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Last Updated 20.01.2022 | 7:16 PM IST



Eric Nam is ‘There and Back Again’ with beautiful kaleidoscope of love and heartbreak – Album Review

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Korean-American singer-songwriter Eric Nam has finally released his first album as an independent artist. The honey-voiced singer released the album There and Back Again on January 7, 2022. The album contains seven tracks, including two previously released singles, ‘I Don’t Know You Anymore’ and ‘Any Other Way’. The album boasts of melodious tracks molded in the R&B tunes, complete with guitar strums and reverb. Each track has music or a lyric video with scenes in different settings which match the mood. Be it Eric roaming around with horses, or prancing on a boat, the visual imagery adds to the raw and honest appeal of the album. Let’s take a look at Eric Nam’s There and Back Again.

Eric Nam is ‘There and Back Again’ with beautiful kaleidoscope of love and heartbreak – Album Review

‘Lost on Me’ opens the album with a tone of nostalgia and acceptance. The lyrics are brilliantly mapped out, mixing idioms and phrases. Eric’s dance movements are carefree, reflecting the mood. The smooth R&B music is accentuated by adding reverb and echo to the vocals. Those few places where Eric’s voice goes into an echo, feel one is really listening to those thoughts.

‘I Don’t Know You Anymore’ is a mid-tempo song. It is a tale of heartbreak and betrayal. What happens when a person you love dearly, drifts apart? Eric attempts to answer this question with ‘I Don’t Know You Anymore.’ The song flows through a hazy weave of electro-synth beats and guitar strums. The song is groovy, and won’t keep you from tapping your foot to the beats.

Eric Nam channels some of his American upbringing in ‘Any Other Way’. The song begins with classic Western beats, and the imagery of horses only adds to the imagination! The lyrics are sugary sweet and rhymed to perfection. Acoustic guitar strums, whistles à la The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, the reverb notes are blended to just the right amount which makes the song a great auditory treat!

‘Wildfire’ is a song that speaks about being caught in a wildfire of love that razed through the field of emotions and trust. The main charm of the song is the last 50 seconds in the song, where the music takes segue and leads the listener to the musically entranced path. The heavily rendered reverb synth music, joined with classic indie beats creates the effect of a raging wildfire, albeit musically. The longest track in this album, ‘Wildfire’ is a song that will make you want to listen to it on a loop.

The country guitar music opens the gates of ‘What If’ to bitter-sweet memories. The retro music beautifully complements the tone in the lyrics. When one goes down a thinking spiral, thought flood in and don’t stop. For a song that is all about ‘What If?’, Eric smartly uses the rapid tone to mirror those moments. The song ends with a question mark, leaving the listeners without closure.

The words that take shape when the realization hits and hits hard, are penned in this album’s penultimate track ‘Admit’. The song is about reminiscing what was there and what is left after a relationship. The music is somber for this track, featuring simple guitar and percussions. ‘Admit’ is a track that carries a wistful mood, and whether you want or not, certain memories are bound to flood back in once the song starts.

We’ve all heard of a one-way street, but what about a ‘one-way lover’? The last track from this album ‘One Way Lover’, answers this question. Just like a one-way street that goes one-way, the one-way lover is the one who only takes but never gives. The bass renders following certain verses highlight those verses in the song. The music is simple, with simple lyrics, yet ‘One Way Lover’ carries emotions that are deeply embedded in the heart.

Eric Nam’s There and Back Again boasts seven tracks with a shape of their own. These tracks when put together form a brilliant kaleidoscope of melodies and emotions. From accepting the mistake, appreciating love, questioning oneself, to even feeling betrayed, Eric Nam does a stellar of plucking each emotion and penning relatable songs on them. He breezes through the tracks effortlessly, which further adds to the joy of listening to the album in its entirety. Everything about Eric Nam’s voice makes you want to experience “love” in each form. Like Eric said in his YouTube live, the album can indeed be described in three words: amazing, beautiful and emotional. The songs have echo and reverb inter-spread which creates a perception that one is peeping into the innermost thoughts.

One thing that is quite noticeable in this album is the use of colour palette. Since the release of Eric Nam’s 2018 album Honestly, the colours – green, yellow, red and white are quite prominent – either in the album art or the music video. Even in There and Back Again, these colours are recurring in one way or the other – be it the mellow setting sun in ‘One Way Lover’, the city greenery in ‘Lost on Me’, Eric’s red shirt in ‘Any Other Way’ or the white sand in Admit. The symbolism behind each colour is also reflected in Eric Nam’s artistry, for he makes their subtle use in the settings for the music videos and visualizers.

Also Read: Armaan Malik, Eric Nam and KSHMR express feeling of indecisiveness in a relationship in ‘Echo’ track


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