• JoyBells

    I really liked all the songs in this album,but my personal favroute is “I need you”.TBH,the type of korean music i only ever listened to is kpop.Its the first time im listening to korean rock,and im surprised on how much im loving it.
    When i first heard gyu was taking out a solo album,i had really high hopes and expectations,and i can now say he not only meets them but surpasses them.I love INFINITE,and im a sworn inspirit,and gyu has always been my bias,so its gives me so much joy to see gyu and his album getting such positive reviews.Its esp heartwarming to read his interviews,where even though the spotlight is on him and his solo album,he repeatedly keeps mentioning INFINITE and how much support the other members showed him.Its been a dream come true for him to work with his idol nell,and he and infinte both have come such a long way,i hope in future too he and infinite continuous to fullfill all their dreams,because they all have worked so hard and totally deserve it.I feel like such a proud fan today. :)

  • kitsukushima

    oh my God thanks for the perfect score!you present the whole thought of mind!i want to write and comment precisely about sunggyu’s solo but with my limited English it always ended up with backspace…i love you!

  • http://thankgyuu.tumblr.com/ Mrs_KimSungGyu

    I don’t need to tell you how much I love this album, do I?

    As much as I would hope to disagree, both my sister and I do think that Sunggyu is better suited for these kinds of songs and is probably better off singing solo than with other people, or at least those of Infinite. That’s saying a lot considering Infinite is my favorite group and I love their team dynamics. Sunggyu’s just got so much more ability than any of Infinite’s songs have allowed him to show. Even more so that he has shown by performing on Immortal Song that he hasn’t yet presented to us in the form of a studio release, and so he has incredible potential to continue on his solo ventures in the future.

    Overall I am greatly satisfied with the album, I am definitely buying it, and Sunggyu’s voice remains my favorite voice in the world still after hearing it. 5/5 isn’t enough for how good and refreshing the album truly was. I’d just like to add that 41 Days had lyrics written by both Junghoon and Sunggyu, and that I thought they were brilliant. It was one of my favorite songs.

    • http://infinite-stress.tumblr.com/ ian

      Junghoon and Jongwan needs to just write all the songs for Sunggyu. Period.

  • Ariel2003

    I love the album been listening to all the songs on repeat, I could live with only these songs playing in my playlist for a week, will definitely buy the album.

  • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie

    Honestly, this album is perfect for Sunggyu. His voice was perfectly suited to the songs, and none of the songs are bad. Every single song was the perfect meeting of material with Sunggyu’s preferred singing style. I honestly can’t critique anything on this album. (Which is great. So many great albums in the past month.) I can’t even pick a favorite song because they’re all so good. 

    And this is making me advocate even more for solo debuts from idols. I mean, remember Song Ji-eun from Secret’s “Going Crazy”? Like, holy hell, that was fantastic. Not to mention, Yong-guk from BAP’s solo works in “Going Crazy” and “I Remember” were extremely impressive and, I think, added a lot to BAP’s early popularity. And then Junsu’s “Tarantellegra”. You may not have liked it, but it is undeniable that he was pushing the boundaries of image. And I think it goes without saying that  Big Bang’s solo releases have significantly contributed to their image of artists beyond being idols. Cannot wait for Yoseob.

    And Infinite-H! Just the songs Dongwoo and Hoya have done in concerts have made me go crazy with anticipation.

    • edenhyper

      I agree with your second paragraph a lot, with Yongguk, Sunggyu and Junsu they all had their own style and their solo adventures have been immense. More so than any of the work they have done with their bands. It boils down to one thing really, creatively this is the kind of music they want to do. I really loved Ji-eun’s song too, females in k-pop are hard to pin down mostly because so few talk about composing, writing lyrics or talking about a genre of music they like. However, Jea of Brown Eyed Girls is an exception (to be honest all of them are) – and I am looking forward to her stuff.

      • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie

        Speaking of females in Kpop, I’d love to see Wonder Girl’s Ye Eun tackle a solo project. I’m a fan of her compositions.

        • edenhyper

           Wonder Girls is not a band I follow, but I have heard that Ye Eun getting a lot of praise for stepping up. I may not listen to her stuff, but it’s great to see female idols getting into the part of their music.

          • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie

            She wrote and sang a solo song called “Hello To Myself” for the Dream High 2 OST. I recommend checking it out. It’s a very good song.

    • http://infinite-stress.tumblr.com/ ian

      I love all of Infinite-H’s songs so far. And I heard they worked with Primary for 4 songs. Now that’s just wow. I can’t wait to hear what they have in store for us.

      I’m very skeptical about Yoseob though. I feel like this would be another case of “idols releasing songs that could have easily been sung by their group or another member”.

  • edenhyper

    I think his talent is too boxed in Infinite, and whilst I love all their songs as a group – Sunggyu bluntly put should have been put on stage as a soloist. This album proves this wasn’t a quick-cash cow thing. The genre of music won’t suit most k-popper’s or those who listen exclusively to pop. However, what gives me hope is that a lot of people recognise his talent and will probably give the album a shot. I’ve read numerous comments from people saying exactly that, and I think that alone shows how much effect his album has had on people. I bought his album today and I cannot wait to listen to my copy for the first time. I’m just glad that you enjoyed his album. He’s probably the only “idol” that makes me emotional, and ever since I got into Infinite he was the one I wanted an album from. I know a lot of people are excited about Infinite-H, and Sunggyu came out of nowhere. However, I am glad Woolim boss gave this to Sunggyu, and I sincerely hope he releases his own music (alongside Infinite).

    • http://infinite-stress.tumblr.com/ ian

      I wholeheartedly agree on the “this wasn’t a quick-cash cow thing”.

      If it was, why this genre? Why Sunggyu?

      To me, this is Woollim giving the boys a chance to explore and do the style that they want that they can’t do as a group. I think this also gives us an insight to the musical direction that Infinite will take in the future. Their sound might evolve but it won’t differentiate drastically from their trademark “Infinite” sound.

      This is the appeal of Infinite solos for me – they all reflect each members’ distinctive personality. It’s not a solo effort that could have been done by any other member of the group nor is it a song that the group could easily have done as well. A solo effort is a solo effort – something that is for that person alone, that fits him. It’s essentially him as an artist. Not as another idol debuting because essentially, what’s the point if it were?

      Props to Wooollim, Sunggyu, Nell and all the other producers involved!

      • edenhyper

        I think out of all the members in Infinite, Sunggyu probably ‘deserved’ this the most. I am glad Woolim gave him the chance, and whilst I understand Sunggyu’s popularity in Korea has increased by his dorky antics on variety; he finally got to do the music he was born to do (as cheesy as that sounds).

        You are right. No other member could do his music, because it is distinctly HIS sound. I sense that Sunggyu’s musical preferences has rubbed off on a few members, but I cannot imagine Hoya singing “Shine” for example. The way he sings as well, especially in “Shine” was different in Infinite, and shows his multi-layered talent.

        Woolim’s recent interview basically stating that idol music has hit a peak now. Looking at the recent (relevant) charts it’s all solo singers in different genres hitting #1 and not idol groups. I didn’t expect Sunggyu to achieve all #1′s but I really think he’s holding his own, and you know what we all know that it wasn’t the point anyway :)

  • animasaurus

    Although tbh I have never really been a fan of Sunggyu’s singing (his technique, too nasal, etc.) and have a preference toward Woohyun’s vocals… I must say that this album is quite gorgeous. I think he really put his heart in this album and it shows. My favorite track is 41 days because it has such a nice europop-rock feel to it.

    Still praying for an INFINITE H album and a Nam Woohyun dance pop album but I am SO happy that Sunggyu finally got his wish to create this beauty. I don’t even care how successful it becomes, I’m just happy the group is starting to spread their wings a bit. It seems only fitting that the leader would be the first one to give it a shot!

  • http://twitter.com/smileyushi Yushi Wang

    This album has been on repeat for me, the album as a whole is just so very good. Usually I would be disappointed with at least one track on albums, but Sunggyu just scored huge with this album. Every track is very strong. When Shine was pre released, I didn’t like it at first, but looping it definitely made me love it so much. Now it’s my 2nd favorite track on the album! I would love to hear sunggyu sing his songs live (I really need to go to an infinite concert) and it makes me appreciate sunggyu’s singing even more. This album is a gem for sure, beyond my expectations! 

  • Paloma

    Jung-hoon is just the best thing that could have ever happened to Sunggyu. Period.

    • http://thankgyuu.tumblr.com/ Mrs_KimSungGyu

      I agree wholeheartedly.

    • http://infinite-stress.tumblr.com/ ian

      This.

      All of the songs he has written for Sunggyu so far are just amazing.

      Jongwan has given him one song so far and I also love it to pieces. If he ever gives Sunggyu another song in the future…

      Can Nell just write all the songs for him. Please. Nell + Sunggyu = perfect combo imo.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MMRQEZEPSNJ26LJ7XJNDDM5NCI JasmineA

    Well..Im satified. As I’ve stated before I was a Sunggyu fan before I was an Infinite fan, and thats from seeing him on Immortal Song, and seeing how passionate he sang on that show. He’s now my bias in Kpop (still love GD though) Lol. It sounds stupid to say because I sound like a fangirl talking about biases, but at least I can honestly say although hes has the looks, I like Sunggyu mostly for his talent and how passionate he is about music, and how you can see that passion shine through when you watch him perform on stage. I love when a performer can make you feel something when they perform, because its takes more than being a great singer to do that. There are plenty of great singers that don’t really touch a person’s heart. If you can find a singer that can touch your heart just by standing there and singing the song than you’ve got something special. Hes not the best singer I’ve ever heard but I defiantly feel something listening to his music.

    With that being, I’ve only heard each song one time except for “60 seconds” because of the music video because I pre-ordered the Album, and I wanted to wait until it came in to listen to the songs. But, yeah I’ve been waiting for his solo album since I became a fan of his so you can imagine how enthusastic I was when I heard about this. Im excited to watch the live performances of “60 seconds” as well because Sunggyu has such an amazing stage presence. I feel like he sounds even better live and you can feel the energy in his performances.

    Giving my honest opinion, I will say though that I didn’t really care for the song “Shine”, I found the Chorus to be a bit off…especially on the parts where he says “O yes I do”, I felt like he should have sang that part with more power and not through his nose like the rest of the Chorus, and end is a bit off for me as well, maybe it’ll grow on me but as of right now I’m not really feeling that song, the rest of the album is great though.

    • animasaurus

      It’s alright, I don’t like Shine either! It sounds like it belongs in a scene from a really bad 80′s film or something.

    • http://thankgyuu.tumblr.com/ Mrs_KimSungGyu

      If Shine was one of the last songs he recorded that would make sense. In a interview he had a few days back he said he started recording a month ago but because of Infinite’s schedule he felt rushed and in fact they had to rent out equipment while they were in Japan and ended up doing the actual recordings in the hotel room. He said, “Because Infinite’s schedule is busy, everything was done tightly. I did everything urgently because I felt like it would be too late if I took my time.”

      It doesn’t really show, which is quite impressive especially considering this was his first working on a solo album.

      He also mentioned something about being regretful that he had not expressed himself as well as he had wanted to and I think that Shine was what he was talking about. Woollim had said previously that Sunggyu was nervous while working with Jongwan on that track and knowing Sunggyu well, I can see how that might have affected the finished product. He’s usually really good about getting his wits about him, but this was Kim Jongwan–his idol, so I would have been nervous as well. I remember on Immortal Song he had a bit of trouble controlling his nerves at first and I can imagine it was more or less the same here. That having been said, he also said that he was comfortable recording with Sweetune and Junghoon since he’d worked with them before, that’s probably why I felt he executed his other songs much better. He was more relaxed.

      Still, Shine wasn’t bad, but I also do feel the chorus was a bit off. The more I listen to it though the more I like it, so whatever. This just gives me more hope that next time he’ll do an even better job :)

      • http://infinite-stress.tumblr.com/ ian

        I agree with you on the off-ness of Shine. It doesn’t feel as fluid as the other songs and your thoughts on how the whole Jongwan thing must have influenced that makes a lot of sense.

        However, Shine to me is perfect with that off-ness feel to it. It just sounds… raw. The jarring tone and pitch of the chorus made me love it all the more. I’ve read a lot of people wish the chorus was a pitch lower but I tried imagining it and it would have lost that raw quality if it did. It’s just… it’s hard to explain, y’know?

        • http://thankgyuu.tumblr.com/ Mrs_KimSungGyu

          What some friends of mine concluded was that it was the production’s fault for why Shine wasn’t as polished as it should have been. We all agreed Sunggyu’s pitch was fine, it was just that the music drowned out his voice at times. The song itself is brilliant, as expected as someone like Jongwan, but there was still something off and people have been saying different things.
          I like parts other people didn’t like and similarly other people liked parts that I didn’t like as much. It may just be that the song tampered a lot with people’s preferences and because it’s a bit difficult to pinpoint the styling of the song as it is, many of us who aren’t used to listening to this type of music will need more time to get our ears attuned to it.

          I know there are people who firmly believe this was the best song of the year, while there are others who prefer the other songs on the album better. I’m perfectly fine with either opinion.

          • http://infinite-stress.tumblr.com/ ian

            That might be it. It was touted as “hybrid music”, is it not? :)

            Personally, my favorites are I Need You and 41st/41 Days. And Shine comes after those two.

            As for the music drowning out his voice, it wasn’t a problem for me this time and you know how I feel about the music always drowning out Gyu’s thin voice. But for this I didn’t notice it.

          • http://thankgyuu.tumblr.com/ Mrs_KimSungGyu

            The songs in order of my preference:

            41 Days
            I Need You
            60 Sec
            Shine/ Only Tears

            The intro was also beautiful and I wish it had been a full song, but Woollim loves their intros so I can’t be mad.

            I also really love the Acoustic version of 60 Sec. People think it’s a bit slow, but I prefer it that way. It’s like a lullaby.

            I really did enjoy all the songs though.

            I didn’t feel the music drowned out Sunggyu’s voice at first but as soon as people pointed it out I couldn’t help but notice it afterwards.

    • http://infinite-stress.tumblr.com/ ian

      A million times this.

      A lot of people criticize his technique and how he can’t really “sing”, more like whine himself through the song, which is, imo, stupid but hey, it’s their opinion – still.

      But his voice has that… thing. It has that it-quality that just makes me love it regardless of technique.

      To me, personally, music is music. And this? Is music from the heart. If you can translate notes into emotions then you’re an effective singer. You don’t need to be pitch perfect to be great – your job as a singer is to convey the song’s emotions and feelings for the audience to connect with you and understand your interpretation of the piece. To me, Sunggyu nails this perfectly.

    • TheJadeBullet

      I did like Shine, I just feel that the closing guitar was a bit too abrupt with the ending. The chorus was okay, I’m not saying that I disliked it because the use of a nasal tone actually didn’t annoy as much as it usually would *coughGDcough*

  • khai vu

    Just wanted to say I love 41 Days and the lyrics for it. Mad props to Sunggyu for having a hand in writing those lyrics.

    And does anyone know of any online Kpop store that ships from a US location? I want to buy this album but don’t want it to ship from Korea.

    • edenhyper

      Sorry have no idea where you can buy it that it isn’t shipped from S. Korea. I really wish Woolim would put the music on iTunes. Is it because of the shipping time?

  • muggle87

    he isn’t my favorite infinite member but i always like his voice and i was looking forward to his solo works. i really love this album… he is so osm!!!! even when i am not listening to the song from my lipod, i am singing and hum it the songs in my head. My love of his voice increase ten-fold with this album and i hope that he continues to release solo work in the future.^^

  • http://twitter.com/Chloe_Wong Chloe Wong

    This album is definitely a breath of fresh air. I mean I know Sunggyu’s passion has always lied in rock, but firstly I’d like to give him huge props for taking a big risk to release a whole mini album on this genre because this is not something that appeals to the general public. I’ve always loved Sunggyu’s voice and the colour it adds to Infinite’s vocal dynamics, but I’m not gonna lie, Sunggyu is destined to be a solo rockstar. He excels in this genre and he knows it.

    My favourite song on the album has got to be I Need You, because two words – soft rock. Sunggyu has dabbled a little into the softer side of rock on his short stint on Immortal Song 2, and I thought he did amazingly well, and I believe for me, he established soft rock as his “thing”. So I kind of expected this album to be a bit more on this side of rock, but hey we can’t have everything can we?

    A rare gem is what this album is. All the songs are well written, well composed, well recorded, no filler tracks – polished to the core. I’m so glad Woollim allowed Sunggyu to do this, he really lived up to expectations and showed the world that he can offer so much more than what he’s restricted to in Infinite. I just hope he manages to break down the idol stereotype surrounding… well, basically all the idols today.

    • http://infinite-stress.tumblr.com/ ian

      I Need You is also my favorite track for that very same reason. Immortal Song 2 was just… a dream come true for me as a fan. My heart Like the Stars was just my right kind of music. It was perfect and it’s the kind of music that Sunggyu’s voice is made for.

      And yes, definitely, no filler tracks in this gorgeous mini. The production is just superb.

  • http://twitter.com/Jle2711 AnhThu Le

    When I listened and watched 60sec, I immediately had the image of Moon Heejun back in 2003 or 2005 in my head. Sunggyu gave me that resemblance with his music and style!!! And it seems he pulled it off more successfully than a grandpa singing such sad songs as Only Tears!

    • http://infinite-stress.tumblr.com/ ian

      Heejun’s style also leans towards rock, maybe that’s why :) I’m not a fan of him or any of the other H.O.T members so maybe I didn’t really pay attention to all of his releases. I was more of a Shinhwa fan during those times.

  • AcadiasFire

    His album is just beautiful. I really have a better appreciation for Sung-gyu’s voice. It’s very emotional and rich. I loved Because off of that album. That song was just wow and so catchy to.

  • Black_winds

    Nice article.But there is only one Kim Sungkyu…Oh and “that just seems out of place in most Infinite’s songs”…uhm,his voice is very distinctive but i never felt that it’s out of place.Not in a bad way,at least…

    • http://infinite-stress.tumblr.com/ ian

      I feel like he uses a different technique for singing Infinite songs and his solo songs. He can’t just use this voice for Infinite songs. It won’t blend well with the others’ voices. 

  • http://infinite-stress.tumblr.com/ ian

    When was the last time I have loved all the tracks in an album that I can’t be bothered with adding another playlist to my ipod other than that album?

    When was the last time I haven’t touched the next button while listening to said playlist? Or the fast-forward button?

    To be honest, I can’t really remember when the last time was. Even in great album releases these past few years there’s always that one track I find boring or it’s always just a track or two that I like and would add to my To Go playlist.

    So just imagine how much I am in love with all of the tracks in this mini. That it’s the only playlist in my ipod and has been on repeat for the whole day since Monday.

    Oh and Shine? 756 plays since its release 2 weeks ago.

  • TheJadeBullet

    Fatouma, let me love you. I can listen to 41 Days for hours on end and I never get tired of it =D

  • aridnie

    I am so proud of our grandpa-gyu. Sung-gyu works so hard and your review is dead on. His solo invasion really reflects his talents. Hwaiting Sung-gyu! Please continue being infinitely amazing!

  • Leia

    I’m not sure exactly when, but the very short time that I have come to know Infinite, Sunggyu’s voice became my favourite. I keep going back to listen to his singing repeatedly. 

    His solo album was definitely a surprise that I wasn’t expecting. I personally loved all the songs, but the one that really blew me away was 41 Days. His voice in it literally gave me goosebumps. How I wish I could watch him live….sigh…

  • Onew Luhan

    I love Sunggyu. I loved the album, the MV, and everything way more than I would’ve expected.  Ahh he’s slowly edging out Hoya as my bias in INFINITE. Maybe my bias should just be HoGyu. His voice is just so……………freaking amazing.

  • TheGoldilocks

    This album is amazing. I loved every single one of the songs; when the album first came out, I probably listened to it 20 times in a row. Another Me is so… Sunggyu. It’s perfect. I was also really anticipating Infinite H, but this more than makes up for that. I’m glad Grandpa Gyu has his time to shine, and that the members, despite their previous teasing, support him all the way.

  • gulagula

    I am actually still amazed by the fact that Infinite is on top of my bias list since i’m one of those stans that love my old-school oppars so much. I always love their performances, songs, tracks, fancams, pictures and all singly bitly pieces about them. But I don’t wanna lie to myself that I once feel a little bit annoyed by Sunggyu’s voice. I can’t deny that he has that heavenly low notes… and before you bash me, this is just my opinion and accept the fact that my dislike-ness towards Sunggyu’s voice is in the past… tense. You know, I was so excited with their debut in Japan, esp when they promote Be Mine… but… there’s Sunggyu, who seems to be a little bit ‘blunt’ with his nasal voice in Be Mine’s J-ver. Just bear in mind that not all the lines that Sunggyu sang in the song are nasally, just that few lines… just a few lines.

    BUT THIS FREAKING ALBUM IS SO GOOOOOD THAT MAKES ME WANNA PUNCH MYSELF FOR HAVING THOSE STUPID DISLIKENESS-MENT *just make it sensible people* TOWARDS GRANDPA GYU. MY FAVOURITE IS ALSO 41 DAYS! Just like how I am a sucker for Tic Toc, angsty sounded songs is my fetish i think. :D

    sorry, the english is bad and the coherence of the comments is screwed. i still love Sunggyu nontheless. n the rest of the infinite’s members. :)

  • Sassychan808

    The album is incredible. I love it. He should be proud of it no matter what.