The next album review I have ready for you is HIGHLIGHT’s return to the industry, The Blowing. HIGHLIGHT is one of few second generation groups making their comeback after a hiatus due to military enlistment. But with all members completely done with their civic duties, the group has regrouped earlier this year for promotions of both the album and title track Not The End, which was released at the start of May of this year. These second-generation groups are what I grew up with and I would really like to introduce all those more recent and new listeners to such groups, through past album reviews (hint hint) and their more recent releases. So without further ado, I present to you HIGHLIGHT.
1. Not The End (불어온다) (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review of Not The End. (9/10)
2. Wave – The verses of Wave give off a peaceful vibe, which makes an extremely nice start to the song. The piano is the dominant instrument in the background during the verses, which compliments the lightness of their vocals (which throughout the song are very beautiful sounding). The chorus picks up Wave by adding percussive elements to the background. It gives the chorus that extra meat to make it feel right and adds some oomph to the ballad. The final moments have all the members contributing in a restricted shouty manner. But they did it in a way that remains warm and touching, as like the rest of the song. (9/10)
3. Hey Yeah (밤이야) – Hey Yeah adds a bit of energy into the album, being the first upbeat track on the list. It is a pleasant number, with funky guitar and whistling in the background to give it a likeable and enjoyable profile. But I don’t see Hey Yeah as anything more than pleasant. I appreciate the addition of the energy, but Hey Yeah was largely forgettable on the hooks front, and the vocal front. (7/10)
4. Sorry (미안) – Sorry features R&B li-fo beats that makes this song ideal for moments where you just want to relax and chill. At first, I didn’t like the additional high pitch effects that are found abundant throughout the instrumentation. But they gave nice texture. Furthermore, it is a good song that has this swaying effect (in time with the beat, of course!). The melodies and vocals in Sorry are really also good and contribute to a pleasant vibe (with room for the song to be more than pleasant!). (8/10)
5. Disconnected – Disconnected continues the R&B sound from the previous song. But in this song, the pace is a lot slower and feels more dragged out. This isn’t a problem though, however, as the song still sounds decent. There is more of a beat in this song, compared to some of the other songs on the album. I do wish the vocals had more to them, melody-wise, as this would have given an additional layer of appeal to the song. I do like what the producers did with the vocal processing, giving the song some depth. (7.5/10)
6. Surf – Ending this album is Surf. The saying of ‘saving the best for last’ seems to be true for this album, as Surf is my favourite track on the album. It starts off slow and pretty much like the rest of the album. But the pre-chorus has this jazzy feel to it, where it picks up the song. The chorus takes on a repetitive pop beat, which was rather unexpected. It stays true to the jazzy nature and has great energy. I particularly like how they defined the vocals at the end, ending the song and album is such a cool manner. (9/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10