All at once celebratory and remorseful, the Korean hip-hop trio’s ninth album comes 14 years into the band’s career. Wonderful is fronted by two singles, the lilting “Home Is Far Away” fronted by Oh Hyuk of indie band Hyukoh and the jazzy “Love Story” featuring the airy vocals of popular pop songstress IU. Religiosity, romance and regrets all provide source material, as Epik High reflects on its Wonderful career.
Released to coincide with the 14th anniversary of the group’s first album, Map of the Human Soul, released in Oct. 2003, Wonderful is a testament to the trio’s place in the Korean music industry, with the band adapting and drawing on popular sounds while maintaining their unique identity as an act that weighs its music with introspective lyrics. Contemplatively inspirational and dreary, it is a mature album that — while perhaps less fun and pop-ish than Shoebox — seems to return Epik to a more introverted space, inspired by the what they’ve faced over their nearly decade and a half as one of Korea’s most prominent hip-hop teams.
The album runs the gamut of musical styles, drawing on old school East Coast hip-hop and the trendiest R&B, electronic, pop and even rock elements. Its 11 tracks overflow with soulful vocals provided by some of South Korea’s most recognizable singers, including IU, Oh, Lee Hi, Lee Suhyun of AKMU, Crush, and Nell’s Kim Jong Wan. Meanwhile, rappers Mino of WINNER, Simon Dominic, and The Quiett also appear on the album, joining Epik High on the funky swagger track “NO THANXXX.”
An extended music video for “Home Is Far Away” and “Love Story” featuring Epik High and Oh was also released, showing the four artists melancholically contemplating in a variety of nighttime scenes.
Upon its release, We’ve Done Something Wonderful topped charts in South Korea, with Tablo taking to social media to thank fans for their support.
Watch the video for “Home Is Far Away” and “Love Story” here: