[Review] No One Knows – Seo Eunkwang (BTOB)

It is time for another review for another Monday release. I believe this is the final Monday release that I will be reviewing and I shall move onto reviews for other days that I may have missed over the weekend. The star of this review is Seo Eunkwang, who is the leader and main vocalist of BTOB. Seo Eunkwang recently returned from his military enlistment earlier this year and marks his return with his first solo mini-album, FoRest: Entrance and the title track, No One Knows. In other related news, the majority of BTOB are currently fulfilling their enlistment, so it might be some time until we hear from the group again.

As mentioned earlier in the week and multiple review posts in the past, main vocalists tend to go down the ballad route as this style allows for their vocals to be shown off. I know I sound like a broken record as I mention it every time I write a review for a solo release by a group’s main vocalist. When it comes to Seo Eunkwang, however, ballad is the way to go. While the work that BTOB have released in the past have been upbeat (take Beep Beep, as an example) and a little crazy at times (referring to some of their side tracks), I just don’t see BTOB’s main vocalist releasing a dance track as a main promotional track. Maybe a slow R&B track, at best. Why? Well, No One Knows is probably a good indication of that. He nails ballads perfectly. Over the 3 and a half minutes or so, I was captivated to the point where I couldn’t write my review while concurrently listening to song. I had to stop typing as I was in awe. Definitely a sign of a good ballad. While the ballad does follow standard backbone with its classical instrumental, there was a nice buildup throughout the song that made it sound so grand and heavy towards the end. I liked the electrical guitar that peeped through at the end, as well. It wasn’t much, but you can still feel its presence in the song. But the real captivating element of the song is Seo Eunkwang’s voice, which we already know is amazing through past solo tracks and his BTOB work. But we hear it in its full glory, which is probably the best thing about this track. Not only does his voice soar, but it powers through the heaviest instrumented parts to be the main element of the song. I really liked how he dragged out the final word, before repeating it 3 more times in short and sharp delivery. Its kind of a ‘Thank you, move along’ type of vibe that suits the song’s lyrics and meaning so well. The other melodies are just so good, it is hard to find a fault in the song. After all, I do like a good ballad and this one is as good as it gets.

The music video opens up with Seo Eun Kwang singing the song to himself. We get a sense in this scene alone that he is very lonely. After all, the song is about being alone, yet pretending that everything is okay. I thought it was a really good video, emphasising loneliness is the recurring theme in all the scenes. And in all these scenes, we see his facial expressions. You can tell that he is very stuck in his thoughts and lonely (yep, that recurring word). He interestingly does not show sadness on his face, though he does carry himself in what seems to be a depressed manner. I liked the cinematography of the music videos and like not all of Eunkwang is the shot. It makes the video artistic and aesthetic in a way.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 10/10
Overall Rating – 10/10

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