From Piece of BTOB
to Hyena on the Keyboard
's "If I Hug You," these solo singles might not be as widely known as BTOB's group releases, but they definitely best represent Hyun Sik's personal taste in music. Known as BTOB's "father of music," Hyun Sik pursues his solo career with five soft and alternative self-produced rock pieces in his first mini-album Rendez-Vous
Alternative rock tune Dear Love (Track 5), the title song of the album, tells a melancholic and desperate story about a relationship across the universe ("Dear love, dear you, who entangled with me. Please don't be in pain, 'cause I will be in pain too. Oh my love, how is the sky at that place? Are you also looking at the moon and missing me?"). Beyond his composing skills, the singer's vocal talents sparkle as well in the strong and powerful high notes of the song. Apart from the original version, please also give the instrumental version (Track 6) a listen to appreciate the beautiful melody of the composition.
Rendez-Vous (Track 1) is my favorite side track of the record. The romantic alternative rock song takes inspiration from space travel to express the wish of meeting a love who is far away: "Someday when I stand in front of you, please hug me with a bright smile. At the end of a long journey in the future, when we touch each other, the two of us will become one." Starting from 4:18, Rendez-Vous slowly wraps up the melody with almost a minute of only instrumentals, creating a very free and relaxing ambience.
True to the album concept, the majority of the songs are space-themed. Docking (Track 2) is inspired by space movies and talks about "flying to the star." In synthpop number Moonlight (Track 4), Hyun Sik reveals that he, much like the moon, does not shine on his own but because of the love he receives.
Compared to the other songs, Black (Track 3) carries stronger beats and rhythms that make it a hard rock plug. While Hyun Sik's voice is sweet and mellow in the other tracks, he totally goes edgy and tough in Black to cry out the feeling of helplessness and wanting to run away, but realizing that there is nowhere to go. Black not only conveys negative feelings, but also his experience of isolating himself and staying in the studio to avoid the outside world.
As a huge fan of BTOB, I feel more than delighted to see Hyun Sik exploring the music genre that he loves the most – a genre that is also hardly found in BTOB releases. Besides writing and composing, Hyun Sik was responsible for almost all the instrumental sessions in his first solo album's production, including guitar, bass, drum, synthesizer and piano. Bless me with more dreamy and spacey rock music!