Review: Winter by Akdong Musician

Winter by Akdong MusicianJust months after the release of their mini-album Spring, Akdong Musician return with a full album that continues down the road they took, but with a few more surprises and a bittersweet tinge permeating all throughout. Perhaps it’s the idea of Winter being released in, well, the winter, and how, for the most part, K-pop shifts towards the melancholic and the innocent. That hasn’t stopped the Lee siblings from actually dipping their feet into jazz-flavored rock, with the terribly groovy “Chocolady” proving a strong anchor for the record. But Winter still shows a duo in transition. Sounds-wise there are the quirky tracks they played with in Spring, and there are the straightforward folk tracks from their debut. (Only this time, they’ve gotten the snowy treatment, as with single “Last Goodbye”, a potent stab in the heart.) It may feel a bit all over the place but you stick with it, with some happiness and a bit of apprehension. Lee Chanhyuk, the main songwriter of the two, is enlisting for mandatory military service after promotions for this record, and you can’t help but think the record is really him and sister Suhyun sorting things out before an upheaval (and a possible solo debut for her). [NB]4/5

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