Crucial Star ‘Boyhood’ Album Review

With his last album ‘Midnight’ as well as features on other artists’ songs, Crucial Star has quickly solidified his place in my list of favorite artists. Midnight was just released in October (read my review here) so I was pleasantly surprised to get another solid album from Crucial Star so soon. I’ve had a chance to listen to ‘Boyhood’ all the way through and have reviewed each track below. Any and all lyric translations come from Pop!Gasa.


Track 1 – 내 글라이더 (My Glider) 

This is a good track to open the album but musically probably my least favorite.

I didn’t look at the manual
I just made it in my way
I flew it several times at the park
Setting the balance with tape
Putting on more and more tape
My friends would say, what kind of glider is that?
Even though it looked like a monster
In the end, it flew longer than anyone else’s

The lyrics are about Crucial Star’s unique approach to life and music, and while others may look down on him, it works out just fine for him in the end.

Track 2 – AIA (feat. 주영)  

Hmmmm. It’s hard to pick, but I’m pretty sure this track is my favorite. I have a weakness for Crucial Star’s deep voice in the simple refrain:

A kid, a kid
A kid, a kid
I’m still a kid, a kid
A kid, a kid
A kid, a kid
I’m still a kid, a kid

In this track Crucial expresses his immaturity and his desire to date someone who will care for him in spite of it. Jooyoung was the perfect feature for this song. He’s a popular solo artist with a voice that has often been described as soulful. He collaborated with singer Hyorin from SISTAR in a song called ‘지워’ (Erase) that’s really good. Here are the rest of the lyrics.

Track 3 – Pet (Feat. Stella Jang)

Crucial Star gets creative with the lyrics for this one, comparing himself and a past love interest to a bad dog and his master.

I don’t know how to live a human life
The only thing I know how to do right now is bark
I thought I was being free
A life without restrictions, a life without you
But I’m hanging on a leash, I have a nametag
This isn’t right, I’m being punished
My heart was at rest only when you hugged me

I’m not familiar with Stella Jang but her feature was short and sweet and her vocals fit well. I love all of the instruments incorporated into this track – guitar, bass, piano, drums, violin – it all comes together really well. I need to find out who did the composition for this one. You can find the lyrics for Pet here.

Track 4 – 막내 아들 (Youngest Son)

This tracked was released prior to the album as a single. Read my review here.

Track 5 – 이어폰 소년 (Earphone Boy)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – something I really enjoy about Crucial Star as an artist is how versatile he is in his delivery. There are many hip hop artists who sound EXACTLY THE SAME on every track and while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, when I listen to an album from Crucial Star I know that he will successfully express different moods and feelings through his flow and voice throughout.

My earphones were the only line that connected me to my dreams
I didn’t know what my dream was but my heart danced

The piano is the first thing you here as the song starts and its my favorite element of this track musically. Since Boys to Men was intended as a bonus track, Earphone Boy was meant to conclude the album and I think it closes Boyhood well. You can find the rest of the lyrics here.

Track 6 – Boys To Men (Bonus Track)

In this song Crucial Star looks back at his humble beginnings and reflects on just how far he’s come as an artist.

When I look back, sometimes I get shocked
That big stage that I was just on
I couldn’t even imagine back then, just two, three people were my audience
And they were my friends who were forced to come

He mentions artists he looked up to, like Seo Taiji, Drunken Tiger and ‘Q hyung’ (whom I assume is The Quiett), and since then artists he’s had the opportunity to work with, like Bob James and Jeff Bernat. I love the chorus on this track. Crucial Star is encouraging himself to not give up or lose sight of his dreams.

I’m always gonna remember, the small boy back then and me right now
Feels like my passion is going away, so I’m re-tying my laces tight
boy do what you wanna do
You’re an adult now, don’t be swayed and look far ahead
boy do what you wanna do
say what you wanna say
yeah yeah

I love that in the last part of the song Crucial Star has a bunch of artists he respects feature in a line of the verse. I recognize The Quiett’s voice but I’m not sure who the other people are. Let me know who else you could identify in the comments! You can find all the lyrics for Boys to Men here.

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