[Album Review] Villain: The End (1st Studio Album) – DRIPPIN

DRIPPIN just made a comeback with the single SEVEN SINS. But before I get around to reviewing that release, I thought I should quickly push out the album review for DRIPPIN’s Villain: The End, the group’s first studio length album. It was released back in November of last year and features the single The One as the title track (and 9 other side tracks). It serves as the final part of their Villain trilogy, which features their VILLAIN and ZERO eras/comebacks, also from 2022. Overall, Villain: The End is a very strong album that once again shows the potential of DRIPPIN.

Villain: The End Album Cover

1. I.N.OI.N.O serves as the introduction to the studio-length album. To me, this track was quite eerie. It starts off stormy, building to orchestral elements. Towards the end, I.N.O becomes more electronic based, with the final moments of the track reminding me of electric guitars, hinting a rock influence, which the title track The One and other tracks on the album ends up serving to us.

2. The OneClick here to read the full review for The One. (9/10)

3. SilenceSilence was chosen as the follow-up track for promotions, and I think it was an excellent choice. There are a few elements that I really liked, which helps the track standout to me. Firstly, the pop rock gave Silence a very upbeat feel, whilst also packing a powerful punch. Secondly, there was also electronic synths mixed into Silence alongside the pop rock influences, which gave the track groovy undertones. Thirdly, the members did extremely well in the song, showcasing a vibrant tone in the song. Silence also has a memorable yet simple melody. I did wish for more memorable rapping in the song, which could have taken Silence to the next level. (9/10)

4. MONSTER – We enter grungier territory with MONSTER. The start of the track has so much character, and the rock influence in MONSTER has so much head-banging territory. The standout member in this song is without a doubt Alex, whose raspy/hoarsely shouts just prior to the choruses and brief rapping in the second verse is so impactful and leaves a strong impression. Together, this track definitely is an exceptional sidetrack that I really enjoyed. (10/10)

5. HOME – Taking down the album by a few notches is HOME, which serves as the album’s ballad. It isn’t one of those super emotional and tear-jerking ones, nor is it slow and stilling. Instead, HOME does feature a relatively strong chorus, which occurs due to the accumulation of piano, strings and vocals. Speaking about vocals, HOME definitely showcases strong delivery from the entire group and is definitely the showstopping element of the song. There were also some great harmonies. (8/10)

6. UTOPIA – I personally felt that UPTOPIA could have been more bombastic with a heavier presence of bass. This would have really upgraded the song for me. But as it is, UPTOPIA was still a solid track. I really liked the house style of the instrumental, and the vocals and rapping was displayed in a very consistent manner. There was a memorable yet simple melody to the song, that helped boost up its appeal. The zippy/high pitch whistle-like synth was also another memorable element of UPTOPIA. (8/10)

7. DEJA VU – Going for a sleeker vibe is DEJA VU, which I am totally digging. I liked the darker atmosphere that comes about from the instrumental. The bass does wonders to the song, while the beat brings that funky undertone to the song. The strings in the pre-choruses was a nice touch as well. The rapping adds to that sleekness, with the low and slow delivery also coming off as sensual. The vocals also elicit a mature energy, which goes hand-in-hand with the other elements in the song. Altogether, DEJA VU becomes my pick for the album’s hidden gem. (10/10)

8. ESCAPE – A funky beat and whistles make ESCAPE feel quite classy. The song had me unconsciously head bopping along as it progressed, and the whistles were hard to get out of head. The vocal work was a strong aspect of the track, with Hyeop’s clean high note and ad-libs being a highlight. The weakest aspect of the song, for me, was the second verse rap sequence. It didn’t fit in well and disrupted the flow of the song. I also wished the transition between the second chorus and bridge was a lot smoother. (8/10)

9. Champion – The very calming and atmospheric backing to the verses was a stunner in Champion. This ends up building into an atmospheric band piece for the choruses, while the rappers take the bridge into a heavy rock territory. It was a ride through different styles, but it feels cohesive. I liked the consistent and balanced approached the vocals took. Also, we heard the return of Alex’s deeper tone for his segment in the bridge, and Dongyun’s uptick in tempo for his rapping felt fitting. (8.5/10)

10. When I’m With You – The studio album ends with a pop track that sounds sweet and lovely. I liked the combination of guitar and synths in the choruses, coming together to create a very interesting but fun texture. The cheerful tone the members bring via their vocals makes me want to smile and this helps ends the 10-track album on a very positive note. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.7/10


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