Following the release of Henry’s Trap in 2013, Zhoumi is the second member from Super Junior-M to drop a solo album. Rewind probably took most people by surprise as many fans of the group were expecting his bandmate Kyuhyun to be next in line for a solo debut. But surprises aside, the eight-track mini-album is an impressive effort that shines the spotlight on Zhoumi’s vocal competency.
Nothing OTT, just catchy lyrics: The title track ‘Rewind’ is no doubt, an electropop number, but unlike a number of high-energy counterparts we have heard recently, there is nothing excessive about the polished number. It is insanely infectious, that is for sure – especially the opening phrase “Stop. Rewind. Rewind. Rewind. Play.” which is likely to get you humming along to it unconsciously after a couple of loops. ‘Rewind’ comes in two versions – Korean and Mandarin – and flows seamlessly both ways, even though the song could have remained just as perfect without the rap bits featuring EXO’s Chanyeol and Tao. Zhoumi is not a dance machine like SHINee’s Taemin and he may not have the same flair with musical instruments like Henry, but his potent vocals are enough to commend the attention of listeners.
Striking a balance between 90s pop and lovelorn ballads: ‘Why (Color-blind)’ is a mid-tempo piece that could have easily fit into the discography of a 90s pop-boy-band. Along with more mature, heartbreak tunes like ‘Without You’ and ‘Lovesick’, it works at showcasing his ability at being an adequate vocalist without sharing the role with his bandmates. ‘Without You’ with its typical Mandopop ballad melody, may not leave much impression at first listen, but it is the kind of song that would stick and sound just as good several years on. Zhoumi collaborates with Victoria from f(x) on ‘Loving You’ – a sunny duet that lifts your mood right from the get-go. Their voices blend well together even though Zhoumi’s stronger delivery at times threatens to overwhelm her more upbeat tone. The Michael Jackson-ish ‘Love Tonight’ sees him teaming up with Tao again on a number that is just as addictive as it is creative.
Recommended tracks: ‘Rewind’, ‘Why (Color-blind)’ and ‘Love Tonight