AKDONG MUSICIAN -- WINTER
3. Last Goodbye
4. Play Ugly
6. You Know Me
7. Way Back Home
8. Will Last Forever
YG is cranking out the comebacks in 2017, and Chanhyuk and Suhyun are back again to warm up your 'Winter.' Akdong Musician finishes off the Spring series with their second album. The siblings are offering up eight brand new songs, including two title tracks.
"Reality" is one of the best songs on the album and the most upbeat. The duo really excel at these kinds of tunes -- the mood is playful, and they play with things to the hilt, appearing to offer commonsense advice but in light-hearted subjects. You can almost hear them laugh as they sing, and you should laugh along too.
The second title track "Last Goodbye" has little to distinguish it lyrically, but vocally I think it's one of their stronger tunes. Chanhyuk's voice is clearer and has lost some of the whisper that he's had in the past. It makes the emotional impact stronger on this tune and lets you feel more of what he does during a breakup. Suhyun's pipes have matured as well, giving her a bit more range. It's a welcome, though subtle, change.
"Play Ugly" is anything but played ugly. This is one track where they both wowed me. It's still upbeat and playful, but both of them attack the vocals fiercely. It gives this song a lot of punch. You could almost believe they were school kids in a tussle. Suhyun's laugh was a bit too sweet to be malicious, though. I think the lyrics pitting brother against sister just made this tune.
"Chocolady" has a lot to recommend it. It's cute as the guy tries to get up the nerve to ask a girl out at a coffeehouse. The English fails here also struck me as funny and just makes the tune that much more endearing. They just can't pronounce macchiato. The electric guitar was unexpected, but still skillfully played.
"Way Back Home" is introspective, another tune I really like. Chanhyuk's pen strikes again, giving us a good picture of the old neighborhood, painting it in strokes of gray. It sounds like a poor place, but it's what the characters in the song know, as they try and sort out their feelings. Suhyun and Chanhyuk deliver convincingly, bringing the feels.
I think these guys have grown, both as singers, and Chanhyuk as a songwriter. The compositions are tighter as well. It's probably one of their best albums to date, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for these two. I can imagine it's quite bright.
MV REVIEW -- "LAST GOODBYE"
This MV exemplifies comfort and love.
Despite the title and subject of the song, the MV is actually warm and inviting. It's a beautiful piece of filmmaking, where Suhyun and Chanhyuk are walking on a beach, enjoying a cup of something presumably warm by the fire, laughing and just enjoying being together.
This is entirely dramatic, and while it's not the most original MV I've seen, they avoid saturating it in tears. In fact, there's a quiet, cheery tone. You almost get the sense that you're watching their memories, played out for you on whatever screen you use. It's also the kind of thing I enjoy.
The performances are well-played, each of them look like they're enjoying spending time together. It could almost be a home movie, but it's not altered to look like that (which may be deliberate, the format is overused). There are some beautiful shots here -- the photographer knows how to frame a scene.
It's nice, cozy, and sweet, and definitely gets my thumbs up.