Sechskies shines anew with Another Light

First, a disclaimer, because some who might stumble upon this post might find the title misleading: This is not an album review. Well, maybe sort of, but not exactly an objective one because I totally love Sechskies. There, I have finally announced it haha.

Second, a digression. It has been more than a year since I have followed this first-generation Korean boy group. Sechskies had made me cry with their emotional reunion through the MBC variety show Infinity Challenge, but they have been making me smile–heck, make that laugh until I cry–with their variety skills. They have been working hard since regrouping, holding concerts (Yellow Note), releasing new songs (“Three Words,” “Sad Song,” and “Be Well”) and remastered versions of their hit songs, and appearing in music and variety shows.

Despite being active for a relatively short period (Sechskies debuted in April 1997 and disbanded in May 2000), they had managed to release four albums that spawned a number of hit songs. I actually find it quite difficult to choose a favorite Sechskies song (from the first four albums). The songs they have after their reunion are well-produced (as expected of Tablo and Future Bounce 🙂 ) and well-received, earning them year-end awards (for “Three Words”) and top spot in music shows (for “Be Well”). But a fifth full album with all new songs after 18 years, how would it sound? How would it be received?

Another Light is indeed something special and something to smile about

With Another Light, its double title tracks “Something Special” and “Smile”, and seven equally title track-worthy songs, I dare say that Sechskies has further solidified its place in the current Kpop scene. They are already legendary, but with this album, their music evokes not only nostalgia but fresh vitality. From one track to another, we get to listen to each member’s distinct vocal tone as the group challenges different genre.

I have always been impressed with Eun Jiwon’s versatility as an entertainer, but this album is a showcase for his singing skills. Kang Sunghoon is Kang Sunghoon: ever reliable as a main vocalist, nailing all his parts effortlessly. Of course his voice has matured, but its characteristic sweetness remains. Jang Suwon has improved tremendously; his and Kim Jaeduck’s hard work to keep performing as a duo after their disbandment is now serving the group well. A revelation (to me) in many ways is Lee Jaijin. I am no music major so I don’t know any technical words to describe his voice. Evidently Jaijin has great range (Watch: his aegyo song in Weekly Idol). But I just love how he can deliver power/softness with his voice in this album. All the members convey emotions well when they sing–it’s one of the reasons I have been drawn to them as a group.

Now, the songs. As I’ve posted in Twitter, there is no such thing as album filler in Another Light. Each track could stand as a title track. I like how the album starts with “Something Special” and ends with “It’s Been a While,” which is among my personal favorites along with “Backhug” and “Drinking Problem.” The upbeat tracks may sound a lot more “quiet” than the dance tracks the group has been known for, but they are as energy-filled. But really, one can jump around to one’s heart’s content to “Vertigo” or dance to “Something Special” or “Feeling.” Feeling lovesick or sorrowful? There are tracks for those times too. Better yet, just listen from Track 1 to 9 and be moved physically and emotionally.

I cannot possibly say this enough: Another Light is awesome, like really really :). Now if only YG promotes it more like by having Sechskies in variety shows, wouldn’t it be more awesome? 😛