By the time Sam Kim released Sun and Moon (2018), he had already established a reputation for mellow tracks with singles like “Don’t Worry Mama” and “Seattle,” both of which appear on his 2016 release, I Am Sam. Sun and Moon continues his signature style.
Kim’s voice complements the acoustic and sparse instrumentation that frequently accompany his tracks. The use of featured artists, often singers who have R&B and hip-hop reputations, allows a contrast to his vocals. While “It’s You” (ft. Zico) uses a common structure that places the rap verse near the middle of the song, “Make Up” (ft. Crush) uses Crush’s rap and singing vocals to contrast with Kim’s plaintive vocal. The track is also punctuated with a recurrent, driving electric guitar riff that provides a bit of flair. As the promotional tracks for the album, they also feature music videos. “It’s You” makes use of a colorful palette and deconstructed living room, which underscores the track’s upbeat feel. “Make Up” follows Kim’s emotional spiral that eventually lands him in the back of a police car for graffiti.
While instrumentation in Kim’s music evokes a chill atmosphere, it also draws on elements from several genres. “The One,” written by Kim and composed by Kim and frequent collaborators Hong So Jin and Jeog Jai, strategically introduces horns on the chorus and throughout the verses. As the song continues, they gradually swell in a way that intensives the jazz feel of the track, providing for a nice extended outro. “Would You Believe,” written and composed by Kim, starts out as a piano-based ballad. Gospel choir-like backing vocals support Kim’s expressive and emotional voice, filling out the choruses in contrast to the more stark verses. The instrumentation becomes more complex as well, with an electric guitar complementing the initially plaintive piano, bringing with it a gospel cadence.
- Sun and Moon
- It’s You (ft. Zico)
- Make Up (ft. Crush)
- Sunny Days, Summer Nights (그 여름밤)
- The One
- Would You Believe
- The Weight (무기력)
Image: Antenna Music
Antenna. “샘김 Sam Kim ‘Would You Believe’｜Official Audio.” YouTube. 27 Nov 2018. https://youtu.be/4pV2Btw-lUc
SecretlyRian. “SAM KIM (샘김) – THE ONE [han|rom|eng lyrics/가사].” YouTube. 25 Nov 2018. https://youtu.be/Y3RMC9me-Xs
MUSIC REVIEW: Sam Kim, Sun and Moon (2018) by Crystal S. Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.