After writing with numerous artists in the past years (notably Heize and BTS), NIve has released his very first solo album. Broken Kaleidoscope stands as the formal introduction of the musician. Vibrant, emotional, and fiery, NIve finally unveils his charms.

nlve broken kaleidoscope

Long gone are the melancholic pop ballads that we have been used to from him. “ESCAPE” is a swamp-rock-infused anthem filled with restless emotions that betray his burdened mind. NIve is desperate to run away at all costs, in order to protect himself and what matters to him.

If he repeats like a mantra how much he needs to escape, there’s a line in the chorus about the importance of following your own path without caring about what others think: “What other people say / It don’t really mean a thing.”

Choosing such an upbeat and gritty song to open the EP is fantastic, in my opinion. It allows casual listeners to realize how different and unique this musical journey is about to be, setting the tone immediately and effectively.

“Maybe I Wanna Die” catches immediately your attention but is really more about life. How would you be able to see how precious life can be without questioning death itself? The progression of this song is well-paced, accompanied by a soft guitar and powerful vocals.

We follow NIve as he slowly realizes that he does want to be alive, wants to see the sunshine, and just breathe. Riddled with self-doubt and insecurity at first, NIve seems to conquer his own dark thoughts and closes the song singing “I just wanna live.”

This emotionally-ridden ballad is stunning, undoubtedly one that will steal your breath away for a few minutes as the weight of his words slowly sinks in. It’s this trembling and terrifying honesty that makes NIve shine in this track, although the melody will surely please your ears just as much.

“I’m Alive” serves as the perfect transition, a direct continuation from the previous song. It’s majorly different, however, from the more rock-infused beat to the almost aggressive statement of the musician, repeating over and over that he’s alive and won’t die. The world might be sheer chaos and a source of anxiety, but NIve refuses to give up.

The lines from the bridge, “Stay alive in this world / Ride ride / Keep on searching” are especially interesting as they’re directly addressed to the listeners. It’s a reminder that mental health issues are universal, and NIve wants to make sure whoever is listening knows they’re not alone. Furthermore, there is a reason to hold on a little longer, that the spark might light up again in ways they won’t suspect.

“Perfect Dancer” is radically different in terms of musicality, but still contains this feeling of hope and determination we’ve been accustomed to so far in the EP. More upbeat, more pop, “Perfect Dancer” is the cumulation of all the previous songs, a bold anthem that embraces the broken pieces of NIve’s heart and encourages us to dance with him regardless of how unperfect life actually is or how you might feel.

I could go on for a few lines, but my honest thought is that “Perfect Dancer” is gorgeous and undoubtedly my favorite song out of the five. Sometimes it’s hard to put into words how great a song sounds, you just have to listen to it and feel it yourself. Go ahead, you won’t regret it.

It’s a softer side of the musician that we meet in the last song, “To: My Dear Friend.” It’s just NIve and a guitar, comforting words sung quietly to us. We’re encouraged to walk by his side and confide in him. Thanks to what he has learned about himself throughout the opus, NIve is able to listen and relate to another sorrowful heart. It’s a quiet way to close this musical diary, but nonetheless fitting. 

NIve is a chameleon. Broken Kaleidoscope is a testament to his abilities, a brilliant expression of his vulnerability while trying to heal himself and others in the process.  NIve’s lyrics are filled with determination. This EP is a diary, endless musings in musical form.

The themes he tackles aren’t easy in the slightest, singing about death, happiness and mental health are rather challenging and demand a lot from an artist. However, NIve conveys his own open thoughts in such genuineness it’s hard not to want to do the same. Reflect and try to heal. Tomorrow might be scary but as long as you keep dancing, you should be okay. 

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