HYUK – 'WINTER BUTTERFLY'
1. Winter Butterfly *Title
2. Boy With a Star
3. If Only (Feat. An Daeun of The ADE )
4. The Way to You
5. A Long Night
Hyuk of VIXX fame has dropped his newest solo EP, 'Winter Butterfly.' It has five tracks, including "If Only" featuring An Daeun of The Ade. This is his solo debut.
"Winter Butterfly" is a gentle ballad. His voice wanders from a tender whispery style to emotional falsetto at the drop of a hat. It doesn't really pick up until 1:45 when they bring in an electric guitar. That's when this feels like a title track. Soft pop best characterizes "Boy With a Star." It's played in a minor key on the piano, and it's as appropriately solemn as its subject matter. In the song, Hyuk remembers spending time with someone, probably a girl, and how she was a bright star in his sky. But she's gone, and all the stars are sad.
"If Only" is done to an acoustic guitar, and sounds a lot like indie-folk. An Daeun has a beautiful voice, and they sound divine in their duet. The nice thing is that one doesn't steal the other's thunder, as so often happens with guest artists. "The Way to You" is probably the strongest song on here. It gets away from the folksy singer-songwriter roots that mark most of the songs and tackles straight-ahead pop. Hyuk is right at home here, and he should be since the tune sounds like much of what he's done with VIXX. "A Long Night" is a ballad. No surprises here. Of course, just like usual, the music threatens to drown out the singer. He struggles valiantly against it, and he wins -- just barely.
I imagine what Hyuk was going for was a winter album. Quiet, unassuming, tending toward the bland, like most seasonal releases around this time of year (brace yourselves -- ballads are coming). The nice thing is that the songs have enough heft to them so they don't sound all the same. Still, if you've had enough of the Christmas crowds, the hectic pace of your job, this is the EP for you. Hyuk has some serious chops.
On a sunny but windy day, Hyuk takes his bike out. Strangely, he doesn't ride it but initially walks it along the road. We see him riding in the next scene, and in the next, he dumps the bike and instead walks, seemingly in a daze, as a butterfly flits around him. It's not long before he leaves the trappings of civilization behind.
We see him in a field and on a rocky beach. There are some sunset scenes, and then he's riding back. That's when it flashes back to Hyuk in those places he supposedly left behind, and it's snowing. Meanwhile, the Winter Butterfly holds its own, floating and darting amid the flakes, while we get a fantastic view of the sea.
I'm of two minds on this MV. One, we've seen all this before. A lot. So many MVs use these two landscapes a lot. But I like the idea that Hyuk is trying to take it all in. He spreads his arms wide, lingering in a sense of wonder. Like he's trying to get that in before he heads back to Gangnam.
And the butterfly is the only constant.
I think the symbolism is important here. And that's what makes it a halfway decent MV, as you take it all in as he does, and think about it. So yeah, this gets my seal of approval.
MV SCORE: 8.0
ALBUM SCORE: 8.0