ERIC NAM – HONESTLY
2. Potion (Feat. Woodie Gochild)
3. This Is Not A Love Song
4. Lose You
5. Don't Call Me
Eric Nam's long-awaited comeback is here! He's back with the five track mini-album 'Honestly.' A lineup of top-notch artists collaborated with him to put this together, like Urban Zakapa's Jo Hyun Ah, Epik High's Tablo, and Woodie Gochild. According to Newsen, none other than BTS also helped with "the lyrics, title song, even to the title..." He added, "This is an album that wouldn't have been possible if I were to do it alone."
The title track "Honestly..." has kind of a tropic house beat to it, particularly once the tune really picks up steam. It's got a guitar behind it, but the beats tend to bury it. The lyrics belie the title, particularly with the lines "this love is a lie." This particular tune is unusual for Nam, but I really like it. "Potion" is sort of a tropical house beat, but there are some nice pounding parts to the pre-chorus and the down-pitched vocals as part of the music are awesome. Woodie has his part toward the end, spitting his bars rapid-fire style. On this one, the two are drowning their troubles in alcohol. This is definitely a cool banger, smooth and exhilarating.
"This Is Not A Love Song" is an R&B ballad, with some parts approaching soft pop. Nam's vocals here are rawer than I've heard them, which brings some refreshing authenticity. "Lose You" starts out soft and ballad-like, but eventually gets harder through the song, his whispery tenderness giving way to bold in-your-face vocals. I like what he's done with his voice here, from soft to hard. "Don't Call Me" is a playful song, with a kind of stripped-down aesthetic initially. I love the dubstep influence and the pause before the lyrics "don't call me." The break before the chorus really drives home the point. I like the arrangements on this one.
This is really a change for Eric Nam. Most of the time he has this high, thin, sometimes reedy voice, and a penchant for ballads. Here he almost has a singer-songwriter vibe, and his voice sounds fairly raw. Whether this is due to his voice changing, cigarettes, or a chameleon-like change I can't say. Regardless, I like this. The topic is lost love, from beginning to end. The tunes aren't too heavy, but they're light, happy-sounding, and beat-laden like springtime tunes should be. This is a good EP, honestly...
Eric Nam traipses his way through the streets of Mexico, dancing, posing, singing. Sometimes he's partially shaded by trees, other times inside a sprawling gallery, or even in the back of a pickup as it streaks down the road. It's beautiful and vibrant, and definitely something you don't see too often in a K-pop MV.
I mentioned how the album sounded different, well, in the MV we see that the sweet boyfriend is gone, replaced by a cooler and more direct stunner. He's always been handsome, but here he's rakishly so. The contrast is a bit striking.
So, the MV is a success, not only as support for Mr. Nam's song but also as a travelogue. Blue skies, colorful scenery, and pace to keep up with the song, this particular MV is lavishly beautiful. Nice job.
MV SCORE: 9
ALBUM SCORE: 8