After 11 years the ballad trio S, formed of best friends Kangta, Shin Hyesung, and Lee Jihoon, have reformed to release another album, Autumn Breeze.

Their first and only album Fr.In.Cl (Friends in Classic) mirrored the popularity of the trio in their individual pursuits, its title track I Swear even earned them Best Male Group nominations.

Autumn Breeze is a mini album featuring five tracks, including the title, Without You.


All the tracks on the album are solid ballad tracks, featuring strong vocals from the trio of experienced singers. Much reminiscent of Kangta’s own Korean solo work, his prominent composition work is clear.

The highlight of the album is third track Utopia. Though keeping to the strong ballad genre Utopia feels different, with a slight tempo rise in comparison to the other four tracks, and musical accompaniment with much more impact.

My own enjoyment of 2003 S would have me proclaim this album beautiful, well presented, and perfectly fitting of its seasonal release.

Take away my bias for Kangta & co and I may be tempted to say that Autumn Breeze is lost amongst the currently strong Kpop ballad competition, and although Kangta’s composition and production is on point there possibly isn’t the progression from the trio that a passing decade would have you hoping for.

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There is essentially nothing wrong with Autumn Breeze, it is a fitting and well made album, it unfortunately just doesn’t have the impact of its contemporaries such as Roy Kim’s recent offering Home, 2AM’s Lets Talk or g.o.d’s Wind – something reflected in the Korean charts.

If you’re looking for a solid ballad track from S I’d still recommend I Swear, from their album, such a popular ballad track its still a go-to choice, even recently being used in hit K-drama You’re All Surrounded.


7.3 Fitting for Autumn

Autumn Breeze does fit its name, and features on point composition and production from Kangta. You cannot fault the ability of the trio of vocalists, though whether this album stands out against its competition is questionable

  • Variety 6
  • Musical Style 7
  • Vocal Ability 9
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