It’s been a challenging few weeks for fans of Kim Sung Kyu. His departure from Woollim Entertainment – after over a decade with the agency – throws into question the future of his solo work and of Infinite as a group. As consolation, he’s released one final album with Woollim, and it brings him back to his roots as a soloist.
Some combinations are simply made to be, and Sung Kyu’s partnership with Nell’s Kim Jongwan has resulted in an incredible catalog of music. His previous album – December’s Inside Me – opted to pair him with different producers. And if I’m being honest, I wasn’t overly impressed. Most of the songs lacked that extra special something I’ve come to love about Sung Kyu’s solo work.
Hush reignites that charm. And even though it might not feel as momentous as his best work, it’s gratifying to hear his voice paired with Jongwan’s production once more. Though he’s proven himself versatile when it comes to genre, Sung Kyu’s unique tone has always suited this style of ethereal, electronic rock. Hush is bolstered by a driving rock beat and insistent electro pulse. It takes a bit of time to get going, with the first verse largely dedicated to atmospheric build. But, the melody is strong right from the start.
Sung Kyu powers the song with his inimitable vocal, bringing nuance and change to every moment. As usual, he makes Hush come alive, both in its quiet moments and during its more bombastic chorus. The song blossoms as it grows, climaxing in a cathartic blast of guitar. But, it also knows when to pull back. Hush isn’t relentlessly loud, and its attention to dynamics makes it compelling throughout. As with most of Sung Kyu’s solo work, I expect that this will only grow more addictive with time.