In 2016, SM Entertainment unveiled a variety of rather ambitious projects—notably, the creation of an ever-morphing super-group that we now know as NCT. Another one of those projects was SM Station, a weekly digital platform that releases a song every Friday, spanning a variety of genres and featuring SM artists, as well as names from all around the world.
After a successful first year, the project launched for a second season in March 2017 for another round of 52 releases. Being a big fan of all kinds of music, it comes as no surprise that SM Station happens to be one of my favorite projects in the music industry.
Last week's release was definitely a surprise. For this single, SM brought in rock band The Solutions, who have been active since 2012. I would describe their music as an energetic road trip extravaganza, and though their Station single is a little more toned down, it still follows that same trend.
"All That You Want" kind of sounds like your typical summer rock song—upbeat, catchy, with group vocals and sustained guitars—but rather than being generic and boring, the song is comforting and invigorating. It reminds you of simple summer days spent just basking in the heat and enjoying the sun in the company of friends. It also gives strong nostalgic vibes, as do most of these types of songs.
It's not the first time I'm thankful to SM for introducing me to unknown acts—I probably wouldn't have given Buzz a chance, for example, had Min Kyunghoon not collaborated on "Sweet Dream" with Knowing Brothers acolyte and Super Junior member Heechul. This time, I'm definitely glad I decided to take a look at the rest of The Solutions's music. Here are some of my picks.
"Love You Dear" fits the term "extravaganza" probably more than "All That You Want" does. Mixing elements of rock and electropop brilliantly together, the song can be summed up as the ultimate fast-paced road trip love song. Though the elements that make it up come and go—namely, the synth, loud guitars, and pounding drums—the energy of the song never dies, and it's contagious. You'll find yourself head banging to the beat before you even know it.
Next on my list is "Sounds of the Universe." It's more rough-sounding before the first verse comes in and you realize it's actually much more introspective, in a way. The track is a pure rock song with very faint electro elements to it. It reminds me slightly of some earlier Glen Check tracks, though I do appreciate The Solutions's use of vocals better.
I still know very little about this band, and I still have many more of their releases to check out, but having them featured on SM Station was definitely a great thing, at least for me. Check out the song, and then check out the band if you like their sound. It's always nice to step away from your pop-driven daily listening, even if your favorite group has come out with a brand new, almost overwhelming album. Take my word for it.