[Album Review] Layers (1st Mini Album) – Ong Seong Woo

It is time to dive into another album. Today’s focus will be on Ong Seong Woo’s recently mini-album release, Layers. I am super excited to be reviewing this album for not other reason other than it is more recent album. I still have one other ‘older’ album to review, but after that, it is all April albums. I also am planning on bringing back the PARs (Past Album Review) segment, though I don’t know how regular that will be. But until I make a solid decision, let’s get stuck into today’s album review, which features both Ong Seong Woo’s We Belong (released in January 2020) and Gravity (released in March 2020).

Layers Album Cover

1. Gravity (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Gravity. (9/10)

2. Café (너를 위한 카페)Café is a nice mellow pop song to listen to. There is an easygoing and soothing vibe in this song, which makes it extremely pleasant to listen to. It is definitely a song I wouldn’t mind sipping coffee to in a nice indie coffee shop. I also found the song extremely light and soft, which really goes hand-in-hand with Ong Seong Woo’s vocals. They are breathy and often in a falsetto direction, which was very appealing. Altogether, Café ended up have a golden-like and definitely a warming touch for fans to melt away to. (8/10)

3. After Dark (또, 다시 나를 마주한 채)After Dark is a ballad that really pushes Ong Seong Woo’s vocals into the spotlight. He also sounds very breathy in this song. But he seems to throw more technique into the song, making it a fairly dynamic ballad to listen to. The instrumental is also another strong aspect of the song. Most ballads we think of take on board a classical or piano-centric background. But After Dark takes electronic synths to create a very slow yet delicate instrumental for this ballad. This has been done before by other artists, but it stills feel fairly unique to me. (9/10)

4. Bye Bye As we continue down the tracklist, the songs just keep on getting better. One of the things that I wasn’t sure with Ong Seong Woo is which direction he would take his solo work in. And it seems like his default genre is pop, given this title tracks and now Bye Bye. This song has some hidden surprises, and this is one of the reasons why this song is so good. We are given autotuned vocals as soon as the song started. The chorus featured a very upbeat and bright instrumental, accented with a really cool hook consisting of the song’s title and brief mini pauses. The melody that his vocals encapsulates was also very appealing. The bridge throws funky saxophone synths that give the song some groove and interesting quirk, which all helped make Bye Bye extremely enjoyable. (10/10)

5. Guess Who Guess You is the most experimental track on the album. I say that because the chorus was pretty much unexpected. I liked the classy vibes that the whistling or flute-like (along with that higher pitch vocals) infused into the song. The rest of the instrumental predominately featured really satisfying guitar work. I already touched upon Ong Seong Woo’s vocals for this song, but I liked how clean his standard vocal work is in this song. Throw in the deep ‘I Like It’ and ‘I Love It’ we get towards the ending and you have another really good track. (9/10)

6. We BelongClick here to read the full review for We Belong. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9/10

Layers Teaser Image

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