On Dec 2nd 2017, mega-star Kim Hyun Joong dropped his fifth mini-album, Haze, while simultaneously starting his world tour with the same title. KHJ is returning to the limelight after a tumultuous domestic abuse scandal and family battle with his former girlfriend. The first stop of the tour was in Seoul, South Korea where Henecia (his fandom name) turned out in strong support of his return. He gifted them with the first views of performances from the newly released material. Since this is his first release after his scandal, it seems like these tracks were cautiously selected to say something without actually saying anything in particular. Regardless of any underlying meanings or not, the album is actually decent. You won’t get the fun KHJ like with Lucky or Unbreakable, but the original 4D idol is still very present in his new work.
The title track, Haze, is a gentle re-entry back into his original place. The lyrics are almost confessional as he belts out sentiments of the heartbreak after having to accept a love lost. Like with many breakups, the lyrics question the genuineness of his past love while the pain of the break up leaves his mind hazy. It’s not hard to imagine that the words could be sincere. Could it be a glimpse into the thoughts he is having right now?
Again with the confessions. Indicative of the title, It’s Over is also a breakup song except it has a mid-tempo beat. The lyrics suggest that KHJ is the offender this time, being guilty of losing the love he once felt. However, the tempo coupled with the “it’s too bad” lyrics don’t really suggest remorse. That’s kind of the song’s appeal. Although breaking up can be hard to do, It’s Over can help you through it.
Moonlight is closer to the upbeat, fun tracks that KHJ used to do. This song really allowed his 4D personality to shine. KHJ announces that he will “spread his wings” and take a chance under the moonlight. If Haze and It’s Over were confessional tracks meant to be an expression of sadness and subsequent acceptance of the recent changes in his life, Moonlight is a declaration of independence. He breaks loose and takes control of his destiny despite what others may say. This song has the potential to be someone’s motivation to overcome an obstacle. It’s adventurous and daring, just like KHJ has been known to be. While listening I felt like Haze conveyed a message of hope from KHJ to his fans.
Have you had a chance to listen to Kim Hyun Joong’s newest album, Haze? If so, did you also feel it told a story? Tell us your thoughts on his return?