Review

Song Review: AKMU – Hey Kid, Close Your Eyes (ft. Lee Sun Hee)

AKMU - BattlegroundWell, what do we have here? Honest-to-goodness new music during the month of July?? Will wonders never cease!

Actually, our long musical drought will soon come to an end as AKMU ushers in a K-pop deluge with their collaboration album next week. Apparently, all of its songs will be given some form of music video, and Hey Kid, Close Your Eyes (전쟁터) kicks this off as a pre-release. Like every track on the album, it features a guest artist. Lee Sun Hee is a bonafide legend, debuting in the 80’s and skyrocketing to national fame. Chanhyuk and Suhyun must be thrilled to work with her!

AKMU have stated that this album will push their style in different directions, and you hear some of this pop up in Hey Kid, Close Your Eyes. The song sounds distinctly them, but with an injection of icy synth that brings new texture. The percussion also feels more synthesized, adding retro flair to the track. I love this general atmosphere. It fits especially well with Sun Hee’s captivating vocal. Hey Kid, Close Your Eyes is brisk and rhythmic, but has a haunting quality that keeps you engrossed.

Of course, me being me, I wish the song went even bigger. So many of its elements hint at a chorus that’s just a bit more robust – a climax that’s just a bit more explosive. The gorgeous synth breakdown before the final chorus offers a hint of how massive Hey Kid, Close Your Eyes might have sounded given a more ambitious touch, but AKMU are hesitant to go full bore. I guess bombastic production isn’t really the point of a song like this, so I understand the more atmospheric choices that were made. With any luck, this’ll end up being the perfect teaser for a legendary title track next week.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8

11 thoughts on “Song Review: AKMU – Hey Kid, Close Your Eyes (ft. Lee Sun Hee)

  1. Oh, I know, its been a kpop release desert. I find myself listening to all the little groups with 10k views or fewer, because that is all there is. Or all the ballad releases from that part of kpop that we over here don’t usually listen to much, like Jannabi, maybe its time I listen to Jannabi since there is nothing else new.

    OK, Akmu.
    I was not optimistic during the first 20 seconds, but it turns out to be a lovely little song. Not quite a “How can I love the Heartbreak” moment, but when I buy the album and play it through, I will willingly hum along and not skip it.

    Love is a Battlefield …. I looked it up. In English, “battlefield” is the actual field that a battle is or was fought. “Battleground” is the general territory where that battlefield is or was. I don’t know if there is a distinction in Korean, or if it really matters.
    For the youngins here, here is Pat Benatar with one of her signature hits “Love is a Battlefield”. This song was a popular hit and had heavy MTv rotation.
    ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGVZOLV9SPo

    Liked by 2 people

    • How do you find the little groups that don’t show up on music shows? I follow 1theK, Stone, and Genie’s YouTube channels, and sometimes find a new group here or via the YT algorithm, but it seems like there’s another hidden gem tucked away every time I turn around.

      Like

      • Yeah, all of those, and sometimes the magic YT algorithm. Allkpop with the “video” filter clicked on, to avoid the rest of that site’s junk.

        Kville’s “weekly” release round up is pretty comprehensive and best of all there are 15-20 sec snippets so its a nice compact sonic sampler. They really seem to capture all the littlest indie bands towards the end of the video, for better or worse. The long tail of music. “Weekly” because the release day of the week can vary from week to week – its when they get to it, and as the channel is demonetized, it is truly a gift to us all. This is last week’s, click subscribe and hit the bell! ba da bida ba da bida baaaaaah ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaAqh5-6uEU

        But my usual go to to catch all or most, I check kpopmap every morning or every other morning. This month’s link is “https://www.kpopmap.com/update-upcoming-k-pop-comeback-debut-schedule-lineup-in-july-2021/” which you can bookmark, and then the next month hand edit “july” to “august” and then to “september” and so on in the link, because hunting around kpopmap is plagued with clickbait listiscles. I just looked now, and on top was “Which female idol looks best in a beret?” and I am not kidding. “https://www.kpopmap.com/which-female-idol-looks-the-best-in-a-beret/” and its a slideshow so its an extra multi-page ad clickbait because this is such an important topic, people!

        Liked by 1 person

        • That is unbelievably helpful, thank you! I started following kpop while I was on medical leave from work, so I had a lot of time for aimless poking around. Now that I’m back to work I’ve been looking for ways to streamline my viewing/listening and kville + kpopmap look like the perfect way to do that. I was struggling with inconsistent romanization on the YouTube channels too, so I appreciate that both of those sites take care of that for me. I keep saying I’m going to teach myself hangul one of these weekends, and then my weekends keep getting busy. So it goes!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hangul … I have to admit I know a lot but not all. As always with pop stars, it starts by learning the hangul of your stans and biases, and then working outward from there. Consonants come fairly quickly; I am still stuck on some vowels especially the ones not in my biases ;-P.

            (nb watch for the aliases. For some groups the hangul may not match the English version. eg WJSN 우주소녀 = Cosmic girls. or TVXQ! = DBSK = Tohoshinki = “Rising Gods of the East” = TVXQ!. or Girl’s Generation = GG = SNSD = 소녀시대 Sonyeo Sidae = “SoShi” = something about “Fair Maidens”.

            Like

  2. My general theory for the dearth of music comebacks is the Olympics. After the first week of August is when music shows come back, so that might be the reason.

    This is a decent song. It’s lowkey like Alien, but I think it was more of a hindrance here whereas Alien was pretty good with its minimalism. Aesthetically, it probably made more sense since that was the point of the song but it does lack some force as a song. I do like it but I’m not fully into it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like this a lot. For some reason I keep imagining this sung in French. I love the retro sound of the 80s Cold War era. The mv eminds me of my youthful nightmares of a nuclear war.

    Liked by 1 person

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