[Album Review] The Wave OF9 (11th Mini Album) – SF9

Okay, I lied. Yesterday’s review was not an album review. But it was pre-scheduled, before I decided to make this week full of album reviews. But the rest of the reviews this week (through to Monday) will be album reviews. Next up is SF9’s 11th mini-album, The Wave OF9, which was released back in July of this year. It features the title track SCREAM and five other side tracks. This comeback also is the first comeback from SF9 of a reduced lineup, with Inseong, Youngbin and Rowoon sitting out for different reasons.

The Wave OF9 had the potential to have some 10/10 songs, but I just wasn’t exactly satisfied by how the songs turned out. Interestingly enough, it all came to do one member. I wonder if you can guess which member that was. I don’t mean to single them out or blame them for my personal ratings of the songs, but I found it intriguing that this member was the reason to why I held back from giving these songs a 10/10. Otherwise, this mini-album is pretty good. Per usual, let me know if you agree with my thoughts/ratings below.

The Wave OF9 Album Cover

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

2. OK OK – The soft and airy vocals of OK OK make this song feel so enjoyable. The synth-pop instrumentation and melodies aids the vocals, creating such a pleasant tone for the song that ensures the soft vocals shine. Zuho’s rapping was probably the most questionable aspect of the song. I admit that his rap does offset the softness of the song and adds a bit of oomph to keep the song from feeling too consistent. But I feel like his part was too abrasive for the grander picture that is OK OK. Maybe he should have somehow smoothed out his lines to just fit in better with the rest of OK OK. (9/10)

3. Summertime Bounce (Don’t Kill My Vibe) – I find myself singing along to the super catchy hook of Summertime Bounce. It is just so easy to get into and to get lost in. Again, the intro and verses were quite pleasant, never really encroaching over a certain threshold that would have allowed me to describe the track as dynamic. But there was a nice beat to it. The choruses were unexpectedly trendy, featuring some constricted electric guitar that just transform pleasant into groovy. The latter half of the choruses do go over that threshold I mentioned, and rounds out the chorus with a refined yet dynamic bounce. Once again, however, Zuho’s rapping was overwhelming for this song, but I did like the way Summertime Bounce transitioned back into the final chorus. (9/10)

4. Driver – I am reminded of past KPOP songs while listening to Driver. It doesn’t ping me of any song in particular, but rather there is a sense of familiarity to the song. Aside from that, Driver features a groovy dance instrumental, catchy hooks and solid efforts from the members. I am particularly happy to say that Zuho fits into this song nicely and doesn’t overwhelm. I also find the song to be quite sleek and very enjoyable. (8/10)

5. Crazy Crazy LoveCrazy Crazy Love brings a retro touch and disco influences to the mini-album. I really liked the consistent groovy energy of this track, while the ‘Oooh Oooh Oooh’ were super catchy. Chani’s rapping in the first half of the pre-choruses is so alluring to listen to, while the vocals brought vibrancy to the song. The actual more substantial rapping sequences were cool, while I got a nostalgic vibe from Jaeyoon’s vocals in the bridge. (8/10)

6. Butterfly – We end the album with a track that features a fairly busy and noisy instrumental. There was a lot going in the background in Butterfly. But all of this brought character and profile to the song. I did think the pleasantness nature of the vocals was a poor choice, resulting in the vocalists sounding weak and lacking momentum. The rappers, on the other hand, stands out with a strong and powerful rap sequences, and I feel their parts are on par with the instrumental of Butterfly. (7/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.2/10

The Wave OF9 Teaser Image

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