written by: drowningn00b
The Eggs are back! Standing Egg released their second album, “Like”, expanding their acoustic guitar sound from their last mini, “Lucky”, to include a number of different guitar instruments, like an electric guitar and ukulele. “Like” treads old water, going to an indie pop-rock style reminiscent of Michelle Branch and the singer-songwriter era of the 90’s.
“Like” has a stronger emphasis on guitars and drums than their earlier work, set up by the first three tracks, “들어줄래”, “Run Away” and “Aloha”. “들어줄래” is a mid-tempo acoustic guitar track, with the drums not only setting the pace of the song, but ad-libing at spots to liven things up. The guitar work on “Run Away” is reminiscent of early John Mayer, rapid and quick, a fitting thing considering the subject matter. It even includes some electric guitar, but the solo could use some work. The “laze on the hammock” ballad “Aloha” picks up a ukulele and makes you think about times gone by. You’d almost expect to get a lei and a tropical drink with a dark orange sunset in front of you. Thankfully, Standing Egg add in old stand-bys like a piano and the fuzzy snare for a jazz-like feel to prevent “Aloha” from becoming a cheesy “Welcome to Oahu!” resort song. And that’s one of the things Standing Egg is good at, taking commonly used song types and making it their own.
Speaking of tried and true, Standing Egg has several guest stars, including Yeseul, Christina Love Lee from Superstar K3 fame for the lovely “We Are Not Lovers” track, and old collaborator, Han So Hyeon from 3rd Coast on the lead single, “The Sunlight Hurts”. All three are lovely ballads, done with a jazzy feel reminiscent of “With”, which is the problem I have with “Like”. These duets don’t include the pop-rock aesthetic of the overall album. The girls sound great, but these three tracks are more appropriate as bonus tracks in a re-packaging of “With” than thrown in the mix in “Like”, musically speaking. “Stay Away” attempts to stay with the guitar-centric concept, but the jazz-lounge feel keeps it from achieving singer-songwriter status. Though not a duet, but with guest vocals nonetheless from Egg1, “My First Fan” is what I expected the duets to sound like; rock-tinged indie suitable for each voice. As an aside, there needs to be more vocal input by Egg1 in future Standing Egg projects. His voice, though not as sultry as Egg2’s, is suitable for the louder pop material in Standing Egg’s repertoire.
It wouldn’t be the return of warmth into the landscape without a Standing Egg release. “Like” takes Standing Egg into the pop-rock territory, putting the focus on rock elements, like guitars and drums. From the John Mayer-esque “Run Away” to the rock-infused strings ballad, “Mother”, Standing Egg takes this sound and runs with it, without losing track of their own established sound and lyricism. However, the rock mentality is lost on the three duet tracks, sounding more like “With” than “Like”; nice songs though they are, they fail to embrace the guitar-in-the-coffeehouse aesthetic of “Like”.