Updated: Jan 23
This series explores the most critical aspect of an artist's work- a full studio album!
For this series, I review studio albums that deserve a score from 8.5-10 (out of 10). These are my opinions, so don't expect anything factual. Also, if an album went through repackaging and delivered new songs, I won't count those songs in the review.
Yes, I'm strict.
Track 1: Baby Don't Play
If you're wondering what this album would sound like, then Baby Don't Play will answer your curiosity. Inspired by the 80s, this solid album opener is a teaser for what's about to come. For now, soak up the infectious vocal melodies and instrumental from this track!
Track 2: Candle
Over a riveting electro bass, the girls and Paloalto deliver playful rap verses and a gripping chorus, giving Candle its gratifying soundscape. The synthesized opening laid down an effective groundwork for the track to build on.
Track 3: I Feel You
After two years of no activity, the group opted for a total reinvention and returned with the incredible I Feel You. This synth-pop track quickly became the group's undisputed retro masterpiece. I mean, listen to the synthesizers! It's hard to resist this icy 80s production, but who can blame you?
Track 4: Rewind
Taking a detour from the album's bombastic start, Rewind went for a soft r&b route to deliver another strong production. It doesn't match up to the first three songs, though it keeps the quality constant.
Track 5: Loved
Working in the same vein as Candle, Loved brings back the infectious club energy with its busy, satisfying electro beat underneath fun rap verses and a compelling hook.
Track 6: John Doe
John Doe is my favorite song from this album besides the title track. The opening verse operates over an infectious rhythm supported by bursts of a synthesizer, building to the song's high point - the chorus. Not only does it keep the rhythm going and deliver a strong melody, but it also lobbies an excellent brass section to drive this track home!
Track 7: One Black Night
Reboot keeps on bringing gifts! One Black Night is another album highlight thanks to its energetic chorus, pitching ear-catching melodies over a captivating rhythm. I'm more impressed by its intoxicating post-hook delivered by Yubin and Hyerim. Both of them created the perfect duet, keeping the energy alive and well.
Track 8: Back
Back reminds us that 80s music isn't all about synthesizers. The group went old-school hip-hop to deliver a fun, throwback performance.
Track 9: Oppa
Oppa blends 80s pop with modern hip-hop, serving up-to-date verses and a throwback hook. The childish pre-chorus and trap-inspired breakdown restrain Oppa from reaching its full potential, but Hyerim counters those moments with charismatic rapping and a fun, dance-along chorus.
Track 10: Faded Love
As one of the non-explosive tracks from this album, Faded Love is the best working in that style, thanks to the vocal performances, contagious synths, and dramatic strings.
Track 11: Gone
Gone is my least favorite track here. The song produces some great moments, but I feel the instrumental goes over the place at times.
Track 12: Remember
You can't have an album without a ballad, especially if it's the closer. I'm not a sucker for this genre but Remember delivers gripping vocal performances within a solid nostalgic soundscape. As strong as it is independently, the song is better as the album's finisher. And just like that, we finished an exciting 80s nostalgia trip!
Overall Rating: 9/10
My Top 3 Favorites: I Feel You, John Doe, Candle