[Album Review] Hello Chapter Ø: Hello, Strange Dream (4th Mini Album) – CIX

Teaser image of CIX sitting in a cinema for their new album (Hello Chapter Ø. Hello, Strange Dream) and the title track, Cinema.

The second album that I will be reviewing this weekend is CIX’s most recent album release, Hello Chapter Ø: Hello, Strange Dream. This is the group’s fourth mini-album and was dropped at the start of February. Featured on this album is Cinema, the title track for this album. It is also one of five songs on the album. Previously, I have reviewed all of CIX’s albums with the exception of their third mini-album, Hello Chapter 3: Hello, Strange Time (I simply just waited too long to review it, hence I removed it from the Coming Soon list). However, I have flagged the album for future review in the Past Album Review segment, which I should have started back in early March, but obviously that is fruitless for now. In the meanwhile, I hope you enjoy my review of CIX’s latest release.

Album art for CIX's fourth mini-album, Hello Chapter Ø. Hello, Strange Dream
Hello Chapter Ø. Hello, Strange Dream Album Cover

1. Stairway to Heaven – The album starts off with a breathtaking and stunning ballad. I find the move to put this song first on the tracklist to be quite interesting, given ballads are usually toward the end of the album. But like all songs that sit in the opener position, Stairway to Heaven does pull you in. To me, Stairway to Heaven reminds me of EXO’s Miracle of December. While I am unsure how the lyrics and deep meaning of the two songs would compare with one another, I found Stairway to Heaven to be quite gripping on the emotional front. There is a beautiful classical instrumental piece for its background and the song showcases the vocals capabilities of CIX. The harmonies were to die for and the melodies were very heartfelt. It is hard to say another bad about Stairway to Heaven. (10/10)

2. Cinema (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Cinema. (9/10)

3. Round 2Round 2 delves into the R&B scene, but in a more downtempo fashion. While Round 2 has it all with a nice melody, decent hook, upbeat instrumentals and good vocals from the members, I just can’t seem to fall for the song. It is one of the songs that I would describe as ‘pleasant at best’. But I also don’t see anything wrong with it. I guess it isn’t my personal cup of tea. The acapella-like change in the bridge was interesting and I wished they somehow explored more of this. Maybe that would have me falling for Round 2. (7/10)

4. Young – The guitar work in Young is exceptional. It started off almost with a country influence, before developing into a full-fledged pop rock sound. This alone makes the song very interesting and has me sticking around. I wished their vocals did pop out a little more, as it felt like they were competing with the instrumental. The rapping, on the other hand, is top notch and feels perfect for this style of music. (9/10)

5. Everything – The album ends with an acoustic pop song, which once again, highlights the vocals of the members. I really enjoyed how smooth the vocal lines were when it came to the chorus of Everything. As a result, I found it quite easy to become lost in the song. Similarly, the rapping roughened up the song with its delivery and also its intense trap backdrop. Usually, I would think the song didn’t need that. But it was good choice this time around. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.6/10

Image of CIX in sweaters, posing in a teaser image that was released on the day ahead of their fourth mini-album (Hello Chapter Ø. Hello, Strange Dream) and title track, Cinema.
Hello Chapter Ø. Hello, Strange Dream D-Day Image

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