Stitch Reviews: Fragile
Album Title: Fragile
Release Date: 4/30/2021
Record Label(s): Motmusic
I knew of eAeon for his work on rapper RM’s track “badbye” back on his 2018 mixtape mono. That’s why, when word dropped that he was releasing an entire album and that it opened with a track featuring RM, I was ready to dive into his upcoming work. And Fragile delivers. Across eleven tracks, eAeon provides listeners with a chill but kind of sad music experience.
“Don’t”, the aforementioned track featuring RM, BTS’ leader, was the most hyped up track on my Twitter timeline all of last week. And it does live up to the hype. A beautiful, bittersweet track beseeching a partner to stay like they used to before, “Don’t” leaves you missing a love that’s left you behind. The song balances eAeon and RM’s melancholy lyrics with a surprisingly mellow beat. It’s the standout track on the album for many listeners, but it’s far from the only gem in the tracklist.
Next is “I Just”. Another tender song, this song stood out for me because of the use of percussion in the beat and the surprising mournfulness of eAeon’s singing voice. “I Just” is not necessarily a sad song, but it is one full of yearning that can feel sad in part because of eAeon’s delivery. Then there’s “Bye Bye”, which I love because it almost feels like a music box song or a lullaby. eAeon’s voice is soothing enough to almost make me forget the lyrics are you know… sad as hell. It’s such a quiet but powerful track and it makes sense that this was the first single released for this album back in March at pre-release!
“Null”, which features the neo-soul singer Jclef, is another one of my favorite songs on this album because her low voice is just so beautiful and sinuous as she sings in concert with eAeon. Alsos, what leaps out to me the most aside from Jclef’s voice, is how innovative the instrument choice is. “Null'' opens with a choir or organ sound that throws me back to church days, but also reminds me of the way that organs were used in old movies as a haunting background noise. I love that!
“Nights Gone By” is another sad song and it works up well with “Maybe”, “Btfl Mind”, and “I Wonder”. They’re all very slinky and slow songs with a captivating percussion beat giving me R&B energy, but then the lyrics just seem to be… a solid block of straight up sadness to some extent. Which works! Sad slow songs seem to be kind of the theme across Fragile and I’d love to sit with eAeon one day to ask him “why these sounds”, “why these lyrics” (with the caveat that I’m working from lyric translations on the latter question)!
The last song with a featured artist, “Mad Tea Party” (ft. Swervy), is a dazed-sounding track that perfectly embodies the cool chaos of modern interpretations of Alice in Wonderland. eAeon’s heavily autotuned voice is a trip in and of itself and it works well with the music that sounds lifted from old-time circus music. But then there’s Swervy. This is my first time listening to Swervy, a rapper who was on two seasons of Show Me The Money, but I’m happy to say that I want more from her based just on her verse here.
“Let’s Get Lost” is such a sweetly romantic song. This song is so hopeful at every level and it’s dreamy in the sense that it wouldn’t be out of place in a romance film soundtrack’s highest points. Fragile’s final track, ”Evermore”, is pretty much the perfect song to close off this album. For me, it embodies uncertainty and fragility at every single level - from the song’s easy, almost placid beat right down to the last part of the song where eAeon sings “언제까지나” like it’s a promise.
All in all, eAeon's Fragile is an incredible album. I know a lot of people who came to the album for “Don’t” and that’s great because it’s seriously a solid start to the album. However, the rest of the album is amazing. eAeon has a fantastic voice and, as far as I can tell from the lyric translations I’ve read so far, writes really good lyrics. The title is so incredibly apt because “fragile” is exactly how you’ll feel after listening to the album a few times! Honestly, I love that experience.
I recommend this album if: you like interesting indie music that pulls from different musical styles, want to start getting into Korean music, feel like being SAD in the metaphorical club, and thought “badbye” was the best track on mono