“I pray that before this time ends, you can find happiness.”

Chen welcoming us with his heaven-like voice through Beautiful Goodbye, a title track from his new mini-album “April, and a flower”.

I never put a lot of thought on song lyrics before, but this time is different. As I listened to Chen’s Beautiful Goodbye, I found myself scrolling through the internet to search for the meaning behind the song. And I was right. The lyrics were beautiful, heartbreaking, and poetic. Listening to this song is such a cinematic experience. Watch his music video and you’ll understand what I mean.

See?

It’s clear that SM literally throwing so much effort on Chen’s music video. It was so well-put. It was aesthetic. It was like a gentle breeze, a nice break from EXO’s usual R&B style. And boy, it suits him best, I love it.

“April, and a flower” started with Flower, a song that co-wrote by Chen himself. It’s a song that full of metaphors, so beautiful just like the name of it, with ‘flower’ as the subject. Chen explained it one time, that in real life, flowers bloom and die and bloom again. It’s the same with our life, it gives a sense of hope and comfort that after all the pain and suffering you’ve been through, there’s always hope. A fresh start, a new beginning. Just like the flower, you can also bloom.

And then, through Beautiful Goodbye, Chen tell us about the ups and downs of relationships (after all, every love story will end at some point) and how he still remembering (or longing?) about her as he started the song with ‘us’ and then end it also with ‘us’ as if he isn’t ready to leave her yet.

Idk about y’all but Beautiful Goodbye kinda remind me with Nosedive. Probably because it has the same aesthetic and the melancholy mood. Nosedive is Chen’s best collaboration so far tbh because it will hit you really really hard with the realization about life and emptiness.

“Everyone is going on their own path
but only I’m stopped in place
will I be okay like this?
that question doesn’t leave my head”

-brb crying-

I’ve been saving the Nosedive lyrics for years in my phone notes. Life can be so hard sometimes so I keep finding myself went through it from time to time as it really makes me calm. It reminds me to wait a moment, have some strength, and then go no matter how hard it is.

Nosedive reminds me that it’s okay if you haven’t figured everything together. It’s okay to slow down when everyone seems in a rush. It’s okay to feel sad. It’s okay if you can’t decide your life directions yet. It’s more than okay to put our mental health above anything else. Nosedive also help to shifts my perspective about emptiness: probably just like the moon, we must go through the passes of emptiness to feel full again.

Everyone, go listen to a Nosedive if you haven’t.

Anyway, back to the album. Musical-wise, I think Portrait of You is on another level of perfection. Chen’s voice flows perfectly along with the piano arrangements. It will take you on a cinematic journey like you could imagine a movie with this song as a BGM. Really, I love it so much and I even put it on repeat on the way home lol. It was nothing like any songs that SM released before and when I do a little search, I found that Andreas Stone Johansson is the one who does the music arrangement. It’s brilliant. It’s amazing. Really.

I also thought that I’ll be there is such a nice song to hear on the night when it’s raining. We’ve been knew that Chen is the nation vocalist, but man, listening to him singing on his first solo album bringing so many feelings at one time my heart can barely handle it >.< what a king!

So, in conclusion, “April, and a flower” is exceeding my expectation. I mean, I already have a high standard on this album but man, Chen is once again proving himself that he isn’t just an ordinary artist. And the physical album itself is such an art. SM making it as if it was a poetry book (which is beautiful!) and they’re also giving us a bookmark inside!

I’d give it 5 from 5 stars ofc!

Regards,

Tari

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