[Album Review] Game Changer / DDARA (2nd Studio Album / 2nd Studio Album Repackaged) – Golden Child

As mentioned earlier today (and throughout the past week), I would be posting the album review for Golden Child’s second studio album and its repackaged version today. GAME CHANGER (released at the start of August this year) is the group’s second studio album and features the title track Ra Pam Pam. Earlier this week, the group returned with the repackaged version, retitled DDARA, and features the title track of the same name. In total, there are 13 tracks on the album which I will be reviewing today. This album release was a banger – a small hint of what I thought about the albums overall.

1. Game Changer – The album kicks off with the eerie intro track Game Changer. The eeriness is only around at the start though, with the intro track opting for suspenseful classical vibe. This too is quite brief, as EDM kicks in right after to bump this up into very dynamic territory. I feel like this track would be awesome for a movie trailer, hinting towards twist and turns. For this album, it leads right into the likes of Ra Pam Pam.

2. Ra Pam Pam (Title Track)Click here for the full review of Ra Pam Pam. (8.5/10)

3. DDARA (Title Track)Click here for the full review of DDARA. (9/10)

4. OASIS – The other new track added to the repackaged version is OASIS. To me, the track is an impressive display of vocals from the group. Those successive high notes we get at the end sound so good. It felt almost like the members were in a ballad mindset for this song. But OASIS is no ballad. The instrumentation falls into the EDM side of music. It definitely made OASIS impactful and dynamic enough for me to give the song a 10/10. The rapping also reiterates the fact that this is no ballad, going with a powerful approach, which fitted in really well. (10/10)

5. Bottom of the OceanBottom of the Ocean is a full English track that brings me back to the ‘00s thanks to its pop rock sound. The track feels just right for the summer season, with its vibrancy and energy fitting right into the hallmarks of a summery song. Golden Child handles the song exceptionally well, which is worth a mention, as this is their first English track. The harmonies were a really nice touch. (9/10)

6. Fanfare (빵빠레)Fanfare is my pick for favourite side track for this album. It was hard to pick one, but I settled on this one!. It is a dance track with a really great retro and funky instrumentation. The brass elements in this song really give it so much colour, while rest of the funky and retro instrumentation is so vibrant and lively. The bass adds extra groove as well! The members bring solid vocals and rapping in this song, with the standout award going to the main vocalists for their high note and ad-libs. Overall, a home run with this track. (10/10)

7. Singing in the Rain (Joo Chan & Bo Min)Click here for the full review for Singing In The Rain. (8/10)

8. GAME (Tag & Ji Beom)Click here for the full review for GAME. (7/10)

9. Spell (주문을 걸어) – The album breaks away from the unit/solo track with a bit of an interlude in the form of Spell. It is similar to Fanfare in the sense that it has a funky and groovy energy oozing from it. But it is different in a way that it is more reliant on synths and EDM to get this energy across. Not that it matters, as Spell is an equally good track and the EDM makes it a dynamic number. I really like the idea of the delayed drop in this song, especially since I feel the delay allows Golden Child an opportunity to showcase a mature vibe in the chorus. The hooks in Spell are also quite dynamic and really appealed to me. (10/10)

10. Out the Window (창밖으로 우리가 흘러) (Daeyeol Solo)Click here for the full review for Out The Window. (8/10)

11. POPPIN’ (Y & Jang Jun)Click here for the full review for POPPIN’. (10/10)

12. That Feeling (느낌적인 느낌) (Seung Min & Dong Hyun & Jae Hyun) Click here for the full review for That Feeling. (7.5/10)

13. I Know (난 알아요) – The album ends with a ballad. Common sense tells me that their vocals would be on full display, and that is the case with I Know. But what makes their vocals even better (and so the ballad as a whole) is the instrumentation. Not only does the thumping in the instrumentation makes the ballad more upbeat, it adds impact to the song and a breathtaking element to the song. The rest of the instrumental falls into the same motif as well. Ending off the album with a song like I Know felt just like the perfect ender. (10/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.9/10

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