[Album Review] MUST (7th Studio Album) – 2PM

It has been a while since we heard from this particular group. To be precise, five years. I am talking about none other than 2PM, who have been absent from the KPOP scene due to military enlistments over the last five years. At the end of June of this year, 2PM regrouped to release their 7th studio album, MUST, which features the title track, Make It. Amongst the new tracks alongside Make It is the acoustic version of their 2015 hit My House, which rose on the charts earlier this year once again. As per my album review rules, I will not be including this new version of My House and the intro in the final album rating score. This is also the final album on the album review blitz I have been working on over this weekend. Feel free to return to the home page to see the seven other albums I reviewed this weekend. Otherwise, here are my thoughts on 2PM’s latest release!

MUST Album Cover

1. Intro – The album begins the sophisticated jazzy intro, which I think is a great reintroduction to 2PM. It is mature. It is classy. It is everything that 2PM has pumped out prior to their military enlistment hiatus.

2. Make It (해야 해) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Make It. (8/10)

3. OK or Not (괜찮아 안 괜찮아) – For OK or Not, there are many great elements to this song. Firstly, the instrumental was quite dynamic. I liked the synthetic violins that were used in this song. It helped the song exude a mature and classy tone, but also fitted in with the rest of the synth instrumentation. Secondly, I liked how the members were in the forefront of the song. Their voices were clear and crisp, throughout. I did like the autotune filtering they applied to some of the vocals, particularly the hook, which added depth to the song. Lastly, the song’s hook was repetitive and catchy. It was also quite simple and clean, so it was super easy to appreciate. Overall, OK or Not is a strong and likeable side track. (9/10)

4. On My Way (보고싶어, 보러갈게) – I was lowkey waiting for a drop in On My Way, which ultimately didn’t come to fruition. The instrumental hinted towards a drop on multiple occasions, especially as the song was building up to the chorus. But instead, the song opted to just transition from pre-chorus to chorus without much flair, and this made On My Way slightly frustrating. Other than that, On My Way was a pretty straightforward song, with good textures thanks to the consistent use of clickity clacks in the instrumentation and the autotune. (7/10)

5. Champagne (샴페인) Champagne is the first standout song on this album. The instrumentation was very cool, with the contrast of bass and metallic xylophone being one of the most memorable aspects of the song. The synths take on an almost screechy profile, but they work cohesively with the rest of the song. Another memorable aspect included the dynamic that Taecyeon and Jun.K brought to the song via their rapping. It added drive and additional cool points to the song. I also liked the subtle use of brass in the song. (10/10)

6. The Café (집 앞 카페)The Café is a fun and bright pop song that remains within the classy parameters of the album. It is super easy to get into and enjoy, with melodies that I am sure will make you smile. I liked the additional highlights within the instrumentation from the xylophone tapping. The vocals and rapping were really nice here, as well. (9/10)

7. Moon & BackMoon & Back is a R&B song that I find to be quite well balanced and thoroughly enjoyed from start to end. The instrumental is quite texturally packed, thanks to all of the small details we get throughout the song (i.e. the disc scratching, the taps and clicks etc.). The vocals brings the smooth texture that one would usually associate with the R&B genre. My pick for standout member in Moon & Back is Taecyeon, with his really deep vocals. They just had such a strong effect and brought a different colour to the song, despite being one of the briefer elements of the song. (8/10)

8. Two of Us (둘이) – Continuing the R&B on the album is Two of Us, but this time over jazzy instrumentation that brings out a warm and happy atmosphere. You just can’t help but smile whilst listening to this song. The chorus of Two Of Us exudes an undeniable sweet tone. The best part of the song has to be the ending, when the members harmonize with one another in an overlapping manner. It isn’t like your typical harmonization in a ballad, where the members come in at the same time. In this song, it appears that one member starts slightly later than the other, but they still come together cohesively. (8/10)

9. Hold You (놓지 않을게)Hold You is a ballad, with a tinge of jazz in the background. I really liked how breathy their vocals are throughout the song, which gives off the appeals that fit right into 2PM’s wheelhouse. What makes Hold You even better are the harmonies we get between all the members following the chorus. I also thought the brass in the chorus adds definition to the ballad, making it much more dynamic than your typical ballads. (8.5/10)

10. My House (우리집) (Acoustic Version) Click here to listen to the acoustic version of 2PM’s 2015 release, My House.

Overall Album Rating – 8.4/10

MUST Teaser Image

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