[Album Review] FOREVER 1 (7th Studio Album) – SNSD

Next album review on the blog is for SNSD’s grand return! At the start of August, SNSD regrouped for the first time in 5 years for their new album FOREVER 1 (which is also the title of the title track of the album, as well!). The release of the album also celebrates the group’s 15th anniversary, with the group debuting around the same time 15 years ago! Featured on the album is a total of 10 new tracks, so you definitely can tell that the members put a lot of effort for their fans (SONEs) for this album release! We last saw SNSD promote as a group via their Holiday Night album, which featured Holiday and All Night as the title tracks.

Not even considering the song yet, the idea of FOREVER 1 is already an achievement. Just like the many groups that have regrouped this year for promotions, FOREVER 1 sees the feat of the members returning together. We all know that this is inherently difficult, given each member has their own busy schedules to work around in both preparing and promotional stages of the album. So a big applause to the people who made it happen and the members for pulling it off. Aside from that major win, FOREVER 1 is a great album. There are some very strong tracks alongside the title track. And naturally, there is a nostalgic factor with this album.

FOREVER 1 Album Cover

1. FOREVER 1 (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for FOREVER 1. (9/10)

2. Lucky Like That – Simplicity prevails with Lucky Like That. It was a straight forward pop track, best described as airy and breezy. Whilst listening to the song, I felt it was ideal for a road trip with the windows down. The instrumental still had some heft to it, but it still was quite light enabling that airiness and breezy nature to come through. I also like the solo electrical guitar moment just before the final chorus. Both members’ vocals and when the whole group were singing together were very nice and satisfying. (9/10)

3. SeventeenSeventeen felt elegant and refined, especially during the choruses of the song (which is my pick for most memorable aspect of the song). I really liked the smooth melodies of Seventeen, brought to life by the members. The piano was a nice touch and adds a classical factor to the song. Whilst this track is more R&B, we do get a bit of a touch in the song during Hyoyeon’s rap sequence in the second verse. And I love that, especially since Hyoyeon doesn’t get much opportunity to stand out compared to other members. (8/10)

4. VillainVillain is definitely a trendier track, suitable for the current electronic trends and styles that has taken over KPOP. It is great to hear that the group consistently continues to stay up to date with the musical influences despite their seniority in the industry. I have been doing to some reading and I have found people’s comparison between Villain and aespa’s works is pretty much on point. I did feel the hooks could have been more prominent and bolder, just to give Villain some more oomph and memorability. (7/10)

5. You Better Run – When I read the title of the song, I am instantly brought back to Run Devil Run – a previous title track of SNSD. I liked the alternative approach of this song, with the skitter-ish EDM and punchy bass. It is also very experimental, and I feel that is something more typical of today’s generation of KPOP artist. So props to SNSD for giving this a try. The vocals were impressive, with the members managing to stay interesting over a full-on instrumental like this. You Better Run is definitely memorable and for all the right reasons. (10/10)

6. CloserCloser is your more typical pop release, feeling just right as a side track. I like the disco vibe of the instrumental and how it brings a groovy element to the song. The vocals were quite pleasant and peaceful. The melodies in this track complemented the style really well, and this created a pleasing listen. (8/10)

7. Mood LampMood Lamp feels just how I expected it. One of the halves the song are the vocals, which were very nice and soothing. There were some nice harmonization throughout the song. The other half of Mood Lamp was an instrumental that felt like almost lava lamp. There was a subtle sleekness that comes from the background that makes the track flowy and floaty, but in a back-and-forth motion like the décor piece that I likened the song to. It isn’t a negative comment about the song, however. More of an interesting observation on my part. (7.5/10)

8. Summer Night (완벽한 장면) – Again, another typical pop/R&B release for the album. Honestly, Summer Night doesn’t really invoke any response from me, but it was still a nice listen if you are up to it. For me, though, I would say this is the most skippable track on the album. (7/10)

9. Freedom – I was almost going to say the exact same thing as the preceding track for Freedom. But after listening to the song a few times, I quite enjoyed the funkiness of the instrumental. This, along with some of the interesting details within the instrumental of the song, helped give it more colour and life. The vocals were quite dreamy, helping boost up the song. (8/10)

10. Paper Plane (종이비행기) – Final track on the mini-album is Paper Plane, and I quite enjoyed this song. It might be a while until we see another SNSD album or release. And so to get these hopeful sounding tracks is definitely a nice way to end the album, as it finishes on much more positive note and atmosphere. I quite enjoyed the pulsing instrumental of the track, which made it appealing. Solid and delicate vocals and rapping are also present in Paper Plane, helping creating a wholesome vibe to end of the album. (9/10)

Overall Album Review – 8.3/10

FOREVER 1 Teaser Image

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