10 Stories Behind His Mask
After his sensational debut in INFINITE, Sungkyu has progressed on finding his own style of music throughout his career. Coming out with several releases under the name “Kim Sungkyu,” the singer has pursued his music throughout the years.
Now with his first full album peaking on the charts, Kim Sungkyu returned as a solo artist after three years. With spring coming our way, his 10 Stories brought along a scent of sentiment in the air.
What is your “True Love?”
“True Love,” the title track of 10 Stories, contains a lot of band sounds. The pop-like vibe that radiates from the track creates a nice base to support the artist’s strong vocal, yet it softens it to convey the feeling of sadness at the same time. The transition from the bridge to the track’s climax is incredible; the progression of one note to the other effortlessly is an awestrucking move. How he manages to handle all in a smooth range of pitches as well as building up the emotion simply left me astonished.
Filmed in Hong Kong, Sungkyu’s new release represents an atmosphere of sorrow. The overall color scheme plays a big role in emphasizing the emotion which bring viewers into the song. The singer paints a story throughout the whole video, providing the audience with a sense of melancholy. The vocalist’s acting and elements such as intentionally slowing down some scenes were nice additions that brought the music video to life. As you hear the story of a love relationship, who is a true love you can think of?
Stories to Tell
Just like the title, the singer’s album consists of 10 tracks. From a song that makes your heart flutter to a lyrical ballad, you can find anything you want in 10 Stories.
“What Did I Say (뭐랬어)” has a groovy beat and puts emphasis on Sungkyu’s voice which smoothly blends in with the melody. Featuring PUNCHNELLO, the rap verses tell the listeners the story as if it were between Sungkyu himself and the listener.
As the song goes on, Sungkyu brings upon his own voice and dominates the melody of “Don’t Move (머물러줘).” Expressing the emotion of a man in love, the vocalist makes his genuine confession towards his significant other.
“Stuck On (끌림)” really shows the chemistry between NELL’s Kim Jongwan and Sungkyu. The incorporation of an EDM base and the modernized voice of the young singer come together to form a song of a happier vibe.
“Vanishing Days (지워지는 날들)” is a very simple track. Using a piano, this ballad talks about the past, bringing up sadness about a past relationship.
“Till Sunrise” features JW of NELL along with the lyric writer being Tablo. Radiating a feeling of relaxation, the lyrics hold messages of encouraging and inspiring others around you. This song will brighten up your day for sure!
Beginning with a complex combination of sound effects, “Sorry” talks about the desperate emotion of one trying to hold back the other. The song itself is not a speedy one, but the gradual addition of the band sound adds onto the overall mood of the song to stress more on the despair of a man who does not wish to let go of his love.
“City of Angel (천사의 도시)” includes Sungkyu’s contribution as a lyric writer. The subtle background sounds in beginning build to complete a high quality B-Side; Sungkyu’s voice is indeed one of an angel.
For “Sentimental,” Sungkyu worked with JUUNO of Casker. The beat sets a steady rhythm that gives off a nice start to the song; just like the title, it’s based on a sentimental mood but is very fun and one of a brighter mood.
“Mirror (거울),” a song with mostly piano filling the instrumental, talks about the sadness in a sweet way. This song establishes a point for the listener to relate and find a connection to the artist.
Keeping the mood at a melancholy level, Sungkyu showed himself as a singer of endless improvement. The 10 Stories Sungkyu communicated to us were not only stories of himself, but what everyone else can become a part of. This release had me thinking about the true limit of the vocalist’s skills; how he will further advance and grow as artist Kim Sungkyu is something I will definitely wait for.
“True Love” Title Score: 9/10
Music Video Score: 8.5/10
10 Stories Album Score: 9/10