XIUMIN – of world-renowned K-Pop boy group EXO – made his solo debut with the mini-album Brand New on September 26 and immediately topped the iTunes Top Album Chart in 33 countries, including Canada, Spain, Mexico, Oman, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and more.
In addition, the mini-album Brand New topped the daily Korean music charts Hanteo Chart and Shinnara Records, and the title track ‘Brand New’ topped the local Japanese platform AWA real-time chart.
Brand New is XIUMIN solo debut and his first solo release since the OST ‘To My One and Only You’ for the drama Mr. Queen in 2021. With Brand New, XIUMIN wants to show a new side of himself and his style by celebrating the ‘90s.
The mini-album is packed with retro-sounding gems, including the title track ‘Brand New’. It consists of 5 songs, other than the title track we can appreciate XIUMIN’s great vocals on ‘Feedback’, ‘How We Do’ featuring NCT’s Mark, ‘Love Letter’ and ‘Serenity’.
Opening with ‘Brand New’, a song that taps into XIUMIN’s love for ‘90s music with its groove and upbeat mood, the singer wants to “Let it loose, let it loose” as he sings his determination to show a new, transformed self for the love of your life as if giving a surprise gift to a loved one.
‘Feedback’ has an interesting composition and relies on a more EDM and synth-based melody. Perfectly placed drops build up the song, particularly before the hooks, and make a flawless song.
Five years since the release of the single ‘Young & Free’ for the SM STATION project, XIUMIN and NCT’s Mark are back together for ‘How We Do’. The song has heavy ‘80s and ‘90s vibes mixed with modern beats; this song stands out thanks to its more modern sound and the combination of XIUMIN’s voice and Mark’s rap.
‘Love Letter’ is a delightful ballad with soft vocals and emotional orchestration. The piano and violin orchestration are humble but carry a heartwarming feeling amplified by XIUMIN’s smooth vocals. The mini-album closes with ‘Serenity’, a pop song with a soft melody that will soothe listeners and close on a great note a well-built mini-album.
XIUMIN’s mini-album Brand New is the singer’s personal ode to the music of the ‘90s but mostly shows XIUMIN’s brand new, well-rounded and solid music style.
XIUMIN’s first solo mini-album, Brand New, is available on streaming platforms.