20140523_seoulbeats_FTTS ContinuumWhen news of Fly to the Sky‘s comeback was revealed, more than a few of us flailed and fangirled about it in excitement. We knew what to expect: fantastic ballad songs coupled with fantastic vocals. Fly to the Sky has delivered on that expectation with its new album, Continuum.

Now, if you are looking for some upbeat dance tracks, this will not be the album for you. Although, if you know anything about Fly to the Sky, you already know better than to expect something like that.

Continuum is likely to leave you in tears, and that’s not only from the amazing vocal prowess of the guys (I simply cannot stop reiterating how great they are vocally). The album is full of heartbreak and sadness. If it weren’t so sad, it would’ve deserved a perfect rating. Perhaps, it’s perfect for those days when you just aren’t “feeling” life, and need an emotional release. Regardless, if you want great songs with great vocals, keep reading (and listening.)

The first track on the album, “We,” is perfect for opening things up. According to the members themselves, the song is about them. Lyrically, it’s not hard to understand why that could truly be the case.

This voice, our song

Will it ring across the world again?

The song lyrics that contain our story

Will everyone be able to hear it?

Expressing their devotion to each other and to the music, the duo sings of fighting against rumors and being inseparable. Coupling the music with the lyrics, “We” is almost more of a love song. Musically, the track has the feeling of sensual music commonly performed by artists such as the late Marvin Gaye and Barry White. With the deep, spoken opening lines, the strong groove, and the subtleness of the vocals, “We” comes together as a classic R&B song. This is something Fly to the Sky does very well.

From here on out, expect a lot of emotional tales of sadness and heartbreak. It’s almost as if discussing the lyrics is unnecessary, because they tell the same story, just in different ways. However, each song has its own merits.

No, do not adjust your speaker or check your headphones. Nothing is wrong with them. It’s just the introductory sounds for the title track “You, You, You.” Instrumentally, the song follows the formula of the group: ballad with a dose of R&B. You get the prerequisite strings, but thrown in is a strong bass line and some electronic sounds. This makes it stand out amongst the typical ballads.

Naturally, when you are a group like Fly to the Sky, your title track will be an emotional ballad. And, boy, is this song (and MV) emotional. The track relates the sadness of having to end a relationship, but there is more to it as the subject is not quite up to letting go. The desperation in holding on is evident in the duo’s lyrics and vocals; they sing about making their love stay with a show of immaturity. The high point of the song: Hwanhee’s high note. It’s not surprising that he can hit such notes, but it comes out of nowhere. It’s a nice bit of added flair.

20140523_seoulbeats_hwanhee Like “You, You, You,” the story of heartbreak is told again. But this time, the song is about a voice being a painful reminder. “Your Voice,” for me, is all about the background music. The simple one-key piano leads into the cello, and the violin makes the song move gracefully. The drum set and guitars, while not necessary, are nice additional fluff to an already great score. The music sounds appropriate for a nice love song, but the lyrics are a bit of a downer by comparison.

Please Don’t Call:” the title explains it all. Don’t call me, and if I call you, don’t pick up unless you are accepting my heart. When first reading the title, one may think this song may have a bit of angst. Well, be prepared for that not to happen. It’s not to say that the song isn’t emotional — it is — but the roughness is not present. The instrumental is kept light, and even the guitar solo is subdued. There is no climatic string section, but it is instead led in with their vocals. This is not to say the song is bad, because it is beautiful, but a little more oomph would have been great to go along with the title.

With “So Cool,” we are back to R&B, and the song is cool — especially the rhythmic guitar in the background. Additionally, we have a slow groove that is actually danceable! You may not be able to bust a big move, but the song is great for swaying and grooving along to. If anything, you’ll find yourself singing “woo-ooo-ooo” with the duo. Unlike the last song, these lyrics have attitude.

Let’s stay cool and break up, you used to really love me

But it’s all in the past, my love, again and again girl

Let’s stay cool and be apart, I want to stay cool and let you go now

Let’s throw it all away, rewind, stay cool through it all

The love is gone, so time to move on and be cool about it. You can almost imagine somebody saying this to another person, and just turning their back like they no longer care. Sounds like an “oh, snap!” moment.

You” is another R&B and ballad hybrid. Due to its length – it stands at only three minutes – there isn’t much to say about the song. What’s the biggest problem about the song? It sounds so nice, but it should’ve been longer. The rather abrupt ending is rather disappointing. If there is one thing that is out of place within the song, it is the random synthesizer in the background. It seems as if it is just filler, and the snaps make more sense than the use of the instrument. A piano sound would’ve been a better blend.

20140523_seoulbeats_brian jooSurprise! We have a duet! With an almost conversation-like quality, “Unknown Farewell,” featuring Kim Na-young , is a little golden nugget on the album. With duets, one voice can sometimes overpower another. However, Kim fits in so well with Fly to the Sky that she’s able to match them note for note. The song starts off sounding like material for a musical, but as it progresses, it transitions into an OST-appropriate tune. It’s not difficult to imagine a break-up scene being paired to the song.

The last three songs of the album wind things down a little.

Musically, “Even if 10 Years Pass” and “Kiss & Say Goodbye” are light ballads. While their subject matter isn’t light, the instrumentals for the songs are limited to traditional ballad instruments, such as those typically found in an orchestra. Yes, there are some drums and guitars thrown in for effect, but the songs’ other instruments are in the foreground.

While coming to a close, “Kiss & Say Goodbye” also acts as a vocal lead-in for the last track.

Like a Lie” is a great song to end the album with. The track is another example of the powerful and emotional vocals that Fly to the Sky offers. This time, Brian Joo comes to the fore to match Hwanhee’s high note in “You, You, You.” The lyrics of the song make it a truly suitable last track — the duo sings of doing their all just to stay with someone, even though they know that it will be impossible in the end. Everything is so pretty and beautiful, but covering up the pain and sadness remains to be a lie. It is now time to let go – to end the album.

Not surprisingly, Continuum dominated the charts when it was released. Brian Joo and Hwanhee have proven that they’re as good as they ever were. Their comeback – they don’t consider it a reunion – has been an impressive one, and it’s shown that their talents are still intact. The duo is back, and hopefully, they won’t stay away for too long next time.

Rating: 4.5/5

Did Fly to the Sky’s comeback meet your expectations? Let us know in the comments section below!

(H2 Media, BubbleFeetMusic Blast Channel 7, YouTube [1][2]; Lyrics via pop!gasa; Images via H2 Media)