Singer-songwriter and hip-hop artist CHANHYUN recently released his first EP, MUSE, since his debut album, THE REVERSE, back in 2021. The EP consists of five tracks that tell a story of the different stages of love and life. By taking fans through his perception of love, self-reflection, and reminiscing, CHANHYUN creates a sense of closeness and intimacy that gives a glimpse into his inner thoughts.
Each song on the album represents a distinct chapter and theme that come together in a single sad story. “I wanted to express multiple sides of emotions; happy yet sad, depressed yet joyful, missing someone yet not wishing to see them,” he said of his personal goal and message for the album.
The album starts with the pre-released pop rock track “But (Feat. DIVE).” Lyrically, CHANHYUN sings of longing and the inability to express his feelings. Unable to stop thinking of unrequited love, he desires to see them again regardless of the reason. “If you find someone else / Would you shine even brighter? / Or our unexpected, quick chat will / allow you to look at me?” he confesses while he endlessly overthinks and painfully yearns for even a moment of this person’s attention.
Up next, the title track “SHH (feat. Leellamarz) (Prod. GRAY),” combines a plethora of sounds and influences. From rapper and violinist, LEELLAMARZ’s melodic rap to CHANHYUN’s smooth, soft vocals to leading producer GRAY’s expertise, the song seamlessly infuses each contributor’s essence to produce a thoughtful track about finding time with a loved one amidst a stressful schedule. Throughout the lyrics, CHANHYUN mentions the worries of his love and his hopes to ease their mind when singing, “‘What if your success breaks us?” / Well, don’t think it’ll ever happen to us / Let’s wait a bit, I miss you and you miss me / I’m a bit busy, the deadline is today / You look mad, but you know about it.”
Slowing down the album, “Take You Back (Prod. DRTS)” implements a more soothing, R&B sound to express painful sentiments when remembering a love post-heartbreak. CHANHYUN shares, “Stacks of memories / Hate to see them fade away / Remembering for me is quite awful / Tell me everything, I’ll listen to whatever you say.” The lyrics discuss the desire to get someone back despite knowing they inflict pain.
“Away (Feat. MOAI) (Prod. Melange)” builds off the previous smooth atmosphere to offer a sensual yet melancholy track regarding falling for someone unwilling to reciprocate effort or feelings. When coming to terms with the sad realization, he sings, “Forget about me so easily, Maybe I / Started liking you too easily / So hard to stop now.” He begins to question himself and the validity of the relationship they shared. Independent rapper MOAI’s melodic bars feature on the track and compliment CHANHYUN’s easy-listening vocals. The two voices combined with breezy synths create an angelic tone to emphasize the song’s emotion.
CHANHYUN rounds out the album with the solemn track, “Miss.” Sonically, the song blends light, airy instrumentals, and gentle vocals to generate a dreamy aura. Throughout the tune, he reminisces and desires to regain the moments once spent with a loved one, all while acknowledging that they no longer hold the same connection they once did because of him He questions, “If I get really famous, would you maybe / Even though that can’t turn back my fault,” in an attempt to think of scenarios that would make him worthy enough to meet this person again.
MUSE as a whole embodies the relatable emotions and thoughts experienced when maneuvering the ups and downs that accompany love. CHANHYUN demonstrated his ensemble of talents, which span from skillful production to emotionally charged lyrics to his rich, velvety vocals. We are looking forward to seeing what he does next!