Saturday Sounds, February 17, 2024 – “The Young Man and the Deep Sea” by Lim Hyunsik

BTOB’s Lim Hyunsik (임현식) is one of my Ultimate Biases. Though he initially was just my bias in BTOB for his amazing vocals, it was his first solo song “Swimming” in 2017 that really grabbed my attention. Since then, I’ve grown to admire and respect Hyunsik as an artist and a person. And he’s become one of my favorite artists.

Now, we’re coming full circle with the release of his second album The Young Man and the Deep Sea.

After taking us on a journey through the universe with his first album Rendez-Vous, Hyunsik takes us to ocean waters for another collection of his own compositions. Through the sea as a theme, Hyunsik expresses his growth and maturity as he traverses the wide and deep waters of life.

The Young Man and the Deep Sea is another breathtaking album from Hyunsik. Hyunsik’s effortless vocals bring to life meaningful and personal lyrics while gliding across captivating melodies. The way Hyunsik is able to tell stories through his music and in full albums like this is just so amazing.

Title track “고독한 바다 La Mar” is absolutely stunning. The accompanying cinematic music video definitely adds to the experience. But the song itself is an ethereal and emotional performance about being able to move forward through the many rough seas one may encounter.

The album opens with “The Tides of Life”, speaking of the many encounters and separations we experience in life. After “La Mar”, “Deep Blue Sea” is a haunting track with Hyunsik delivering a plea for someone to stay with him in the deep sea.

After traversing through the dark waters, a hopeful light as expressed with “Sunshine”. Hyunsik dedicates the song to his fans and it is a wonderful track using the image of the sun shining on the water. And those hopeful feelings continue with “Navigate,” moving forward through the ebbs and flows of the sea of life to the future.

And again, circling back to the breathtaking “Swimming” to close out the album. It’s just a wonderful listening experience to hop along Hyunsik’s journey through his music. Like many fans around the world, I’ve eagerly awaited being blessed with a brand-new album and even just new music from Mr. Im Hyunsik.

I’d like to repeat a bit of what I first wrote back in 2020:
Sometimes it’s hard to put into words why you like someone or be specific with why you might connect with a person or idea. I feel like that’s me with Hyunsik. I connect to his creative mind and works. His music speaks to me and is somehow relatable for me even when his songs can have that dreamlike aura to them.

That is still very true today. Hyunsik’s hard work and passion for his music has really been an inspiration and motivation for me in my daily life. And The Young Man and the Deep Sea is another perfect and excellent showcase of just what makes Hyunsik such a gifted and talented artist and person.

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