SANDEUL -- STAY AS YOU ARE
1. Stay As You Are
3. My Childhood Story
4. Ya! feat. Whee In
5. The Way With You
Sandeul wants you to "Stay As You Are" while listening to his solo debut. The EP consists of five fresh tunes sung by the B1A4 member, including a collaboration with Whee In of MAMAMOO! His first solo outing, so how does he do?
Starting with a breath, Sandeul pours his heart out to you in "Stay As You Are." Uplifting and billowy, the title track is a hopeful song, unlike many ballads. The lyrics are reflective and dreamy, a lot like his voice, which goes stratospheric at the end. He brings it right back around to distinguish it as ecstasy rather than grief, which is an impressive feat.
By contrast, "Ya!" is the liveliest song on the album. It's no club banger but is a fine mid-tempo tune. It also features Whee In's beautiful voice, which just makes this song so much better. They have individual parts, but they also duet, and their voices harmonize fantastically. According to Sandeul, she accepted the offer to sing with him happily, and it seems it. There's a tongue-in-cheek nature of to the lyrics, and it's hard not to smile when you listen.
Honestly, I think he saved the best songs for last. Like the previous tune, "The Way With You" is more mid-tempo than anything, a sort of soft pop that is soothing, if familiar. It's sung to an acoustic guitar and feels like taking a brisk stroll down a leaf-strewn lane in autumn. His voice complements the melody nicely, and the tone is quietly upbeat. There's a reason for that, and I'm glad he went down that road.
Sandeul's vocals are top-notch and spot on in this collection. He may have felt odd without his bandmates, but he needn't have. He wasn't awkward but sometimes pensive and always heartfelt here. If you're tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, stoke that fire, kick off your shoes, crank this up, and relax.
While it doesn't always follow that I like the video if I enjoy the song, this is one of those times where it all works, and works together nicely.
The great thing about the tune is that it's easy to spin a narrative from it, and the producers did that skillfully. Like the song, Sandeul runs into that mysterious someone that he clicks with, and they share a fun day together. They "bowl" (with inflatable balls), visit the zoo, walk along the beach -- the traditional things couples do. And they have fun. There's a twist ending, and I won't spoil it for you.
I like this. Their scenes together are charming and give you your fill of romance for a 3-minute running time. Some of the shots are downright scenic, giving you a little more to look at than our strangers-turned-couple. It's well shot, and sometimes you can't help but smile. Sandeul already has some dramas under his belt, so it's no surprise he does a good job.
Yeah, in case you can't tell, it's thumbs up for both the album and MV.