Wheesung [Eternal Essence of Music] (Fifth Album)

October 21, 2008

Love Hero (Feat. J)
My Way
사랑은 맛있다♡ (Love Is Delicious ♡)
다쳐도 좋아 (Even If You Get Hurt)
차안남녀 (Man And Woman Inside The Car)
안녕히 계시죠 (Take Care)
어쩌다 보니 비밀 (A Sudden Secret)
Savannah Woman
이런 시츄에이션 (This Kind Of Situation)
만져주기 (To Touch)(Feat. Younha)
Tick Tock
이별 앞에 서서 (Stand In Front Of Separation)
벌 (Punishment)
Against All Odds (Bonus Track)

The first track on the album is the moving Love Hero (Feat. J). Oh, this is such a gorgeous song. I really love it. The arrangement is so smooth and light, and really just goes through you in the best and most touching of ways. Wheesung’s vocals were just perfect, I really adored the chorus which was catchy and tugged at the heart-strings. It almost sounds like he is in a lot of pain emotionally, and it makes the song nearly gripping. I don’t know who J is but she has a lovely voice and towards the end when she does her part, it just makes everything so poignant and real. It was a great collaboration, and I hope they do another together. I couldn’t have asked for a better album opener. This song is just beautiful.

The next track is the country-laced My Way. I really did not like this song when I first listened to this album, and I’m beating myself up as to why. It’s such a good song. I’m not much of a country fan, but this song has that laid-back, sun shining down on me, country-air to it that really makes you connect and relate to the song. It gives you such a feeling of being ordinary, and being yourself and being content with just that. I adore the chorus, its so catchy. This song is a lot of fun and I find myself enjoying it more and more every time I listen to it, a definite favorite.

The next track on the album is the somewhat up-tempo 사랑은 맛있다♡ (Love Is Delicious). I’ve never really fully liked this song, but I always thought it was cute. Its fun and it has a lot of charm. The arrangement is very light, sparkly in a sense and easy on the ears. Wheesung’s vocals were really nice I thought, it sounded like he had a good time recording this song, and the kiss he blows towards the end is absolute love.

The next track is the gorgeous and absolutely heart-wrenching 다쳐도 좋아 (Even If You Get Hurt). I really love the amount of emotion Wheesung put into this song, it makes it really heart-breaking and deep especially when he gets to the chorus and his voice rises, falling during the verses. The arrangement was very dramatic, and it added much depth to the song, everything flowing together nicely to really make this song stick.

The next track is quite possibly my favorite song off this album, 차안남녀 (Man And Woman Inside The Car). It has such a quiet atmosphere about it arrangement wise, which makes it almost thrilling if not terribly longing. Wheesung’s vocal performance was really just perfect, the throaty tones he used in concern to the verses and most definitely the chorus really made this song quite the poignant listen.

The pace ups a bit with this next track 안녕히 계시죠 (Take Care). This song has a bit of energy too it, that makes it very carefree, since Wheesung’s vocals aren’t as dramatic or emotional as they were in the previous two tracks. The arrangement is very light, and gives the song a very easy-going air as to where it is not as heavy as the previous tracks either. I like this song so much because it reminds me of someone letting go of someone they really love, and to ‘take care’.

The next track on the album is another favorite of mine, 어쩌다 보니 비밀 (A Sudden Secret). This song has a very traditional arrangement to it. I’m leaning more towards traditional Korean, because well Wheesung is Korean, but the thrumming I heard like the thrumming of a violin or a guitar sounded like a shamisen. It was a gorgeous arrangement regardless. Wheesung’s vocals had a frantic flare to them, which brought such a mood of secrecy to the song, and really made it connect with the title.

The next track on the album is the mid-tempo Savannah Woman. I really hated this song, and I think I still kind of do. When I listened to this before all I could hear was the ‘Savannah woman, you foolin’ me now’ and the other parts of the chorus, and it just made me loathe this song because I thought it was just the corniest thing. This time though, I actually settled down and listened to the song, its got a kind of country-folk type vibe going for it that really caught my interest and if it wasn’t for the sheer cheese of the chorus, I would probably like this song.

The next track is about mid-tempo as well, 이런 시츄에이션 (This Kind Of Situation). I thought this was an interesting song, I love how smooth and somewhat sensual it is. It stays consistent, the arrangement is nice and I really enjoyed Wheesung’s vocals, as well as the backing vocals. This song as a nice, easy flow about it, that is very enjoyable.

The next track ups the pace a bit, 만져주기 (To Touch). This is the second collaboration track on the album, feat. another artist named Younha who I have no idea who she is, but her singing is somewhat nice, though a little jarring in this song. Wheesung decides to rap in this song (either he’s rapping or talking really fast, either way it was just really annoying), he sounds like he’s angry for no apparent reason and then when the chorus comes it seems to come out of nowhere, and the whole effect just really got on my nerves. I did like this song at one point, now I really can’t stand it.

The next track on the album is the endearing Tick Tock. I didn’t really think I was going to like this song, but it really grew on me. I thought the arrangement was very nice, especially the tick tocking of the clock in the background. Wheesung’s vocals were good as well and brought interest and intrigue to a song that wouldn’t normally appeal to me. I thought it was a lot more enjoyable and listenable than To Touch.

The next track on the album is the impossible 이별 앞에 서서 (Stand In Front Of Separation). I listened to this song twice, and both times this song bored me to a stupor. The arrangement is so lank, and Wheesung’s vocals are not bad, but he sings the song in such a slow way that it makes you want to just tell him to get a move on. I can’t even remember the song it was just that boring and forgettable.

The next track on the album is the hard-hitting 벌 (Punishment). I pretty much figured this song would go this way, the beat is very raw and it thumps and pounds into you, nearly in sync with your heart, it is however nothing special. Wheesung does some rough bit at the beginning that really threw me off, because the rest of the song is pretty light compared to that. It’s a song that offers a lot of intrigue, but falls flat as nothing but the beat is memorable.

The last track on the album is the bonus track Against All Odds. This is one of my favorite songs of all time, and the best cover I’ve ever heard of this song is the one covered by Mariah Carey. Wheesung has covered another song in all English, his version of Sisqo’s Incomplete which was his ONLY good song during his solo venture away from Dru Hill. I thought he did really well on that cover, this one however is very uninspired and dull, and his Engrish is really just glaring. It ruins the song in the end and makes it an absolute chore to listen too.

-GRADE: A-
Rating: *** stars

Wheesung’s fifth album Eternal Essence of Music is my favorite album by Wheesung to date, and his best one in my opinion. When I first listened to this album it blew me away, with how much he had matured since his first and second albums (which were the last of really solid albums from him), especially considering that I really loathe his third and fourth albums, especially the third. Wheesung really has some great and moving songs on this album, that really show his growth as a writer and a singer. Love Hero is one of the best album openers I’ve ever heard and My Way is the type of song that really makes you feel free, and one of those songs you’ll never grown tired of hearing. There’s a slew of down-tempo tracks on this album, but they’re really quite incredible and powerful: Even If You Get Hurt, Man And Woman Inside The Car and A Sudden Secret standing out like beacons of light. This album isn’t free of the downer tracks of course, but I’m just glad that I didn’t dislike as many songs now as I normally would in any other case, especially considering that I’ve listened to this album so many times I’ve lost count. I still really enjoy listening to Eternal Essence of Music, not as much as I once did, but still just as much. It’s a really good album, and I hope his sixth album is just as good.

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