In this weekend’s album review blitz, I am hoping to review a bunch (and by a bunch, I mean 8 albums) of albums that have been on my plate for a while. First up is ASTRO’s SWITCH ON, which dropped at the start of August (making this one of the more recent album releases to be reviewed this weekend). It features the titled track After Midnight, which also dropped on the same day. SWITCH ON and After Midnight follows the release of All Yours and ONE in April of this year.
1. After Midnight (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for After Midnight. (8.5/10)
2. Footprint (발자국) – Footprint is a favourite of my on this mini-album. It taps into the tropical house, but the members’ vocals incorporate a laidback tone into Footprint. I particularly liked the autotuned lines that as part of the chorus, given they were quite sleek and provided a refreshing element to the song. In the first verse, it served as more a pre-chorus with no instrumentation in the background. For the second, it was blended into the chorus with the use of instrumentation, giving the chorus added definition and refreshing colour. For the third chorus, its deliver was a mixed approached, acting like your typical launcher into the chorus but also forming the body of the chorus. This kept Footprint interesting and non-repetitive. (9/10)
3. Waterfall – If you were like me and found Footprint to be laidback, then Waterfall is even more so. The initial few seconds of Waterfall felt like the song was going to be a ballad. But after that surprise high note, Waterfall emerged as mid-tempo pop track, even though their vocals went into a balladry direction. This slight mismatch doesn’t deter me from enjoying the song, however. The harmonies and melodies were really nice, the instrumentation was beautiful and the members really put their vocals on full display. (8/10)
4. Sunset Sky (노을 그림) – Another nice sounding track. Like what the title suggests, I can definitely see myself listening to Sunset Sky while watching a sunset or whilst on a walk outside during a nice pleasant evening. I liked the acoustic side of the song, which (to me) gave the song a nice golden hue. The vocals complimented this and the rapping fitted in well, as well. The melodies within Sunset Sky were also quite warming. Altogether, I felt everything contributed towards Sunset Sky’s soothing and laidback atmosphere. (8/10)
5. MY ZONE – MY ZONE returns the album to the EDM front, tapping into trap sub-genre. MY ZONE is another strong song from the group, especially after a number of laidback songs. I particularly enjoyed the chorus for this release. I liked the deep and breathy start to the chorus, and the energy that the chorus ended up developing into was quite fulfilling. While it was very electronic-based, there was a bit of a funkiness to it as well, which made it even more enjoyable. I also feel that MY ZONE really let the rappers of ASTRO (JinJin and Rocky) show off some flair and energy with their delivery. (9/10)
6. Don’t Worry – Ending the album is Don’t Worry. The start made it feel like it was going to be a dance track. But I was left wondering where that feeling went during the first verse, which felt rather plain for me. But as they started driving towards the chorus, you could hear the synths to kick back in. The chorus was just how I had expected it, with a strong hook and vivid instrumentation. The rest of the song continued the momentum of the first chorus, allowing Don’t Worry to be another strong release and ender for the group. I also liked how it had a tinge of reassuring emotion, which complimented the lyrics of Don’t Worry. (9/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.6/10