SUHO – 'SELF PORTRAIT'
2. Let’s Love
3. Made In You
4 Starry Night
6. For You Now (Feat. Younha)
Suho of EXO fame has gone solo. His first ever mini-album is called 'Self Portrait.' It has six tracks, including a duet with Younha and the promotional single "Let's Love."
"O₂" doesn't start as much as it fades into existence. It's got a melody-driven by piano and guitar. Those instruments combine to create more of a soundscape than a melody, and that is the strength of this song. I like that. There's more of a tune to "Let’s Love" than on the previous track. While there's still some of that Lo-Fi feel, you can still tell the instruments apart. They don't blend into a cacophony like "O₂." He unleashes some of his emotional falsetto here as well. "Made In You" is a little more up-tempo than the songs we've heard so far. It's still soft pop, but it has a little more of an uplifting feel. Almost like he's celebrating. I like how expressive he gets in this particular song. He starts with falsetto and ends up with a positively earnest chorus.
They use some of that blended instrumentation in "Starry Night." This one has an ethereal feel to it. And that backing track is sometimes eerie. But this is tenderness born of real emotion. It's Suho's favorite painting, and that enthusiasm comes through loud and clear on this track. "Self-Portrait" is another intimate piece. It's an ode to a painting done by the same artist, Vincent Van Gogh. But it's more than that, as he reveals that he's trying to blot out the memory of someone. As the song goes on, we realize that she's seeped into him. It's all brilliantly played with references to art and painting. Let's hope he didn't lose an ear as well. "For You Now" is a tenderly sung ballad. It's done to a single piano and an occasional guitar. The singers sound a bit lonely, Younha in particular with her whispery vocals. What works in its favor is the fact that they never lose control. The piece doesn't end with a rising orchestra drowning out the singers. It ends as peacefully and quietly as it began.
This is a quite soothing album overall. The songs are very pretty, and the vocals are top-notch (as you might expect from someone from EXO. It's a different side of him then you might expect. There are none of those slick pop productions that he's produced in the past. Instead, it's a very minimalist collection. Stripped down, bare-bones. And that makes all the difference in the world.
Suho's MV for "Let's Love" is somewhat chaotic. The fact that it doesn't move very fast works in its favor. But it doesn't need to move fast since the song is pretty slow and languorous as well.
There seem to be a few locations, with one taking center stage most of the time. The main area he stays in has some paintings hanging willy-nilly. The only one I can identify is Edvard Munch's "The Scream." But there are scenes of Suho walking through a concrete hallway, hanging out in the dark, sometimes you can see him in a room with lights hanging down from the ceiling, even walking over shards broken glass.
The man changes outfits fairly often in here, alternating between at least two different suits, and nice-looking shirts. He looks pretty classy in this MV, rocking every outfit they give him. He doesn't seem to give any fan service here, which is just fine by me.
Frankly, this is one classy video. It doesn't threaten to overwhelm you with special effects, for example. In fact, there are very few effects in here, and most of the sets seem to symbolize isolation. Still, I can't deny that was a pretty interesting piece of film.
MV SCORE: 8.0
ALBUM SCORE: 8.0