On September 6, 6PM KST, Young K of Day6 had his solo debut with his first mini-album titled Eternal. The title is inspired by his names Kang Younghyun and Young K, which both include “young,” and the Korean word for eternal “영원.” The title encompasses a sense of everlasting comfort, and the album embodies strong emotions such as vulnerability, sincerity, and authenticity.
The album was announced on August 16, the same day Young K announced his military enlistment for October. My Days, Day6’s fandom, eagerly anticipated the album’s release. As a testament to his artistry, Young K wrote and composed all of the songs on the album.
Power and Comfort
The mini-album begins with “best song,” a feel-good upbeat track. With a strong bass, piano, and a catchy melody, the song immediately draws in the listener. Young K’s honey-like vocal color adds to the song as he sings to his lover, “I hope you know / How I’m feelin’ inside / I won’t let you go / ‘Cause you’re the only one in this world.” The song carries a hopeful and caring vibe with promises to protect his lover.
Following “best song” is the title track “Guard You.”
With an emo rock-tempo leading up to the chorus, we see Young K in a dim-lit room. He has a somber look on his face as the video cuts to show asteroids heading towards Earth. His voice sounds desperate in the chorus as the asteroids near. As he sets off what looks like an emergency alarm, we see cities being destroyed. Despite it all, he continues to sing, “It won’t leave a single scratch, I’ll hold you / Even if my everything is broken, I’ll guard you.” With the world falling apart around him, Young K promises his lover that he will continue to protect them, solidifying the eternal theme of the album.
“Guard You” has a similar theme to the preceding song, “best song.” However, the former comes off stronger, and the sharp contrast between the songs’ execution highlights the talent of Young K’s lyricism and composition.
The third song in the mini-album, “not gonna love,” comes with an even stronger and faster beat compared to the previous track. It’s a heavy rock song with strong drums, bass, and subtle harmonization. It carries the same power as the first two tracks.
Slowing it Down
“Microphone” juxtaposes the preceding track, beginning with Young K’s soft vocals. The song is a collaboration with fellow singer and songwriter, Dvwn. With the pair’s complementing vocals, they deliver a captivating track. The song has a sunny ambiance that continues the album’s theme of eternal love.
With an even softer start, “want to love you” is a gut-wrenching ballad. The emotion-filled song is a heartfelt love letter with the lyrics “Want to love you / More than you love me / Want to love you / Until you are as happy as I am.” A focal point of this song is Young K’s wide vocal range as he transitions to higher notes with ease. The song hits a goosebump-inducing climax during the bridge. This, along with the powerful vocals, adds to the loving feel of the track.
“Come as you are” is a refreshing track that continues the theme of eternal love. It’s filled with sincere emotion and heart-tugging falsettos and harmonizations. Young K solidifies this feeling with his lyrics “I won’t change my mind / You know I’ll always be here for ya / Until the day my life ends.”
Concluding the mini-album is the song “goodnight, dear.” A very stripped-down ballad that starts with just Young K’s raw vocals, “goodnight, dear” has an intimate feel to it. Further in the song, a piano and various strings are incorporated, but it does not take away from the richness of Young K’s vocals. As the song comes to a close, the instruments are phased out and we are left with Young K’s steady and comforting voice ending the lullaby.
The Perfect Gift for My Days
As Young K’s enlistment date comes closer, Eternal serves as a gift to My Days. With its theme of everlasting love, this mini-album is Young K’s way of expressing his appreciation and love for his fans.
Fellow JYP group TWICE showed their support for Young K by sharing an image from the music video for “Guard You” on their Instagram.
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Stray Kids’ Seungmin, a veteran fan of Day6, also shared his love for the album on his Lysn Bubble.
seungmin on bbl said he’s listening to young k’s solo album! he really likes Guard You and want to love you is also his pick!
— 댕꾸 ◡̈ (@SEUNGM1NE) September 6, 2021
Fellow bandmates Wonpil and Dowoon showed their support by joining Young K on his Radio Show, and Jae tuned in during the Studio Live on Youtube. Sungjin, who is currently away on military requirement, also showed his support for Young K on Twitter.
— 꿀🍋 (@desix_O825) September 6, 2021
끝인가 싶을 때,
안일한 생각 집어치우고
아주 천천히, 하지만 확실히
줄기차게 하다 보면
게임은 다시 나한테 기울게 돼있어
Young K – 끝까지 안아줄게
— 박성진 (@DAY6__SUNGJIN) September 6, 2021
With Eternal, Young K showed fans a side of authenticity and vulnerability. With the consistent theme of cherishing loved ones, Young K leaves an emotional masterpiece for fans through his comforting message and profound artistry. Being released on the sixth anniversary of Day6’s debut only makes the album more special.
Want more? Check out Day6’s previous album here!
Thumbnail courtesy of JYP Ent.