[Album review] Nice album, but where is Suzy?

By Hong Dam-young
  • Published : Jan 31, 2018 - 14:40
  • Updated : Jan 31, 2018 - 14:40

“Faces of Love”
(Genie Music)

It’s an indisputable fact that the latest album from former Miss A member Suzy is well-made, or “manufactured” by her agency. But why does it sound so shallow? Why does Suzy sound like a trained puppet merely lending her voice without fully understanding the songs herself?

When the singer released her second solo EP “Faces of Love,” fans were expecting to hear how the 24-year-old viewed and interpreted various facets of love in the songs that she had a hand in creating. During a recent showcase for her new EP, however, Suzy was surprisingly ignorant of her own songs, repeatedly forgetting reporters’ questions and giving incoherent and defensive answers. She even failed to give detailed explanations on each song, eliciting sighs from the reporters.

Given such context, “Faces of Love” doesn’t sound so sincere anymore. True, she has a pretty voice, but when it comes to singing she doesn‘t come close to living up to her reputation. In the album’s lead single “Holiday,” her dreamy and tickling vocal fits perfectly with the laid-back R&B track coated with synthesizers, where Suzy keeps her volume to a minimum.

But when she emotionally belts out in “I’m in Love with Someone else,” a poignant piano-based ballad, her voice loses depth and gets stuffy and synthetic, a matter of pure vocal inability. The balladry “Sleep Well, For Me Too” and “Broken Heart” suffer the same problem -- a soulless insipid voice that sounds like karaoke. Meanwhile, Suzy’s breathy voice fits surprisingly well with lighthearted “Sober” and “Bad X.” Overall, the album gives an impression that Suzy was just busy following instructions and concepts created by the JYP Entertainment.

The singer-turned-actress had once said that she tries to grab onto both acting and singing by her own will, to be recognized both as an actress and singer. But maybe she will have to ask herself the reason why she sings, the reason why she was hazy about introducing the songs and apologize to the reporters.