[Review] [Single] INFINITE’s Sunggyu (성규) – “Shine”

written by: McRoth

Underwhelming isn’t the first impression I would think of getting from an INFINITE release, but boy is this a first. Perhaps it’s the idea of a solo departure from the group, and therefore meaning a departure in expectations and quality that Sunggyu‘s solo single, “Shine“, lands in very uncomfortable territory as a song.

Not so much Sunggyu’s vocal lead, which is for the most part just fine here, but more the overall musical direction that is the most unforgiving element in “Shine”. Not that niche styles and inspiration in pop music is a bad thing, because uniqueness is everything to an artist, but something about this song’s style doesn’t really work.

Taking cues from 90’s alternative and soft rock, “Shine” derives from the same bloodline as the likes of Melissa Etheridge‘s “Come To My Window“. It’s certainly not a bad thing, but combining those vibes with Sunggyu’s thin, bright voice and his shaky way of singing makes for an odd union in music. Then take into account that the production itself is one of the least polished (awkward levels abound), and not only is this a strange K-Pop single, but a disappointing one at that.

Everyone can agree that Sunggyu isn’t an amateur singer, that much can be inferred from INFINITE’s extensive discography, but “Shine” shows no mercy in making him sound like one. Here’s hoping for a cleaner outcome in Sunggyu’s upcoming mini-album.


Score: 1.5/5

Singles of any kind are not rated with the same rating system used for mini and full albums.

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19 thoughts on “[Review] [Single] INFINITE’s Sunggyu (성규) – “Shine”

  1. I really don’t get that song, for a solo debut it’s just a big fail. I would except something better coming from a main vocal who debut with is group what three years ago… Guess he didn’t have the right song, he seems to have the type of voice that fit more with ballad, not that sound a like Savage Garden song.

      • the track listing for the mini just came out and there will be an acoustic version version of Only Tears. It’s the the best ballad that I have heard but it give be a Disney feel and I love Disney song, so I really looking forward for his solo version of it.

  2. As someone who adores Sunggyu’s voice, I find the song okay but meh for someone like him. Let’s all be thankful he recorded a mini slated for release soon, as opposed to just this~

  3. Sunggyu isn’t really a mediocre singer. It just seems as if “Shine” is a bad song for him. Like saphirya said, his voice seems more suited for ballads. Honestly, I wanted Woohyun to have a solo album rather than Sunggyu, because I find his voice more appealing and not as nasally. Hopefully the other tracks in “Another Me” make up for “Shinne”, which is not that great.

  4. I would argue against this review since I am a fan of Kim Jong Wan, the man who wrote, composed and produced Shine for Sunggyu. I think this review is medicore in terms of the background information, which leads to the view that I consider unfair to Sunggyu himself and JW – one of the most talented musicians I know. It has strong Nell/JW’s influence in it but not in a bad way, since Sunggyu always admires and respects JW This is a gift song from JW, not a music direction and all. And finally, Nell is not K-pop, they are unique enough that your calling their style “cues from 90′s alternative and soft rock”, “a strange K-Pop single, but a disappointing one” is very unfair.

    • Regardless of JW’s involvement in this single, that doesn’t (and shouldn’t) automatically render all his work praise-worthy. Quite honestly, I really have nothing too terrible to say about this single, Sunggyu, or the composer, but I do believe the song itself was poorly thought-out and produced. It happens to all great composers and this just happens to be one of them, personally.

      I still like Sunggyu and I still respect Nell/JW. That won’t change, but I also have to be honest in the things I write. I do agree though that the background information about this single in this specific review was lacking. I tend to focus more on what I feel about singles/albums rather than spew out wiki-facts, so sorry about that.

      In any way, thanks for commenting! I love hearing all sides of the coin when it comes to my reviews and writing.

  5. To be honest, I’m a bit upset to see Sunggyu getting a bad review for his first ever solo song but I do agree with what you said in most parts.
    I have to agree that after listening to this song, It didn’t meet my expectations, i was really hoping to listen to a song where it would allow Gyu’s voice to soar. He really suits ballad, soft-core rock. He should have went for that style but I’m happy to see him experimenting around.
    SHINE had Nell written all over it and knowing that Nell is an amazing band and JW is a great singer, & they came back with a beautiful album few months ago, I’m a sad to hear that the instrumentation in Shine overwhelmed Gyu’s voice…
    the song’s production was messy but I still very much look forward to 11/19 ^^

  6. Shine is one of my favorite song from Koop
    Unlike other mainstream Koop songs, shine is rather a calmer song
    I am just happy that there is the new solo album, which I have been dreaming for so long lol

  7. I totally found the mixing on this song off. Sunggyu lacks power and explosiveness in his vocal delivery and the way the instrumental overpowers him is really not good. I agree the song is odd overall… but I appreciate that he’s trying to go for a different sound.

  8. You seem to be only one giving it an honest review. Its seems most people keep shoting others down when they express a negative opinion about the song. I keep hearing people say well “hes not release some catchy pop song” or “belting out notes doesn’t make you a good singer”.

    For me personally I was happy to hear about Sunggyu’s solo debut since I’m huge fan and have been waiting for this for a while, and because I know how much he’s wanted to do rock music. But this song was not cutting it. Theres nothing wron with doing pop/catchy music, and theres nothing wrong rock so I don’t that comment about catchy music when as a kpop fan or even just a fan of infinite you probably listen tp catchy tunes. A good a good song no matter the genre. As for belting out notes issue, im aware of that a saying someone has a strong voice is not the same aa saying someone can belting out notes. Like for instance i can say that Usher has a strong voice and Taylor swift has soft voice, doesnt mean ones better than the other its means they have songs that specifically fit there voice. Usher would sound horris trying to sing a Taylor swift song and vis versa. I have no problem with him trying new things but the songs should go with his voice. Like the article said it didn’t show case his ability as a singer. The chorus and the ending were my main problems, it was out of his vocal range and it
    just didn’t flow overall. I hope the rest of the mini album will be good but as of right I am a bit dissapointed.

  9. I am just a bit disappointed how “Shine” was reviewed and “60 seconds” is not, which is the actual title track. Well, not all reviews are good. People may tend to blabber about the song’s sound but not about the meaning of it OTL

    • I never got around to reviewing the mini-album, which was released a while after I reviewed “Shine”. If I find the time, I can definitely give it a listen and review it, just for fairness sake.

      • You haven’t reviewed it yet. I need your opinions on the flawlessness ( at least I think so) of 41 Days. I’ve introduced that song to many non-kpop listeners, male and female, and most of them have fallen in love with it. Especially the dudes, like woah.

  10. i don’t care what ppl say about him failing the solo…to me it’s NOT..definitely not a failure…i think he is one of the best vocalist i’ve known…he has his own uniqueness…and his solo album is one of the best album i’ve known too!

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