“From the colors of nature, human, etc. … the last archive of my twenties.”
These words live on the front cover of “Indigo” (2022), RM’s (also known as Kim Nam-joon) newest album released on Dec. 2. This album is not only a collection of his experiences and feelings of the past several years of his music career; listening to the tracks and intentionality behind every move is like watching Nam-joon fall in love with music all over again.
The album is well tied together and, as RM encourages, must be listened to in order. Some songs may evoke comfort, some the desire to dance and some still feel, as Cho Yoo-jin so rightfully puts it, like “exploding all the emotions.”
Starting off strong is “Yun (with Erykah Badu),” a track about losing the humanity an artist holds in an effort to create art. With lyrics like “I wanna be a human / ‘Fore I do some art” and “I write poetry sitting on the ashes.” RM gives us insight on his own journey with his music, and the moments of struggles as he has striven to create art for the past 15 years.
“Still Life (with Anderson .Paak)” and “All Day (with Tablo)” are a tonal shift, being about living life and not letting others drag you down. They scream, “I’m fightin’ all-day / Okay okay” with a production that is sure to have you dancing wherever you are.
“Forg_tful (with Kim Sawol)” is an RM experimental, as it is one of the only tracks he is on that lacks a distinct rap but instead is led by an acoustic guitar and his own raspy vocals, accompanied with Sawol’s soothing, light voice.
RM’s true versatility shines through with “Change pt.2.” A clash against “Closer (with Paul Blanco, Mahalia),” RM takes this moment to claim “Things change, people change / Everything change / Love change, friends change / Everyone change,” a significant change from “Closer,” where he wishes to be closer than ever to his significant other.
“Lonely” is the only other track on the record that has no features. A song about feeling as if you are doing no more than floating through life, some of the hardest lyrics in RM’s journal hit here. It’s a song everyone can relate to in the darkest moments of night.
“Hectic (with Colde)” then switches into a more disco-style, looking for a reason to keep going in a world of meaningless interaction.
“Wild Flower (with youjeen)” is the second to last track on “Indigo” and accompanied the album release with a music video. This track is, to put it frankly, a transcendent experience. Here, we see in four minutes and 34 seconds, RM’s lyrical expertise as he reflects on wishing to light up and live as a wildflower, streaking across the sky in an explosion.
Closing out the album is “No.2 (with parkjiyoon),” an intentional placement that leaves you with one line left floating in your head — “No lookin’ back / You will protect yourself now.” Whether this line is for us the listeners, RM himself or both, this leaves us with a moment of hope for the future rapidly coming.
“Indigo” is a portrait of Kim Nam-joon and RM, colored in by his history, his hopes, dreams, fears, inspirations and love. Each track has a distinct shade, but they all come together to tell the story of his twenties. Listen to the full album on Spotify here.