Kang Younger-hyun, in any other case higher identified by his stage title Young K, has all the time been thought of as one of many main inventive driving forces of Day6. Having composed, written and produced a majority of the South Korean pop-rock band’s albums, together with their most up-to-date outing as a quintet ‘The Book Of Us: Negentropy’, a solo profession for Younger Ok was sure to occur ultimately.
The time lastly got here on the finish of final month, when the singer confirmed that his long-awaited solo project ‘Eternal’ was on the best way. Nevertheless, the information was overshadowed by one other stunning announcement from his company, JYP Entertainment, which revealed that Young K will be enlisting for his compulsory military service early in October. The timing couldn’t be extra bittersweet, and ‘Eternal’ provides these melancholic feelings in small however potent doses.
‘Eternal’ is cut up, deliberately or not, into two components: the primary half of the seven-track mission is a glowing show of the singer’s rockstar persona – an amplification of the picture he’s already put forth by means of Day6 – whereas the latter is a peek at his true self. It’s no shock that Younger Ok shines the brightest in these softer and tender moments, notably the spine-chilling piano ballad ‘Want To Love You’. The observe opens with a whisper earlier than it crescendos into a panoramic bridge after which free falls right into a whirlpool of feelings as Younger Ok belts, “Want to love you / Until you are as happy as I am.”
However don’t low cost the upbeat choices both – an apparent standout is the title track ‘Guard You’, a dramatic pop-rock anthem the place Younger Ok feels most at residence. It has all of the elements of a Day6 customary, a head-bopping earworm with a sentimental message at its core. Powered by an artificial drum beat, the tune begins out barely cautious as Younger Ok paints a fragile portrait of his vital different by means of his observations. “You’re walking and stumbling (Against the world) / You might break when you fall (Don’t you fall) / I can’t take my eyes off you,” he sings earlier than the regular melody lastly cracks and bursts into flames to match his passionate declaration: “I won’t ever let you cry.”
Aside from the raucous ‘Not Gonna Love’, which finds Younger Ok playfully sticking his tongue out at relationships, the singer slips into the position of a guardian angel a number of instances all through the mini-album. On the Dvwn-assisted ‘Microphone’, the singer assures he’ll pay attention to each rant and rave with no complaints (“Even if it’s not important / I’ll take everything that flows”), whereas on ‘Come As You Are’, Younger Ok reminds his different half that he’ll all the time “be here with my heart” over laid-back guitar.
At a look, these all look like touching love-struck confessions, however if you have in mind that the singer can be spending the subsequent 18 months away, the romantic gestures and moments immediately rework into one thing extra heartbreaking and poignant. After they’re stringed collectively as ‘Eternal’, the unstated query that appears to linger between every observe is: who will fill the hole when our narrator is absent?
The feelings later hit twice as onerous on the closing quantity ‘Goodnight, Dear’, a four-minute lullaby that pairs Younger Ok’s hushed vocals with an acoustic guitar. The tune runs itself like a self-care guidelines the singer has left behind for whereas he’s gone: “Did you lie down?” he wonders. “Did the fire go out? / Close your eyes now / Take a deep breath.”
Younger Ok’s capacity to make use of easy language to convey a lot feeling is strictly what makes ‘Eternal’ – and, by extension, Day6’s songs – memorable and heartfelt. Right here he demonstrates that ability effortlessly however at his most popular tempo, principally over gentler melodies as a substitute of throbbing synths.
If the purpose of ‘Eternal’ is to go away a everlasting mark, then Younger Ok has completed his mission to nice impact. The EP is a mirrored image of his songwriting and finely tuned feelings, and every tune will undoubtedly stick with listeners for a very long time to return – if not without end, then no less than till after he ultimately makes his return.
- Launch date: September 6
- Report label: JYP Leisure
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