It’s not often that a group’s first mini-album comes nearly 23 years after their debut, but yet with the first-generation group SECHSKIES, that is the case. Returning last week with the five-track ALL FOR YOU – their first release since 2017 – the veteran Kpop group marked their comeback with a mature, modern twist on their trademark style. They may be without a main vocalist, but Eun Jiwon, Kim Jaeduck, Lee Jaejin and Jang Suwon all showed their versatile capabilities in successfully pinch-hitting their way through the EP.
Opening with the titular “ALL FOR YOU,” a smooth, 90s R&B-tinged ballad which boasts sleek, smooth melodies and warm, appetising vocals, SECHSKIES instantly take the listener on a nostalgia-inducing sonic journey. Written about feelings felt for loved ones, it’s an uplifting mid-tempo seasonal track which is accessible as it is catchy. “DREAM,” its electro-pop neighbour, is just as melody-driven and brightening, making for an intriguing listen. Its soundscapes are buoyant and lively, and the member’s synergy as they trade vocal parts are seamless.
Elsewhere, “MEANINGLESS,” which centres around latin-inspired sounds, handclaps and sprightly synths, further continues the group’s masterclass in retro-based joy. A dance song penned about rebounding too quickly after a relationship, the lyrical and instrumental juxtaposition is tantalising, culminating in a song that sticks in the mind through repeated listens. Similarly, “ROUND & ROUND” goes down a similar route, producing an upbeat track which contrasts deeply with the lyrical content. Up-tempo pop flanks lines like “actually, my heart is dead,” with the high-spirited vocal delivery giving the track an overall club-feel.
And finally, “WALKING IN THE SKY” closes the nostalgia trip with a sentimental, generational anthem. Complete with glistening synths and Miami bass sounds – Jiwon described this as a mature version of “Road Fighter” – this tour-de-force is the perfect cherry on top of an expertly crafted cake; a song that shows the maturity and refreshing soundscapes a veteran group can still produce when given the resources. It may be a fairly risk-adjacent release, but it’s one that has enticed both old and new fans and will continue to stand the test of time.
SECHSKIES are well and truly back, showing that in a genre which favours the macro-details, sometimes simplicity is still key. With a tangible retro-feel and songs that allow for both surface-level and deeper enjoyment, there’s something for everyone in ALL FOR YOU.
What do you think of SECHSKIES‘ comeback? Let us know in the comments.