Today, I will finally get around to writing and posting two of the album reviews that I should have posted during the week. The first of the two is iKON’s FLASHBACK, the group’s fourth mini-album released back in May of this year. It features the group’s memorable title track, BUT YOU, and four additional side tracks. FLASHBACK was also the first release from the group since their Why Why Why promotions back in early 2021 and their participation on Kingdom: Legendary War last year.
BUT YOU remains as one of the best title tracks from any group for me this year. Even as I am writing this review, I am digging the track and reliving the satisfaction that I get from it, as I had expressed in my song review. The rest of the mini-album follows on in a neat manner. The hip-hop tracks weren’t exactly my favourite, but they had their place and presents a sense of familiarity. The rock ballad and the EDM side tracks, on the other hand, were my highlights from the FLASHBACK mini-album. Overall, the mini-album is enjoyable to listen to. Let me know if you agree with my thoughts in the comments section below!
1. BUT YOU (너라는 이유) (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for BUT YOU. (9/10)
2. DRAGON (용 (龍)) – DRAGON follows the title track with an EDM instrumental that is best described as exciting and exhilarating. Parts of DRAGON felt textured like a banging rock song, which I thought was very cool. And given the likeness to a rock track, the rough and raspy vocals of the members were nicely brought out in the song. The rapping also felt cool, riding nicely off the trendy and cool energy of DRAGON. I kind of wished the last sequence of instrumentation in DRAGON could have been more electrifying, but that doesn’t stop DRAGON in being my pick for favourite side track on FLASHBACK. (9/10)
3. FOR REAL? (말도 안 돼) – FOR REAL? mellows out the energy with a laid-back hip-hop track that feels very much in iKON’s wheelhouse. It doesn’t feel as iconic as their more successful and well known takes on the ‘laid-back hip-hop’ sound due to a lack of a memorable ring, but FOR REAL? was still quite nice as a side track. The guitar work and smoother vocals were pleasant and quite appreciable. (7.5/10)
4. GOLD (금) – GOLD is a lighthearted hip-hop track that adds a bit of sunshine to the album, fitting for a track that is titled GOLD. This track is the least like what we have heard from iKON previously, given they tend to gear towards a heavier and/or serious sound. The instrumental and beat feels trendy and their vocals were nice. But given that this isn’t what I am personally used to from iKON, it ends up being my least favourite track off this mini-album. (7/10)
5. NAME (그대 이름) – NAME had all the hallmarks of a nicely done ballad. But the main takeaway for me was that NAME is quite an emotive track, with the members portraying emotions in the song that really hit me in the feels. The starting piano instrumentation and the piano work following Bobby’s rap sequence in the second verse was beautiful. But as NAME progresses further, we get more of a rock ballad approach that complements the emotive that iKON is really pushing throughout NAME. Overall, a remarkable ballad track that ends the album on a bittersweet note. (10/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.5/10