘Next Episode’ – and in legitimate AKMU vogue, it will come with a twist. Also identified as their “collaboration album”, the seven-track EP – prepared and co-composed by more mature brother Chan-hyuk – characteristics visitor appearances from some of the industry’s very best recognised voices.
“We’ve been planning this for a several a long time,” Chan-hyuk shared on YouTube chat show IU’s Palette, helmed by none other than the nation’s sweetheart IU herself, who coincidentally also contributes to the album. “Despite the reality that a lot of musicians consider positively about us, they are not very eager to function on a song with us… Luckily, everyone [involved in ‘Next Episode’] had fun and gladly explained sure to functioning with us.”
IU working with the siblings on ‘Next Episode’, marks their 1st good collaboration soon after decades of friendship. Following Chan-hyuk experienced aided pen and compose IU’s music ‘Ah Puh’, on her comeback album ‘Lilac’ before this year, it appeared smart and well timed for the latter to return the favour. The final result is lead one ‘NAKKA’, with its Korean title ‘낙하’ this means ‘falling down’. “Through ‘NAKKA’, we needed to tell persons there always is anyone supporting them even if they slide from the best,” the duo explained throughout an on the net push meeting for the album, for each The Korea Herald.
The track is pretty a lot the musical variation of a trust fall, with Chan-hyuk and Su-hyun singing reassuringly, “I told you I’d by no means go away you / When this sort of a working day comes”, and IU becoming a member of in the vocal gymnastics of the refrain: “Trust me, close your eyes and tumble / 1, two, 3, maintain your breath and fall”. Credit score should really be given to how the elements in ‘NAKKA’ ended up divided – just about every singer will get enough air-time during to glow, with Su-hyun and IU’s voices mixing well with its dim and moody ’80s synth-pop vibes.
Alongside with ‘NAKKA’, other songs on ‘Next Episode’ also ride on the ‘newtro’ trend that continues to sweep South Korea. A portmanteau of ‘new’ and ‘retro’, this time period describes a resurgence in trends or things from the past – typically from the ’70s to ’90s – that evoke a perception of nostalgia. Album opener ‘Hey Child, Close Your Eyes’ (or ‘battleground’ in Korean) could at first provide to mind the opening chords of the Steve Miller Band’s 1982 hit ‘Abracadabra’ (sans its signature baseline), but it retains its individual the second Su-hyun produces a vivid depiction of a warzone with her calculated text: “Look at the sky included in ashes of gunpowder / Whoosh go the bomb and the bullet.” It is especially confronting when viewing its accompanying new music online video: monochrome scenes of little ones working about with guns in their arms, or strategising battles that go over and above a seemingly ‘harmless’ board video game of Hazard.
“The unfortunate fact is that our childhood is developed higher than piles of bones with absolutely nothing but the stays of war, and all we’re taught is how to conquer with guns and blades in our fingers,” reads the songs video’s description. Chan-hyuk does just take a minute to humanise the life that were being shed, wanting to know: ”What variety of human being have been you / just before you were being protected in dust?” Pairing up with the siblings on this haunting monitor is veteran singer Lee Solar-hee, regarded for her strike music ‘Fate’, and whose voice would be common to those growing up in ’80s or ’90s Korea.
The late-2000s vibes of ‘Bench’, which capabilities rapper and singer Zion.T, would not be out of area on the soundtrack of 2009 K-drama Boys Around Flowers. Its upbeat, electric powered guitar-loaded melody – bearing sweet hints of ‘Chocolate’ by The 1975 – qualified prospects into a chorus with a toned-down tempo a distinction that gives an aural insight of the musicality favoured during that time. AKMU then change up the momentum with the onomatopoeic ‘Tictoc Tictoc Tictoc’, a single of the extra modern-day-sounding tracks on the album, with rapper Beenzino adding lyrical levels with his clean verses.
The tempo winds down toward the latter component of the album, and this is exactly where Chan-hyuk’s mastery in storytelling carries on to shine. With his soulful vocals, indie rock band JANNABI frontman Choi Jung-hoon reveals a poignant anecdote on the title keep track of ‘Next Episode’ (or ‘맞짱’, which implies ‘a fight’ in Korean), via which a five-year-aged tells his mom why he did not battle back again when becoming hit: “Mum, I was unhappy that I fought my near mate / It hurts more than finding my mouth bruised.”
‘Stupid Love Song’, which Su-hyun sings with R&B vocalist Crush, offers a unique still sombre insight to the ideas of a singer-songwriter executing on phase the distress that motivated a specified track inadvertently getting to be the audience’s resource of satisfaction. “Memories I wouldn’t revisit / Make crowds roar / Agony I saved hidden as tricks / Are now sung by all people,” they sing.
Rounding up this collaboration album is the lofty, inspirational closing monitor ‘Everest’, which would in good shape right in as part of a cinematic trailer for a blockbuster movie. Singer-songwriter Sam Kim kicks it off with a folksy, acoustic introduction, with the songs, alongside with his and Su-hyun’s vocals, steadily attaining momentum as they ascend to the song’s climax – quite considerably like a momentous climb up its namesake mountain. “Occasionally we see / The proof that almost nothing is unattainable in the globe.”
Significantly like a mountainous expedition, there are generally pitfalls that occur with collaborating with many others, but those people in ‘Next Episode’ do the job for the improved: each observe provides out the strengths of the collaborators, even though nevertheless powerful in showcasing Su-hyun’s flawless, pristine vocals and Chan-hyuk’s adept lyrical storytelling. Both of those siblings shared on IU’s Palette that they’re both of those assured and very pleased of this album – and frankly, they have every single explanation to be.
- Launch date: July 26
- Document label: YG Enjoyment