Kim Sejeong – Door | Album Review

Track Listing

Voyage – Pre-release Title Track
If We Do
Sea of Hope
Between Summer And Winter
Destiny
Top or Cliff – Title Track
Jenga
Indigo Promise
Send A Letter
Over The Rainbow
In the Rain

All-rounder Kim Sejeong has finally decided to put us out of our misery and released her very first full-length solo album ‘Door’ on September 4th. The K-pop idol, composer, K-drama and musical actress has done it all. From winning a survival show and being part of girl groups like I.O.I and gugudan, and being a successful soloist to acting in popular K-dramas like Uncanny Counter and Business Proposal, she is everywhere!

But we have missed her honey-dipped vocals which thankfully can be heard on ‘Door’ as she returns to the K-pop world after a whole year. While Kim Sejeong has released several singles, OSTs and EPs in the past, she graces us with a whopping 11-track full-length album for the first time with ‘Door’.

As she explains, this album is an introspection into her life and all the different paths she has taken while trying to fulfil her dream as a singer. But despite the heavy undertaking, the K-pop idol dabbles in different genres such as rock, jazz, R&B and ballads as each song encompasses a different mood and story.

‘Voyage’

‘Voyage’ which happens to be the intro as well as the pre-release single is the perfect opening for ‘Door’. It gives us a glimpse of what Sejeong has in store for us. She takes us on a journey in this upbeat pop-rock song with Irish folk strings that suit her vocals.

And that is exactly what the song is about from the whimsy and dreamy music video to the motivational lyrics, “I’ll see the uncharted today/Send yesterday’s doubts behind to the waves.” As she spreads her bubbly and infectious energy, it gives you an uplifting sense that everything will be alright. A little “I’m on top of the world” vibes of Imagine Dragons if you ask us.

‘Top or Cliff’

The ballad interlude then paves the way for the highlight of ‘Door’ as we finally get the title track, ‘Top or Cliff’. It starts out as a slow R&B with percussions that punctuate each verse but it gradually picks up. This rise in tempo works perfectly with the music video as Sejeong channels her inner assassin. In the cinematic music video, she pulls out all her acting chops and gives us a moodier version of her tsundere character in Uncanny Counter. 

Even without the music video, you can feel her determination come through when the chorus finally begins, which by the way, is everything complete with echoing samplers and synths. “Look, I deserve it/No matter who shows up here, I’ll still prove it, I’m sure,” falls in line with ‘Top or Cliff’ being in a fight with herself, trying hard to disregard what the haters say and believing that she deserves to be where she is. Pretty relatable.

B-side Tracks in ‘Door’

‘If We Do’ is a laidback jazzy tune that keeps the focus wholly on Sejeong. Complete with a piano, the gentle strumming of a guitar and the brassy sax, it gives the perfect background for her pleasant and easy-going vocals.

Almost like a lullaby, the soothing melody complements the story of a love story when one finds everything beautiful even when they are fighting or doing something simple as eating brunch together, “When we eat brunch – jazz/When we argue with each other – rock.”

We then get a bunch of ballads such as ‘Sea of Hope’ being mournful while ‘Between Summer And Winter’ is more optimistic. ‘Destiny’ is a pop ballad with an earworm of a chorus that makes us nostalgic and wish for happier times. 

If you are tired of the drama, ‘Jenga’ arrives just in time. The fun pop song uses experimental arrangement as it begins with plucking sounds reminiscent of folk rock. But don’t let the quirky instrumental and cheery vocals fool you, as Sejeong sticks to the theme of life and its challenges.

A hit at the celebrity culture, especially in the K-pop industry, Sejeong mocks haters, “The truth doesn’t matter anyway/What you need/A brief glimpse of a gossip/A is him, so who is B?” Like the Jenga game, the song wonders why some people try to knock down honest people, dissect them and hope to find a flaw instead of just letting them live their lives.   

But Sejeong knows her strengths as her sopranoish singing voice fits ballads extremely well. And so ‘Door’ goes back to her forte with soulful ballads like ‘Indigo Promise’, ‘Send A Letter’ and ‘Over The Rainbow’. From expansive orchestra to simple acoustics, she brings diversity even in the same genre. Her first full-length album closes up with the inspirational ‘In the Rain’ about smiling and moving on even in the rain, a fitting end for this vocal-heavy anthology.

Kim Sejeong shares, “This album really contains who I am, what I’ve felt, and which stories I want to tell the world, and I’m really proud of that,” and she should be, as she achieves it all with this album. ‘Door’ has a little of everything for K-pop fans who love their lyricism and symbolism to upbeat melodies for those who just like to vibe to music.

Listen to ‘Door’ by Kim Sejeong on Spotify.


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  • Verdict - 8/10
    8/10
8/10

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