Friday, November 23, 2012

Album Review: Kim Sunggyu's Another Me

It's a Kim Sunggyu love fest around here. I can't help it, okay. If you don't like it, well, maybe we shouldn't be friends. Just kidding. But seriously, take a listen to INFINITE's resident grandpa hamster leader on his fabulous first solo mini-album attempt. Because Another Me deserves another listen. Again and again.

Before I start I just want to say whoa Nelly, I haven't written an album review in a while! Sorry about that. I went in a bit of a K-pop absence for a while and now I'm back. Well, at least for Sunggyu. Because I can't not.

The album opens with 'Another Me'. The album title, but also the intro. It's piano, and Sunggyu yeah's. It's pretty simple and straight forward. Not climatic per se, but I guess you don't want the peak in the beginning. Also apparently Mr. Sunggyu knows how to play the piano too! Man, this guy is just begging to be loved and fangirl-ed all over.

Of course the second track is the single, '60 Seconds'. Oh K-pop, you're so typical. I did a First Take of the music video here. If anyone is asking (or complaining?!) about why Sunggyu steered perhaps a bit too far into the world of rock, well, be glad. I think it suits him. And isn't he the rocker of the group? I may be making this up. But in previous interviews which you could go find yourself, he said he got in singing, and in Woollim Entertainment specifically, because of rock. Or because of rock band Nell. Either way, I think he should form a rock band someday because that'll be cool. Not my favorite song of the album, but it's good. Midway point.

Since Sunggyu just loves to collab with his favorite rock band, Nell, there needs to be a quintessential Nell sound. And to me, 'I Need You' is the song. I could picture, or rather hear, Kim Jong-wan, Nell's vocalist, sing this song just as well. I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that Nell's bassist, Lee Jong-hoon, wrote, composed, and produced this track. Despite the Nell sound, I'm glad Sunggyu made this song all his because the last thing we need is a solo artist who doesn't know his own sound (voice). If this song was given to him 2 years ago, I bet he'll try to copy Kim Jong-wan to a tee. But not now, thankfully. It's not my favorite in comparison to the other songs. I'd like Sunggyu to belt his voice out.

Like in this song. You know how I'm always saying Sunggyu has an amazing voice for ballad? Just listen to 'Only Tears' and cry your own out. Apparently this song is a remake-ish of INFINITE's own song from their last album, Infinitize (which apparently is a real word. Who knew. Not me). And me being a naughty fan the past half year didn't really bother listening to the album. And thus I wasn't aware of the original version. But guess what? I like Sunggyu's version better. Because I'm biased like that. Plus, Sunggyu is the most emotive (with his voice) out of all the boys in INFINITE. Sure all of them can sing, but they can't sing like Sunggyu who has a voice that can and will make me cry. He also nails the whole breathing thing of which I don't know the name. But the breaths at the end of the verses just adds another sad, melancholy layer to the song. Favorite song of the album for sure. Only downside? Eye me sing you. You're still my favorite, Sunggyu. Don't you worry.

'Shine' was actually fully released earlier than the rest of the songs. Even the before teasers. I didn't talk about it on this blog but did on the We eat lemon. tumblr. And at first people thought that this was going to be the main single, including myself. But nope. If this song was the single, it would've been fine. I like the beep beats things. It's really cool. I guess it would be a challenge to sing this live since half of it is falsetto. Before I've talked about not liking falsettos but I guess I like it now. At least on some people. Like the Brown Eyed Soul boys and Sunggyu. I'll update if there are any more lucky people who can make it on my ridiculous list. This song is like the perfect INFINITE slash Sunggyu. It has rock elements, funky retro beats, yet still fresh and cool. I'm sounding like those tacky ads. But you get my flow, right? No? Oh, okay.

If there was ever a cool kid on this album's neighborhood, it would be '41 Days'. The synthesizer is so cool. And if you wear headphones, you can hear a faint bass on the left ear. That's pretty cool. The song itself is okay to me. The beginning (more like the first beat) sounded like Sistar's 'Alone', but I guess other people like to take inspirations from others. So don't file this song for a plagiarism case, because it's not. This song is very disco/club-able. If the beats were amped up more, it'll be perfect. But because we want to hear Sunggyu's voice then the bass has to be turned down. I don't particularly like those super bass dance tracks but I can see this song fit there.

I'm so glad Sunggyu made his own album. And I guess my little prediction was right. This album is pretty varied. It's not so broad that it's weird. But it's wide enough for him to showcase the new things he has up his  hopefully tailored sleeves. Plus he got to work again with his favorite sunbae, Nell. Guess he's happy about that. Is this the perfect album? No. I wasn't crazy about most of the songs. Yet, at least. 'Only Tears' is just a pinch away from perfection and the others vary from good to great. It was a good first attempt and just makes me more excited for what he has in store in the future.

Final verdict: 7.5/10
Run, hamster, run!
Someone go play with him. Please.
By the way, I'm loving the promotional pictures. It's so artsy fartsy. Plus, he's just damn handsome. Go check them out here.


  1. Yup, you're right. Sunggyu auditioned in Woollim in hopes of being in a rock band like his idol Nell. Woollim at that time, only housed artists like Epik High, Nell and soloist Jisun to name a few. But then they ventured out into idol territory and put Sunggyu into training for their first group.

    A highly disappointed Sunggyu, ridiculed by his rocker friends and bandmates (he was in a highschool rock band Beatz, it's heavy rock/screamo/metal), trudged on into idol-dom and lo and behold - in the end, he got to release the type of music he has always wanted. All while working with Nell's Jongwan and Junghoon.

    Personally, the mini is perfect for me because this is the genre that I love and will always love, even before I got into Kpop. So it's a win-win situation for me, my kind of rock in Kpop? Superb!

    Anyway, thanks for the review :)

    1. I think it'll be even cooler if one of the songs is heavy rock. But then again, that might scare a lot of his fans away. In the end all's well for Sunggyu!

      And thank you for stopping by and reading :D

  2. like you, i would prefer this to me more rockish..but then i guess it wont sell well then (like jay park's album. it is to american, k-fans cant accept it)

    yes, mr gyu here can play piano well. he did show off once in ranking king (i think) and he did the piano for all the concert for his version of only tears. speaking of which, even his managers and infinite's boy does admit his version of only tears is better than the group version. im only dissapointed that they release an accoustic version of it rather a normal version. not a big fan of accoustic here.

    1. Just when I thought he was amazing, he comes out being able to do other things that just make me melt.

      I actually liked the acoustic piano version over the original. It's simple and showcases Sunggyu's voice best. But then again everyone's tastes are different, right? :)

  3. Thanks for posting! I heard some murmuring before that he would be coming out with a solo album, and then promptly forgot about it. >_< I also really like most of the songs, and his style - which suits me perfectly. :)