It is time for another PAR (Past Album Review). And this time, I went with a mini-album as they contain less songs and are much faster to write, as a result. The group that I chose to focus on is one that I have yet to cover on this segment of album reviews. And they definitely need a shout out as they are still underrated! I am talking about SF9, the nine-member male dance group from FNC Entertainment. More recently, the group returned with their 1st album (First Collection) and the title track, Good Guy, which earned them their first wins on the weekly music shows! Finally, some recognition for the group! But today, I will be reviewing the album which contains the first song that attracted my attention, which is Easy Love. Easy Love is part of the group’s second mini-album, Breaking Sensation, which was released back in 2017.
1. Intro: Around Farewell (Intro: 이별 즈음에) – The album kicks off with the rappers do their thing in the introductory manner. I don’t remember listening to this track in the past as it feels very unfamiliar. And it is a pity, as I think Around Farewell would be very suitable for their more recent albums. The track takes on a hip-hop beat. This personally isn’t my usual genre to listen to, but the rappers make it quite captivating. Hwiyoung starts it off with a slow manner, before kicking it up a notch. Youngbin continues the momentum, before Zuho brings his raspy tone into the mix. Chani delivery in this song is more on the rap-speaking side and adds an emotional twist of the song. The song ends with a muffled electronically autotuned ‘No More Easy Love’, leading us to the title track. (8/10)
2. Easy Love (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Easy Love. (8/10)
3. Watch Out – There are two notable elements in the instrumental of Watch Out that I really enjoyed. The first has to be the 90s feel that the instrumental gives (more specifically NSYNC vibes). The second has to be the piano in the background. Together, these two blends together, with the help of other elements, to become a strong track. I liked how hard hitting the chorus because of the beat and piano. The instrumental seems to steal the show for me, so the vocals and rapping didn’t attract too much attention when I do a glance over the track. But when I do focus squarely on the vocals and the rapping, there was a lot of potential behind their vocal work and rapping delivery. I don’t want to comment specifically on any members as the entire vocal/rap element stands out as a whole and makes it hard for me to zone into one member or side. (9/10)
4. Hide & Seek (머리카락 보일라) – With quite heavy and intense tracks so far, Hide & Seek seems to changes it up be infusing some brightness to give off the impression of light and a more easygoing vibe. I personally don’t mind this change up as the track has a nice instrumental that I can’t help but boogie to while writing this review. The vocals and rapping are commendable. I liked how they infused the rapping into the song, and this ended up being standout moments for me. I also liked their vocal energy in this song as it progressed, especially when it came to the chorus. There is just a sweetness to it that I find very appealing. The instrumental seems retro and old school. There is almost a jazzy vibe and I enjoyed the brass that peeked through. (9/10)
5. Fall Down (이러다가 울겠어) – We seem to return to the roots of the album by going with a heavier and more mature sounding part. There is an electronic influence on Fall Down’s instrumental from the very first second. It felt promising at first. But as the song progressed, that opening synth (which is subsequently replayed throughout the instrumental of the track) just lost its promise. The song stayed relatively consistent and everything that was added over it just felt neutral. There wasn’t anything to be excited about. And this rubbed off on the vocals and rapping as well. If I was to pick which I preferred, the rapping takes the edge as the vocal melodies seemed to maintain that neutral gear, which dried out the song. Unfortunately, Fall Down is my pick for skipable track on this album. (6/10)
6. Why (왜 이래) – The final track on the album takes a completely different route to any of the above songs, thanks for the acoustic sound. There were really good vocal moments in the song and the chorus was very addictive with its simple melody. I really liked how they emphasised the title of the song (the ‘Wae Irae’ parts of the chorus). When the rapping came into play, it felt like a nostalgic throwback to some old KPOP from earlier in the decade. Overall, I found it to be a nice closing song for the album and as a song in general. (8.5/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.1/10