It is time for another album review. And today, I am going dive into a 2020 rookie’s album. I am talking about TOO’s second mini-album, Running TOOgether, which was released around a month ago. It features the title track Count 1, 2 and four additional title tracks. It is my first time reviewing an album from this group. Previously, I was going to review their debut mini-album (Reason For Being: Benevolence) earlier this year, but ended up dropping it from the list due to timing. I might return to that album some time in the future but that might be a while away. For now, here is my album review for TOO’s latest album release.
1. Count 1, 2 (하나 둘 세고) (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Count 1, 2. (10/10)
2. Step By Step – TOO continues the bright upbeat vibes with the groovy and retro Step By Step. The song is a lot more jam packed and intense, as a result. This is no complaint though, as I find this song to be ideal for a good ‘let loose’ session. The song seems to have various influences from the 70s through to the 90s, including synth drums, brass and disco elements. Everything comes together to be a lively and undeniably catchy track. The chorus is super catchy and memorable. And the energy of Step By Step just extends the song’s appeal even further. The vocals were amazing and the rapping was effortlessly merged into the song. Everything in this song just comes together so well. Even better that it leaves me with a gigantic smile once it wraps up. (10/10)
3. Better – Better is your typical slow pop ballad. It is a nice number to settle to after two awesome upbeat tracks. The instrumental isn’t that ground-breaking as it follows most pop ballads with a drum and piano prominent instrumental. The ending brings in some minute rock influences, but I wished them somehow brought some of this influence a little earlier to give the song some additional life. Vocally, Better really sounds good. The harmonies were the element that initially drew me into the song. TOO definitely boasts solid vocalists and rappers as evident in this track. I just wished their debut track did a better job of highlighting this. (8/10)
4. Taillight – Taillight kicks it up a notch, going for an R&B number. Unfortunately, I found most of the song to be plain. That would be the concise way to describe the song. It just felt like an extension of the preceding track. Other than that, I don’t want to blab on, given that I didn’t notice much in the song. However, I do want to make a short note regarding Taillight’s melody. It was good and soothing. (7/10)
5. Dancing In The Moonlight – Based on what I am reading, Dancing In The Moonlight is actually a remake of 1972’s Dancing In The Moonlight by King Harvest. TOO and the producers of the remake did a really good job of modernizing the song for 2020. I really like the addition of brass to give the song a prominent retro feel and how they all sing together for the chorus. It really bolsters up the song. The trap-based rap sequence in the second verse was probably the most unnecessary inclusion in this version. It just doesn’t tie in with the rest of the song. The rap sequence that featured during the bridge was much more fitting for the retro and brass elements of the song. (9/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.8/10