[Album Review] Early Flowering (2nd Mini Album) – HOTSHOT

HOTSHOT recently returned with a brand new mini-album, Early Flowering. This is their first mini-album since the release of AM I HOTSHOT?, which was released back in 2015. Also mentioned in their latest review of I Hate You (link below), this is the group’s final comeback before Sungwoon, who has been promoting as part of Wanna One, returns to the group. With this mini-album in mind, I wonder what dynamic Sungwoon will bring back to HOTSHOT. But until then, let’s start the album review.

Early Flowering Album Cover

1..Print – Starting off the album is Print, another tropical house song. I’ll be honest, the song fits more of a Summery period. So, seeing how it is included on an album released in Autumn alongside an Autumn title track (see below) indicates that the album lacks direction and cohesiveness. But putting that aside, other than the upbeat nature of the song, the song doesn’t really have much else to really make it an amazing opener. The instrumental is pretty much standard to today’s standard and the vocals felt great for the given canvas, but don’t really offer anything big to showcase. Just another standard track to me. (6/10)

2. I Hate You (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review of I Hate You. (8/10)

3. ParadiseParadise feels a lot more fitting for the Autumn season, despite being an electronic based song. The instrumental is repetitive but there were effects and synths along the way that really made the song feel unique as it goes on. I hear some of these synths in the Western music I often listen to, so there is a certain level of appeal to the song for me. But the winning component of the song must be the vocals. They shine throughout the song, especially the vocals for the chorus. I like the ‘wide’ effect their vocals had, which I think would sound awesome in a concert hall. The melody also allowed for the song’s flowy nature, which was another likeable component. (8/10)

4. Better – As we go down the track list, the songs get a lot better, which is why I chose to review this mini-album. The song is very funky with its guitar and dance pop-infused instrumental. And it is this funkiness which makes this track sound so much better. In a subtle way, the instrumental makes the song very dynamic. I liked the opener (‘Better’) to the chorus which did feel a little sharp but it is one of the cases that worked wonderfully. Vocally, I think they did well, incorporating that husky and raspy nature into their voices. And the rapping here is one of their best on the album. (9/10)

5. Body Talks – Ending the album is another tropical house song. And the same comments do apply in terms of the mismatch of sounds and season. Though, this isn’t something I can’t really hold against them. I personally think Body Talks had a more interesting flair compared to the Print as there is so much more energy and the drop is more dynamic. Vocally, the song was nice, especially the vocals that end the song. I think the song could have benefited with a kick-ass rap sequence to make it even more energetic and stronger. (7/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.6/10

Early Flowering Teaser Image

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