It is a short one today, but an album review nonetheless. The album in question belongs to WONHO, who made his comeback in June with FACADE (his 3rd mini-album) and CRAZY (his latest title track). FACADE features a total of three full tracks (one of them being the title track itself), and an intro and outro instrumental track (both of which is not factored into the final rating of the album). This is his first release since his first single album OBSESSION and EYE ON YOU.
I feel like some explanation for the intro and outro tracks is required to give some them (and potentially the entire mini-album) context, as they felt very random. But I will admit they do flow into the title track (in the case of the intro track) and flow from the Korean version of last year’s Japanese winter single (in the case of the outro track) in a somewhat logical fashion. But when you consider the middle section of the mini-album together (i.e. the three tracks that I have included ratings for), FACADE felt like a hodge podge. And given the small length of the album, this feeling is more so broaden out to the whole mini-album, as well.
1. INTRO: 9AM – The start of 9AM gives off haunting vibes, which I am all down for. I love a bit of eerie and mysteriousness, and I feel 9AM really concentrates all of that in its instrumental piece. It definitely got me intrigued with the rest of the mini-album.
2. CRAZY (Title Track) – Click here for the full review for CRAZY. (9/10)
3. CLOSE – Following the very groovy and sensual CRAZY is the more atmospheric and ambient CLOSE. This is another all-English pop song from the artist (and KPOP in general) that attempts to appeal to the international audience. And I think WONHO did a good job. His vocals were quite prominent and straight forward in the track. But it still managed to pair well with the riveting (to a degree) softer synth instrumentation. There was still a bite to the song thanks to the beat present in the pop instrumentation. While CLOSE is pleasant, I did find the song to be linear, which dulled its appeal slightly. I think more drifty melodies and smoother vocals could have boosted CLOSE. (7.5/10)
4. White Miracle (Korean Version) – Winter Miracle was originally released in Japan at the end of last year, but I never got the chance to review the Japanese single. As it is part of this mini-album as well, I will be reviewing the Korean version instead. There isn’t a whole lot going on in White Miracle aside from an apparent sweetness to the song. It makes sense given that this was a Winter single released ahead of last year’s Christmas holiday. WONHO does sound quite decent. But apart from those aspects, the song is pretty much in neutral gear and doesn’t deviate from this sameness. So, the track is a skippable number in my opinion. (6/10)
5. OUTRO: 9PM – While we started off the album in a Halloween-like spirit, we end off with an instrumental piece that gives off Winter Wonderland vibes. 9PM felt very comforting, special and warming. I found this thoroughly interesting, but it works well given the previous track (i.e., the previous track’s original period of release matches the vibes of this song).
Overall Album Rating – 7.8/10