SAMUEL – EYE CANDY
2. Never Let U Down
3. LOVE LOVE LOVE
5. Crush on you
7. Jewel Box
8. Masquerade (Feat. Maboos)
10. Sixteen (Feat. rapper Changmo) (REMIX)
Debuting in 2015 as one half of the hip-hop duo 1Punch, Samuel emerges as a solo artist, fresh from the attention he received from 'Produce 101' season 2. If you're already a fan, you'll be pleased -- he's got 9 new tracks for you on his new full album 'Eye Candy.'
"Candy" starts quiet, but develops into a catchy jam. It's a familiar beat, and I think that's the problem. There's little to distinguish this from other pop tunes. There's kind of an island/reggae beat in "Never Let U Down," and I prefer this to the title track. There are a few flourishes that save this one. "LOVE LOVE LOVE" is the club banger, and it's got a catchy beat and is very danceable, despite the prosaic title. "Paradise" goes full tropical house, and I like the nods to rap, not to mention the way he jams a lot of syllables together. This is probably my favorite thus far.
"Crush on you" is an R&B composition. Starting with up-pitched auto-tuned voices and synth washes, it retains some of the awesomeness it started with as the song progresses, as well as a hip-hop sensibility. I like this one.
I expected something slower on "Stunning," but he turns that softer intro around and crafts a fun club-banger. "Jewel Box" is another R&B style piece, and it maintains that consistent tempo that characterizes this LP so far. Despite some of the hip-hop stylings, it really sounds like filler. "Masquerade" is another tropical house tune, this time featuring Maboos. The rapper makes an all-too-brief appearance on this bland track.
One thing I can say is that they've certainly been listening to the competition... and that's my issue. Few of these tracks really stand out, so by the second half, it feels like a rehash of the first few tracks. Samuel's got some top-notch vocals, he just needs better material to shine like the rare gem we know him to be. He may be eye candy, but he needs stronger songs to be ear candy as well.
The MV for this is both better and worse than you might expect.
They didn't spend a lot of money, which is unfortunate because it blunts the otherwise fun parts where he's speeding along the highway on a sick looking motorcycle.
There are some interesting rooms, though, like where he's in a room with a lot of colored items on the shelves, all backlit and glowy, and another room with words on the walls writ large. And of course, in the garage, where he's working on his bike. At least there's a little nugget of consistency there.
He didn't train for naught, as the dancing is on point. Especially for one so young. He'll be 16 in January, so to me he's young. He looks limber and in control as he goes through his choreo, so there are no problems with these parts at all.
Ultimately, it's not a bad video, but it's not a great one, either, just like the album.