One-man composer, singer, and producer Sentimental Scenery returns with his fourth full-length after three years, disappointingly leaving behind the electronic and rock influences that defined his earlier albums and made him stand out.
Unlike his early stuff, which veer much more toward post-rock, 11 Days nestles itself very comfortably within the part of Korean indie music occupied by bands like Standing Egg, 10cm and artists from Pastel Music, Sentimental Scenery’s agency. On 11 Days, he abandons the electric guitar and all electronic elements completely, instead going back to traditional instruments, and bringing in strong chill J-hip-hop influences.
However, the combination of piano, violin, and acoustic guitar gets old very quickly, especially when the music lacks emotional climaxes or interesting variations that can keep the listener engaged. In fact, this would probably make perfect background reading or study music.
Most known for his instrumental music, Sentimental Scenery also has a beautiful voice. When he does sing, the music definitely picks up, though the songs remain firmly in the coffee house or ballad genres. The highlight of the album is his duet with Lucia, which delivers the strong emotional impact that the rest of the release lacks. “서약” is also a strong track, with an introspective, depressing mood that reminds me of Dear Cloud and Zitten.
Previously known as one of the only Shibuya-kei style artists in Korea, it’s a pity that Sentimental Scenery has moved away from what made his music unique and adopted a sound that is already so common in the Korean indie scene.