[Album Review] Border: Day One (1st Mini Album) – ENHYPEN

I know I promised the restart of reviews yesterday, but I decided to delay that to focus on some other stuff for the blog. I will restart the reviews tomorrow when the first 2021 release officially drops and I will then return to writing some other 2020 reviews. In the meantime, I hope the next album review suffice. The artist at the focus of the album review is ENHYPEN, who made their debut at the very end of November with Given-Taken. The song was featured on the group’s first mini-album, Border: Day One, which has sold over 300,000 copies since its release. Given-Taken faired pretty well, so let’s see what I thought about the rest of the mini-album.

Border: Day One Album Cover

1. Intro: Walk The Line – There are some vocals in the Intro track, which lands itself on the reviewing block. Honestly, I don’t have much else to say aside from that Walk The Line sets the tone for this mini-album. The music itself is quite atmospheric. It, as a whole piece, pretty much felt like a marching band was following them as they embark on their journey as artists. The members also sing ‘Walk The Line’ in Italian, which isn’t a language we see at all in KPOP. Definitely a good start to the mini-album. (9/10)

2. Given-Taken (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Given-Taken. (8.5/10)

3. Let Me In (20 Cube) Let Me In a lot less serious compared the title track. It actually taps into a more vibrant sound, which I find appropriate for the youthfulness the group brings to the industry. To me, the song is a solid dance track that features a hint of a reggae beat. The vocals are nice, though I felt that they could have reduced the autotune that filtered their vocals. Just a personal preference of mine. I also did think the song needed a more substantial rap sequence. Ni-Ki teased us with his really deep voice, but I wanted more of that in the song. (8/10)

4. 10 Months 10 Months continues the upbeat and vibrancy from the previous track. It is a fun number with a bouncy instrumentation. To me, it wasn’t a really interesting track. It was a nice listen and I did enjoy the energy that came from it. But I wanted more from the group in this song in terms of vocals and rapping. I also wanted more robustness and dynamism from the producers. The only interesting moment(s) worth mentioning was the unique (and possibly fancy) way the members sang ‘Love’, which sounded like ‘La-Uve(6.5/10)

5. Flicker Flicker was a song previously performed on the I-LAND. Though this version is at a higher pitch and felt a bit faster than what was performed on the show. The instrumental was definitely texturally interesting, with its use of guitars and other synths. The members also sound more promising in Flicker than the other side track, though the excessive autotune could have been reduced. Listening to this song (and taking in account my thoughts from the songs above), the group aligns better with a mature and serious tone. It just seems to click better and felt more nature for me. (8/10)

6. Outro: Cross the Line – The outro track doesn’t feature any vocals per say, so I won’t include it in final album rating score I usually give. But I have to make a few comments about it. It is so creepy. The voices of the kids in the background were chilling. The European (possibly French? roots) instrumental influences were very haunting. And this was all followed by rock version of the Phantom of the Opera’s most iconic tune. Hopefully, this outro is teasing us with what is to come. I would totally be game for this.

Overall Album Rating – 8/10

Border: Day One Teaser Image

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