[Album Review] Rumination (10th Mini Album) – SF9

SF9 is nominated for Best Male Choreography (Group) for Tear Drop in the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Support SF9 by clicking here to vote today!

Next up on the album review agenda is SF9’s 10th mini-album since their debut, RUMINATION, which was released at the end of November. RUMINATION is headlined by the title track TRAUMA, and also wraps up their 9lory series that has spanned two years now. Alongside TRAUMA, the mini-album also consist of six other sides tracks, all of which will be reviewed in this post today. RUMINATION and TRAUMA follows the release of TURN OVER and Tear Drop earlier on in the year.

RUMINATION Album Cover

1. TRAUMA (Title Track)Click here for TRAUMA’s full review. (8/10)

2. Memory – I really enjoyed the minimalist vibes of Memory. There was a bit of a beat to the R&B track, but it does not get in the way of the piano that plays eloquently throughout the background. The rapping in Memory is superb, delivered in a manner that was quite airy, breezy and ballad-like in a way. The vocals were also really nice, with the melodies and hook being quite catchy. Dawon’s ‘Faded Love’ was quite a showstopper from the vocal department as well. (9/10)

3. DreamsDreams takes it up to notch with a more upbeat and heavier dance instrumentation. While the electronic parts of Dreams are very typical, it is still quite a dynamic and robust piece, and I can imagine a very strong performance from the group if they had chosen this as a side promotion track. The vocals stand out in this song, thanks to the melodies and hooks we get from Dreams. Their technique was quite good. The rappers had a nice bite in their parts and the song satisfyingly edgy. (8.5/10)

4. GentlemenGentlemen takes on that sophisticated style that I have grown to associate with SF9 following the likes of their previous title tracks such as Good Guy, Summer Breeze and Tear Drop. There is a bit more energy out of this song thanks it the instrumentation, however, which makes Gentlemen a bit punchier and livelier. I also like the violins in the song. Both the vocals and rapping were quite strong and well-executed in this track. (9/10)

5. On and On (잠시) (Youngbin, Inseong)On and On is a track from Youngbin (one of SF9’s rappers) and Inseong (SF9’s main vocal), taking on R&B genre. I liked the elegance of the instrumentation of On and On, which felt sensual and felt appropriate for a classy club at the same time. I really like the pairing of the two members, with Inseong bringing the emotions in his vocals and really nice ad-libs, and Youngbin provided fitting rapping that added a nice intensity to the R&B song. (8/10)

6. ScenarioScenario seems to follow a similar thread as Dreams. It is a very upbeat and fast-paced dance track that I think SF9 would have nailed on stage, as well. The percussion that followed the first chorus was quite playful and gave the song an interesting notion. Great and smooth vocals in this song, as well. That high note at the end was amazing, and I liked the jaggered entrance to the final chorus. Once again, the rappers of SF9 nailed their sections. The rapping in the second verse felt classy, while the sequence at the end threw in a last-minute punch. Overall, Scenario was a highly dynamic track and would be a song that I recommend you check out. (9/10)

7. For Fantasy (오늘이라서) – Based on the title alone, you can tell that this is a fan-service song. Its tone brought a smile to my face, and I am sure SF9’s fans would find this song touching, wholesome and lovely. Objectively, I find For Fantasy to have nice melodies and nice pop ballad orchestral instrumentation. The members also sound really nice. Overall, a nice ender to the album and this era of SF9 releases. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.6/10

RUMINATION Teaser Image

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