After winning the Best R&B & Soul Album Awards at two of the Korean Music Awards 2016 and 2020 for Frameworks and The Misfit respectively Samuel Seo has developed into a certain scholar in Korea's R&B scene. He is known for writing and composing all of his music. His latest EP, Dial, is a co-production of archeformwand contains a function on every track with the exception of the opener "D I A L". This makes Dial a unique record in Samuel Seo's catalog due to its close collaboration. JRB and bk! took care of mixing and mastering Dial, something worth stating for a masterful job.
Those who have tried the sounds of Samuel Seo before can only criticize his music as challenging listening that requires numerous listening attempts before it unraveled its beautiful core – perhaps the sign of a true artist. His debut album Frameworks was a complicated rework of neo-soul and hip hop, which was immediately shown by the opener of the album "Samuel, Last Name Seo", which mixed beatboxing with an R&B soundscape. The low-cut "When I Grow Up" has combined his love of piano into a classically leading ballad. As such, Frameworks shone for its unique interpretation of neo-soul conventions.
His next major release, Ego Expand (100%), was a slow record that decided to pay more attention to the more groovy elements of his sound. This helped Seo strengthen his chorus delivery, resulting in catchy tunes like “Do: Om (Featuring) Giriboy) "and blue."
By the time Samuel Seo released Unity and The Misfit, he had added numerous levels of jazz and soul instrumentation to his evolving sound. He made for a slow but groovy delivery in his vocals (see Ego Expand (100%)) while his instrumentation danced along a beautiful line of neo-soul (see Frameworks), that of jazz (see The Misfit) and modern hip Hop was surrounded by conventions.
On Dial, every track is interwoven and beautifully composed, as if it were made from a single piece of fabric. This material is an introspective look at jazz, R&B and soul, which come together to create Samuel Seo's most immediate orchestra. This small series of five tracks moves and immediately satisfies the listener with their soundscape. Here Samuel Seo managed to combine his entire discography into a liquid EP that was only 14 minutes long.
Conceptually, as the title suggests, Dial deals with the topic of dealing with our cell phones. "Damn Things", the second track on this record, would have been the perfect ringtone around the 2000s. The tick in the choir mimics the ringing of a telephone:
Stop voting over yours
My cell is going
ling a ling a ling a ling
There isn't exactly one track that steals the show, but if we decide, it's probably the title track "Gae Na Ri". Have a feature with Yerin Baek seems to be absolutely topical considering that Yerin has just won the 2020 record at the Korean Music Awards. This match between two of Korea's critical favorites is as smooth as you would like it to be. Yerin Baek and Samuel Seo's vocals dance together in the upper register and kidnap an audience into the clouds. This can be the sound that was developed on Ego Expand (100%) and has reached new heights. The accompanying lyric video is everything you hope for from your summer with the reality of Covid-19: lost somewhere in the distance, with the sun and good music as your only companions.
"Dye" takes the elements of the "Damn Things" hook and turns it into a fever dream of hip hop and R&B. Damye is the featured artist here; His early entry into the track gives him the kind of boast that only a hip-hop artist can imagine and, above all, can fully develop. In his stuttering beauty, Samuel Seo has conjured up another trail of loss to summer.
Overall, this mini album feels like Samuel Seo is bringing the body of his sound to the latest heights. This series of tracks could easily fit some of Samuel's greatest hits, namely "New Dress Girl" or more recently "Playaplayaplaya", the latter track owes its namesake to that of Samuel Seo's most striking US equivalent / influence D & # 39; Angelo.
Interestingly, Samuel Seo feels ready as an artist-artist: a musician who has won award for award while shyly missing the big spotlight that Korea offers its greatest musicians. Dial is just a small reminder of the great sound Samuel Seo's music continues to work towards.
(YouTube (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7). Korean Music Awards, Naver, Bugs !, Pictures via Le Debut)