One of the first reviews I wrote this year was for Moonbin and Sanha’s Madness, which at the time, no one knew would be Moonbin’s final release before his unfortunate passing just a month ago. I contemplated for the last month whether I would write an album review for Incense, in case I had some negative things to say about one of the songs on the album. It wouldn’t seem respectful to the late artist (and likewise Sanha, who I am sure is still hurting over his friend and bandmate’s passing). But I am sure that Moonbin would want to enjoy his music even after he left. And I indeed enjoyed this mini-album release. Incense follows the release of WHO and REFUGE from last year.
1. Perfumer – Kicking off the mini-album is Perfumer, which takes on the sexy side of the R&B genre. It is a short track, spanning only two minutes. But it is neat opener and it captures this side of the R&B quite well. The atmospheric instrumentation and the very sultry tone that the pair exudes through their vocals brings the sensual energy to life in Perfumer. I would have liked a more memorable ring to the song or maybe a memorable element, just to give Perfumer more of an edge. (7.5/10)
2. Madness (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Madness. (7.5/10)
3. Desire (이끌려) – Desire is the first of two solo tracks we get from the members. Desire belongs to the late Moonbin, and ventures back into R&B territory. This time around, some pop influences also peek through, bringing more of an upbeat and playful vibe to the song. Moonbin’s vocals are really nice and clean in the track. The chorus also has a memorable ring, which emphasises that fun side to Desire. (8/10)
4. Wish (바람) – Wish is Sanha’s solo track and it is a stunner. It is pop-rock ballad in which Sanha expresses his gratitude for the fans/AROHAs. The instrumentation had some really beautiful moments in its calmer moments and soared to some spectacular heights as the song progresses and a more prominent pop rock ballad sound could be heard. As for Sanha, his vocals were very captivating and you could feel how sincere he was. (10/10)
5. Chup Chup – Chup Chup brings the two members of the unit back together through another pop R&B track. Chup Chup is also a start of the album’s more light and endearing side. The synths makes this a very bright and friendly track, while the duo showed us a more light-hearted and carefree tone. The hooks were cute and had a ring to them, thus tying the song together quite nicely. (8/10)
6. Your Day – Your Day is the probably the most concentrated track, in terms of upbeatness and fun vibes, on this side of the mini-album. The pre-choruses pack a punch, while the chorus features a super nice and bright rhythmic disco instrumentation that I just want to dance to. Both Moonbin and Sanha make sure their vocals are bright and vibrant, giving the track an even more fun vibe. What I felt was lacking in Your Day was a more prominent hook, which could have taken the track to a whole new level. (9/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10
R.I.P Moonbin. You will be missed.