Many of the male groups that I ham a fan of are currently in their mandatory military enlistment phase. However, some of them are re-emerging in the industry after completing their enlistments, which is the case for the artist of focus for this review. CN BLUE has been inactive since 2017, which was when they released their last mini-album and title track, 7CN and Between Us. Military enlistment was not the only thing they experienced since 2017. They also underwent a lineup change, after Jonghyun withdrew from the group due to the chatroom scandal. Thus, this leaves Yonghwa, Minhyuk and Jungshin as the three members to continue the CN BLUE with Then, Now and Forever.
Firstly, it is super exciting to hear CN BLUE once again. There is definitely a lack of bands in KPOP. And while there has been a slight increase in the amount, I sometimes need that sense of nostalgia that only two bands in Korea can bring (i.e. CN BLUE and FT ISLAND) as two bands are the ones that I grew up with. Hearing Yonghwa’s voice is enough to fulfil that craving. Secondly, Then, Now and Forever is an alternative rock track that sounds blissful and captivating. Yonghwa’s vocals compliment the alternative style of the instruments played by all three members. I particularly really liked the peak of the song, which gives Jungshin and Minhyuk an opportunity to shine. They could have stuck with the alternative side of the track for the entirety of the song (which would have been fine), but I would have made a comment about it being plain or ‘is stuck in a neutral gear’. The peak just gives the song that icing on top to make it feel more satisfying to listen to. I liked how the sound helps shows themselves off as mature and refined, which works well with the lyrics. The song itself expresses the emotions one experiences and deals with when a person they love is no longer around. Hopefully, one day the trio will return with a more hard hitting promotional track. But in the meanwhile, Then, Now and Forever is a nice comeback for the band and satisfy my specific craving for nostalgia.
It is a nice video to watch. Not exactly the most attention grabbing or outrageous video there is, but it does the job complimenting the song’s mature and emotional sound. We see the members are quite expressionless with their lives, now that their special someone had left. And even with the changes in their lives (which I am assuming the colour blue represents), their emotions still take hold of them. I did like the transition between white and blue. It is a strong contrast and really sends off an impression to the viewer. I do have questions about Yonghwa’s milk though. It seemed a bit random to me (and I think alcohol would have been a more appropriate prop for the video’s intention). But then again, how do you show the transition to blue clearly and aesthetically. I also liked the ‘stage’ they performed in and the three rooms hidden by the curtains were their individual sets. I thought that was smart and provided a physical connection to everything to help give that a ‘whole’ feeling to the video.
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.2/10
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