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Posted by eric_r_wirsing AKP STAFF Sunday, April 1, 2018

[MV & Album Review] Samuel – 'ONE'

Samuel Kim


Track List:

2. SOS
4. I Can`t Sleep
5. Clap Your Hands
6. Just a While

Samuel has come into his own and has just released his second mini-album, amusingly titled 'ONE.' Why amusing? Because if you know his history he was one-half of the duo known as 1Punch -- his former bandmate is known as ONE. Probably coincidence. Well, enough backstory. Just check out these six tracks instead...

"ONE" is a fantastic club banger, with the pounding beats, down-pitched vocals, and noisy synths that I like. There are even some arctic-cool breaks. Sadly, Ilhoon's part is far too short and adds little to the song. Though I love how they give the notes a higher pitch to match Samuel's voice.  Is it loud? Yes. Is it annoying? Yes. Do I love it? Of course. The next one is "SOS," a cool R&B tune, with some hints of the now-overused tropical house beat. What he does with this track is actually nice and refreshing, fun, and upbeat. If he was looking for another track to promote with, this would be it. 

"PRINCESS" is a buttery-smooth R&B pop tune. He starts out a bit quiet, but the washes intrude during the chorus, and the beat gets harder. As a dance tune, it's pure pop goodness. You should be nodding your head in time to the beat well before this one is over.


The more traditional "I Can't Sleep" is another pop number. The synth wubs are medium-pitched and match his voice nicely. Some of the down-pitched vocal samples provide a sweet counterpoint to his higher-register vocals. There are some synth flourishes that are just awesome. "Clap Your Hands" is another one right up my alley. With bold synth notes, a pounding beat, and simple hooks, this is a 3-minute party song. And it's very distinct from "ONE," to boot. 

There's very little not to like if you're a fan of these kinds of tunes. Samuel shows off his sensitive side in "Just a While." It starts off slow and acquires a nice soft pop sensibility. What's particularly odd is the dubstep dance breaks in this one. They're slightly jarring in what could otherwise be a sweet song.

I like this one a lot. He's come a long way since 'Eye Candy.' I found most of those tunes generic and lacking any kind of heart or identity. I particularly like the more filled out songs he's packed into this EP. They're nice and meaty. He's found his voice on this release, I think, and that's what I was hoping for him all along.


This MV gives Samuel a darker image than on his previous release. Gone are the bright colors and sunny environments in "Candy." Flickering lights, cold, muted blues, and CGI are the order of the day here. Not to mention the high-tech intimations in the MV itself.

The dancing is well-done. I love a good dance sequence, and Samuel and co. bring it here. Arms and legs bent oddly, moving in time to the music, and generally, in sync, they did a decent job. The choreo was a bit lackluster, but they still handled it well.

The MV itself is awash in bizarre imagery, from backup dancers with strange masks (and they switch up colors later), to a gas mask with vapors emanating from it (a drug reference, maybe?). There are projection screens with violent weather effects, weird alien life forms (that Samuel touches -- eww), and a club with neon lighting complete with what appear to be bodies in plastic on the floor.

Still, it kept me watching. You'd almost forget this guy did "Candy" earlier. But it was not so much Samuel as it was the rest of it, as I've just described. It was strange, but it had a nice tie-in with Samuel floating up to space, only to end up as the image on the album cover. Yeah, the MV was intense.  


MV Relevance...........9
MV Production..........9
MV Concept..............9

Album Production.....9
Album Concept.........9


  1. Samuel Kim
  2. ONE
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