[Album Review] DICE (2nd Mini-Album) – ONEW (SHINee)

I hate to admit it, but I actually forgot about ONEW’s April comeback. I was only reminded of it whilst I was plotting down dates for when certain album reviews would need be to posted by. However, I made sure that ONEW got his mini-album review for DICE, which is the title of both the lead single from the mini-album and the 2nd mini-album itself. This comeback followed his 2018 solo debut, where he debuted with the single BLUE and mini-album VOICE.

ONEW’s second mini-album is astounding, to say the very least. So much so that I ran out of words to describe a very key aspect of the album and ONEW himself – his vocals. So much so that I gave out 3 10/10 songs in this album review. It (probably) makes DICE one of the best albums so far this year (in my opinion). I need to update my personal records to make sure of this. But with such a high rating overall, I am certain DICE is up there.

DICE Album Cover

1. DICE (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for DICE. (8/10)

2. SunshineSunshine goes slightly harder with its pop sound, whilst also staying lighthearted and carefree like the title track. ONEW’s vocals find a balance between being dreamy and light, whilst also complementing that the harder tone of Sunshine (as mentioned). The flow of Sunshine helped make the song fun and captivating for me. The post-chorus, which had a memorable ring thanks to the English phrases and its rap like approach, was probably my favourite part of the song. That is closely followed by his incline towards the final chorus. The ad-libs we hear as the song fades out to a close brings back that dreamy nature. (9/10)

3. On The WayOn The Way takes down the energy a notch with a more subdued track. The instrumental takes on a disco like approach, but it has been refined to be more fitting of the subdued nature of the song/vocals. The winning element of On The Way is ONEW’s vocals. I had to listen to the song a number of times to write this review, simply because I keep on getting distracted by the vocals. Needless to say, they are stunning throughout this song, especially when he effortlessly goes into the falsettos and the more dynamic moments such as the brief jab that is the song’s title. Overall, a very perfect and well-rounded song. (10/10)

4. Love Phobia – Again, we are taken down an extra notch with an even more subdued track. Here, ONEW really conveys his emotions well and gives Love Phobia a fragile and vulnerable characteristic. Just take a listen to the bridge if you have yet to (or another listen at the bridge if you already heard the song). You can hear the fragile nature of his vocals so clearly. It is riveting. ONEW also provides harmonies in this song, helping to soothe the piece. His vocals are backed up by a R&B piece. Together with the vocals, Love Phobia is another undeniably strong track on this album. (10/10)

5. Yeowoobi (여우비) – Excuse me while I pull out the thesaurus. I am running out of ways to describe ONEW’s vocals. Enchanting, alluring, charming etc. All could be used to describe the singer in this song. Unlike in the previous songs, however, ONEW sounds a lot stronger, taking an upfront position in Yeowoobi compared to the subdued tracks that preceded Yeowoobi. I liked this change in pace, which gives us an intense look at his vocals. The chorus is so gratifying to listen to, as well. And the “Your love takes me higher than how I ever been” line is quite memorable and catchy, especially with how it ended the song. This is all over a simple slow rock instrumental, emphasizing the fact the focus of this song is on the vocals with little doubt. (10/10)

6. In The Whale – Both vocals and instrumental throughout In The Whale were captivating (no surprises here, to be honest – just look at every other song on the album). I don’t see myself having any problems with closing my eyes and drifting away to this atmospheric and ethereal track. What does set In The Whale apart from the rest of the album is the fact that the instrumental is quite prominent. The producers do an amazing job of ensuring the track is balanced out (hence why I made the drifty comments) so that ONEW isn’t overtaken. A soothing end to the album. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9.3/10

DICE Teaser Image

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