Today’s album review will be focusing on Nam Woohyun’s latest solo mini-album, A New Journey, which also features the title track Hold On Me. In the past, Nam Woohyun’s releases have revolved around the ballad genre. But with a fitting title such as A New Journey, it is implied that a new direction is taken. And with the intro track and title track suggesting a more upbeat route, it is definitely ‘A New Journey‘ for the Infinite member in terms of solo releases. So let’s follow Woohyun and see what songs are included on the album.
2. Hold On Me (ft. Junoflo) (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review of Hold On Me. (9/10)
3. Rain – The song is a mixture of different sounds. However, I don’t think it is an overwhelming mix. I just think it could have been tied together more nicely. The few changes it did feature were very obvious in nature and it created a messy atmosphere as a result. I think the track was going towards a dynamic vibe and a more cohesive approach (if it is possible) would have really benefited the main appeal of the track. It starts off with an acoustic-like electric guitar introduction and slowly builds to a Latin-inspired chorus with both electric and acoustic guitars at the forefront. The song remains in this mode up until a brief pause at the end and it changes completely. So different that I thought a new song had started. The first listen was overwhelming but that feeling died down after multiple listens, as suggested above. I thought the vocals were well presented in this track, with that being another highlight. (7.5/10)
4. Stranger – While this track does sound a little typical, the rush of energy that we get from the chorus makes it sound so good. Personally, I think this song ticks all the boxes on my checklist for an amazing song. Great vocals, great energy, great beat. Everything was great! It just felt like it was missing one element. I did lowkey expected a rap sequence during the instrumental break. And I think that could have made the song a little more interesting. The instrumental break did feel like a small void and it would have helped if it was filled up in some way. (9/10)
5. Crying Baby – While I did mention that the album took an upbeat approach (and this song is no exception from that), Crying Baby’s verses made it feel very ballad-like. But that doesn’t hold for long, as the song takes a turn (though I don’t remember exactly if this turn was expected or unexpected for me). I am glad that the majority of the singing for this song was during the verses, making way for an empty-ish chorus to be filled with loud dubstep effects. I find this a well contrasting mix due to its differences in softness and loudness; delicate and rough; ballad and electronics etc. If any major singing parts were to occur during the chorus, no doubt that Woohyun voice would have been drowned out. (8/10)
6. Just Look At Me (넌 나만 바라봐) – The first thing that really pops out at me in this track is Woohyun’s airy and lower toned vocals. It is a lot different than his vocal approach in any other song on the album, so it is different intriguing. I like the instrumental for this track, as well. The synths are a little loud, which at times did feel like it was drowning out vocals. They did attempt to combat this by incorporating some loud backing vocals (that he does a good job harmonizing with), which expelled a very dominant retro vibe to the song. This was successful to varying degrees along the track. But overall, I thought it was a nice track. (8/10)
7. Flower – Flower is probably the most ‘expected’ track off this album to fit into Woohyun’s existing portfolio. It isn’t strictly a ballad, however. But I find the song to be consistent with a softer nature and more traditional instrumentation that you expected for a ballad. It is also the one song on the album that provides relief from the loaded energy that we have coming from the album. And this relief is much appreciated. Flower ends up being a typical café style and almost-jazzy number, which I enjoy time to time. Because of the energy I mentioned just a moment ago, this is a good example of when I enjoy this type of song. A part of me says this is a lacklustre song to end with, due to its standard nature. But at the same time, it is definitely pleasant. (7/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.1/10