Jackson Wang’s new album ‘MAGIC MAN’ represents a fresh artistic start. This project truly sets him apart from the first part of his musical career alongside his members in the K-pop group GOT7– who recently completed a two-day fan concert which took place at the SK OLYMPIC HANDBALL GYMNASIUM in Seoul at the beginning of this year. A singer, songwriter, performer, and producer, the album traces an energetic and gritty exploration of toxic love and self-discovery; it features a rock sound with hypnotic melodies and soulful choruses that will be sure to make it on your playlist.
Jackson Wang has emerged as a more honest artist who wants to show a new side of him to his loyal Got7 fans. Wang is spreading his wings as an artist, having just recently performed at 88RISING’s Head In The Clouds Festival. As he experiments with his sound and color by diving headfirst into the world of rock and punk, Wang’s vocals shine in a way we’ve never seen before with full and husky tone and beautiful falsettos. Wang steps away from commercially catchy music to take the listener on a journey through his self-discovery. This coming-of-age esque album is filled with references to darker themes, often not shown, like alcohol and desire in complicated relationships.
Wang delivers three music videos in the perfect trilogy to highlight his album. The first leap into Wang’s world was teased through his first release and music video ‘Cruel’, which was dramatic and dark with intense visuals and references to modern art with contemporary choreography. This was then followed by the theatrical song ‘Blow’, whose video has elements of suspense and mystery with amazing costumes and visuals.
With a nostalgic feeling– a kin to old school horror films – the music video shows Wang delving into a more mature sound with talks of cigarettes and addiction. The camera work, so precise and rehearsed throughout the video, adds an element of suspense, and rounds out the new sound Wang has developed. In comparison to the first two tracks, his latest music video ‘Blue’ shows a much softer atmosphere that perfectly rounds out his sophomore album. ‘Blue’ is melodic, vulnerable, and heartbreaking. The cinematic music video sees Wang falling through the elements as he descends through water and fire, allowing gravity to catch him as he embraces what is to come.
As we journey through Wang’s world, he delivers the perfect driving song with a retro sound in ‘Drive It Like You Stole It’, similar to the synth heavy ‘Go Ghost’ which also has a melodic electric guitar throughout the piece. Both ‘Champagne Cool’ and ‘Come Alive’ give the listener a nostalgic throwback that is reminiscent of the 00s pop-punk era so many of us miss. Continuing through the album, ‘Just Like Magic’ starts off with a hypnotizing chorus and a rock sound with its guitar strums and heavy bass. Wang then slows it down with ‘All The Way’ and ‘Dopamine’ where he introduces the final act of his album with soulful heavy-hitting singing that is sure to strike a chord with anyone who has ever experienced heartbreak.
Jackson Wang hopes to show his fans through this album to always trust your gut-feeling and live your most as your most authentic self regardless of the highs and lows in life. This album is the embodiment of Jackson Wang as he bares himself as truthfully and authentically as he hopes those who listen to the album will. Jackson Wang is ‘MAGIC MAN’.
Words: Serena Khahera