I consider Leessang to be the hidden jewel inside Korean music industry. Why hidden and why jewel, well, give Hexagonal a good listen then try to find more info about them on the internet. Even their wiki page is well secluded. However, I’m sure things are going to change,they already started becoming more popular following the unexpected success of Assura Balbalta.
As for the jewel endearment therm, well, they obviously don’t get the praise and recognition they deserve and their music has never been less than extraordinary. The reason behind that might be the fact that they just had the misfortune to place themselves inside the Korean music industry but not really inside the kpop movement, aka the mainstream stage of it.
Hexagonal has to be their most complex album up to date. Oh, I should really listen to the entire Assura Balbalta album, I know. Patience, it is on the menu list. They are very cohesive as a group, however their most imposing trait is the flair behind their choices for collabos. Is as if they like playing the role of a producer and make all efforts to promote best the featured artist with a song that’s both representative of them and of that person or group. This way they end up with an album that has a vast pallet of musical styles, you may say it is a mass pleaser, however without deviating towards commercialism. Their personal style is, well, the gluing element of their heterogeneous work, and when I say style I have in mind their peculiar vocal timbres. Gil has a deep hoarse voice and is responsable with the more melodic parts while Gaery is one of the most talented rappers I ever had the chance to listen. He has a distinct way of addressing the listener, he is more of an orator than a rapper, more of a story-teller or like I like to say, more like a tribune with a small dose of desperation in his intonation.
Getting back to Hexagonal, prepare yourselves for a mind-blowing musical experience.
The first track, Hexagonal can easily be considered a solid song, not just an intro. Is a trance song that takes the role of a blue pill, the toll gate for the album. Our Meeting features the fun blues of Kang Ji Ha. His composition style is easily distinctive. the heavy guitar riffs, the funky backing vocals ( the Faces ) and a 3 very creative breaking points in the melody : first Gil’s build up for Kang’s climax and then Gaery’s rap. I especially love the way Kang decides to elongate one of his verses transforming his singing in a whimsical rap. He does the same fun thing in Cheap Coffee.
The Girl Who Can’t Break Up, the Boy Who Can’t Leave, besides having one of the longest track titles ever, features Jung-In, a strong vocalist with a husky timbre that counterbalances the grave vocal parts of Gil.
Carousel features the vocals of Lee Juck and has a dark grievous sound very well accentuated by the piano melody and storm-like sounds on the background.
While 변해가네 has a more uplifting feeling, Shattered Town cools down the spirits with a very soft melody, featuring the king of soft blues himself, Lucid Fall.
Workplace features Bizzy reminds me more of their earlier works. Journey has a fusion jazzy sampling and features sweet vocals from Casker. Dying Freedom is the first rock track on this album, featuring 김바다, is more of an electro-rock track, I guess, very similar to some American rock band whose name doesn’t come to my mind at this exact moment. I’ll skip the skit and get to Fate, a r&b track that features the outstanding vocals of Malo. I really enjoyed the girl’s jazzy improvisation at the end.
Canvas has the fierceness of Tiger JK‘s songs. Another collabo that melted my heart was the one in Run, with YB, one of my personal weaknesses when it comes to Korean male vocalists. Track nr. 14, dedicated to Leessang comes as a reminder of their personal composition style. It does feature a female vocalist, however it is a pure Leessang track.
After another skit in which Gaery delivers a sorrowful rap, we get to track nr. 16, featuring the same enzo.B from the first track, is their last tango, You Errased My Body is the perfect ending for the magical story that Hexagonal was.
I surely have my favourites among the tracks, Our Meeting and Carousel are incredibly good songs, but nonetheless, all of the songs are far away from standard rap tracks and more inside the world of superlatives.
Final rating : 10/10 I so so love this album!!!