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[Review] Wheesung – “The Guys are Coming” (***1/2)

11 Oct

I have limited knowledge of Wheesung is apart from the fact that one of my closest friends was in love with him since his debut. However, I’ve known enough his material to appreciate and adore his work. He is a great singer and writer but my friend warned me that his recent works have not lived up to his earlier ones. With that in mind, I find his last mini-album before enlistment an important piece of work.

The first track, Music, is a very pop-oriented track that doesn’t quite match with the soulfulness of his voice. The instrumental starts out as if “Fire” by 2NE1 was going to play. However, that said, there is something very attractive about it. His voice is raw and powerful. It’s effortless for him and I love that I haven’t heard a male vocal as strong as his since K.Will’s last effort.

He is Coming again displays the power in Wheesung’s voice. This time, his voice expresses many different emotions from weary to frustrated to desperate. The further the track gets, the more emotional his vocals get and the more powerful his delivery gets. This song features Ailee’s rap and vocals at the beginning which complements Wheesung’s tone.

UUU, the third track from the album is a significantly lighter track than the first two, featuring an instrumental that has hints of what Kim Hyun Joong would sing. UUU isn’t a standout track but what really works in this track is how beautiful the instrumentals are and how light Wheesung’s voice is.

The next track is an oddly compelling and fun track. OJ is a laid back song with various guitars mixing well with Wheesung’s higher register. Here, his vocals are restrained and he sounds like he is having fun. The spoken parts are also endearing.

The last track is a joyous burst of reggae and pop perfect for the beach (way past the summer but okay). Oh Lonely is a sunny track featuring lovely vocals from Wheesung. I know I keep talking about Wheesung’s voice but that’s because it’s his main weapon. Oh Lonely is a charmer because Wheesung sounds so relaxed and still somehow soulful. It’s a fun closer to this album.

As much as I like Wheesung’s new album, I don’t think it’s quite as good as his earlier work. There isn’t really binding theme in this album but I feel like it’s some kind of ode to his fans before he leaves for the military. Still, his voice shines in this album. I’ve always known he’s a great singer but the one thing he does better here than in previous releases is that he’s become more charming.

He won’t be back until 2 years later but it’ll be very interesting to see how much he’s improved in that time.

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

–Clarence

 

 

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