10cm – 4.0

I was jittery approaching the release of 4.0. Perhaps it is the 3-year gap between this record and the previous one (helpfully titled 3.0) that increases the anxiety, though there were a couple of placeholder songs [3.1 & 3.2 EPs] to tide us over. Is it writer’s block? Maybe even a drastic change in direction? Added to that was the departure of the not-so-well-known half of the group, guitarist Yoon Cheol Jong in July, ostensibly for ‘health reasons’ before his arrest for marijuana use was made public.

This is the most expensive solo concert in the world
I’m the singer and the audience is just you

Opening line from Phonecert (video linked above) – confidence, eh? But then.

Is everyone the same as me
But just holding it in?
Or am I the only bad person?
Help, somebody help
Somebody help
Somebody help me please tonight

goes the lyrics for lead single Help, a desperate plea for help, said to nobody in particular.

Sound-wise 4.0 toes the conventional 10cm line, which is to say, alternating between cheery and moody ballads. Not a bad thing, mind you, but I look back at 2.0 with its more experimental blues/bossa nova moments [한강의 작별 etc] and can’t help thinking I want to hear more of that. But hey – it ain’t broke, why fix shit? Koreans love this kinda stuff and that’s the audience that apparently matters most.

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