[Album Review] Remember (3rd Studio Album) – WINNER

The album in focus for this review post is WINNER’s Remember, which was released over a month ago on 9th April. This album was confirmed to be the final release by the group before the members go on hiatus and enlist into the military. Jinwoo actually enlisted a week prior to the album’s release and Hoony enlisted exactly a month ago. In the meantime, it was also confirmed that we will see the rest of the members focus on individual promotions before enlisting. Remember, the group’s 3rd studio album, is also the title of the album’s main title track. It also features Hold (a pre-release track), and four member versions of their debut tracks (Empty and Color Ring) and two side tracks from their 1st studio album released back in 2014 (Different and Don’t Flirt). These four tracks will not be included as part of the review. Let’s see how the rest of the album fared.

Remember Album Cover

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

2. Dduk (뚝) (Jinu Solo) – Jinu is a member of Winner who doesn’t get much attention by himself. I don’t think he gets much solo promotions and this solo track proves that he should have at least gotten something to celebrate his vocal ability. Dduk continues from where Remember left off. It is a ballad with a piano only backdrop. Usually, ballads would start off with just the one instrument and as it progresses, adds to the song to push the song along. Dduk doesn’t conform to this and instead keeps everything pretty much raw, which I thought was cool. This made the song’s melody, both piano and vocal wise to be really nice. You can feel a bit of emotion behind this song in Jinu’s voice, as he sings about splitting up. And I like how he ends each chorus with a short, sharp and spoken form of the title, adding a little interesting detail to the song. (9/10)

3. Hold (뜸) (Pre-Release Track)Click here to read the full review of Hold. (8/10)

4. Just Dance (막춤) – Continuing the more upbeat vibes from Hold, Just Dance has that wholesome, feel-good and fun vibe. It is a song that will make you smile and maybe get a dance out of even the quiet and introverted people. I can imagine a fun music video, similar to how Can’t Stop The Feeling by Justin Timberlake came to be. The instrumental was quite laid back when you think about it. It never really went anywhere. But consistency probably helped made the song appealing, as you don’t want this going through moments of slowness or have the instrumental stripped away completely, as that would just ruin it. If you took anything away from Hold, it is that they can insert an element of fun to their delivery. And that is what Just Dance continues on effortlessly. (9/10)

5. My BadMy Bad brings a R&B spin to the album. The background of the song seems refined and classy, thanks to the acoustic guitar that features in the background. There is obviously more to the instrumental to get to that point, but the guitar was the main standout. The rest of the song is built on the group’s vocals and a really smooth melody. And they sound amazing in this song. The ‘My Bad’ that features in the chorus (courtesy of Mino and Yoon) of the song brings out a hoarse nature to their vocals which makes the song sound so good. Probably my favourite part of the song. And out of all the members, Mino is the member that shines the brightest in the song. He shows off a great range in this song, switching between a deep tone for the opening verse and chorus echoes, and a falsetto for the pre-chorus. The other members do a good job in the song as well. (9/10)

6. Teaser – Listening to all the songs on the album, I feel like each member shines in a different song. For Teaser, which is a very heavy hip-hop influenced track, the member that shines is Yoon, who had the strongest individual part of the song (i.e. the ‘Baby You-ou-ou’ in the pre-chorus. Note how I pointed out individual. While each person has their individual sections in this song, I thought the combination of rapper and vocalist singing together gave the song some really interesting harmonies and textures. The interception felt unique and felt like a strong aspect in this song. (8.5/10)

7. WellWell is essentially a song in which the members wish that their fans stay … well. The song is quite upbeat, but it necessary doesn’t have that fun vibe. Instead, I find the song has that nostalgic pop vibe to it that felt like it was part of many male KPOP group’s albums in the past. I really like the hooks of the song, which consisted of the title of the song being repeated. I also like the ad-libs inserted for the final chorus, which acted as the icing on the cake. I feel like this doesn’t have a standout member. It feels cliché to say this, but all of them shined when they all started to sing together as part of the final chorus. This section just feels right for this song, adding further to that appeal to fans. (8/10)

8. Serenade (세레나데) (Hoony Solo) – By default, Hoony shines in this song as he is the only member in this song (same for Jinu in his solo track). Serenade encompasses what I think suits Hoony, though I will admit my exposure to him as an artist is quite limited. Firstly, he is a rapper, so I don’t think he would do anything like a ballad, which serves better for vocalists. But at the same time, Hoony never strikes me to do something hip-hop heavy, like Mino’s solo tracks. Serenade binds together pop and rock, creating an upbeat number for Hoony to bring his rap to (and consequently rock to). There is colour and definitely a kick in the instrumentation, which I thought was amazing. I find his rapping to be full of expression in this song and he inputs energy that helps consolidate that this is a perfect solo track for him. I do think he could have gone a little harder with his delivery. But overall, Serenade is a great track. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.7/10

Remember Teaser Image

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