[Review] Dangerous – E’LAST

Time to cast our minds back to 13th of January 2021. A few comebacks from some artists happened on that day (one of which is Yubin, and her song Perfume – and that is a review coming your way some time in the near distant future). One of the releases that day was a music video from E’LAST for the single Dangerous. Dangerous was selected from the group’s Awake mini-album to be a follow-up promotional track following promotions for Tears of Chaos, which was released back in November 2020. Member Wonhyuk rejoined the group for promotions of Dangerous, after sitting out of promotions for the main title track as a result of scheduling conflicts. Four months on, I am finally getting around to writing a review for the song/music video/performance!

I can’t actually recall my initial thoughts regarding Dangerous when it was first released in November (that was six months ago!). I do remember checking out the album but I am guessing that nothing really stood out of me from the mini-album, based on the fact that I don’t remember anything from it. When the song resurfaced in January thanks to the follow-up promotions that E’LAST proceeded with, the song attracted my attention and earned itself a position on my ‘Coming Soon’ list, which is why I am writing a review for it today. To me, Dangerous really yells out title track material. It might not be as impactful as Tears of Chaos was for me, but Dangerous felt overly substantial to be just a side track in retrospect now. The song taps into deep house for the bulk of its instrumentation. I really liked the roughness it gave the chorus and the edgy vibes from the song’s post-chorus dance break at the end of the first and last choruses But there is a bit more to the song than just deep house. I really like how they set up the bridge of the song which features classical piano and strings. Coming off the intensity high from the chorus, the contrast felt bold and gave us a brief moments of relief from the EDM. Dangerous also benefited from amazing vocals from the members, especially when it came to the chorus. There was this electrifying energy that came from the chorus from the instrumentation and the member’s vocals really managed to pierce through. Sometimes intense backdrops tend to cover up vocals in some songs, but the producers and E’LAST themselves did a good job of ensuring they could be heard. The melody that the member’s brought to the chorus was also catchy for me. The rapping was also really good. I wasn’t much of a fan of the rapping in the first verse (sorry Wonhyuk), but I was floored by the rapping in the second verse by Rano. That was extremely cool sequence! Overall, powerful and intense track that you should totally put on your playlist now if this style is your jam.

The music video is okay. It uses the typical formula of choreography and close up. But I will be fair and assume that this music video was probably shot in the midst or soon after promotions for Tears of Chaos wrapped, which doesn’t give much time to put together something substantial (i.e. plot lines, acting etc.). But there is this dullness to the video that really drags it down for me. I wished the music video was more dynamic that what we got served. I think when it comes to powerful and intense songs like this, you would expect flashy lights and a bit more vibrant colours in the set design to really uplift the video and compliment the song. But here, we didn’t get much of that, aside from the intense red light and plain/monotone cream colour of their set.

Like the song, the choreography is definitely powerful and intense. It is actually a great routine that does a good job of reflecting the song’s nature. The synchronisation looks cool and does wonders to this routine.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.4/10

[Review] Tears of Chaos – E’LAST

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E’LAST’s Tears of Chaos is one of the many songs I have yet to get around to reviewing. But with the reduced number of releases coming out at the moment, I thought it would a great time to tap into that growing barrel of songs and pick a few to review. Tears of Chaos follows their debut single Swear, which perked my interest back in June. Released mid-November, E’LAST have been actively promoting the new song since. For this promotional run, Wonjun is not participating due to conflicting schedules and hence the group is left with a temporary seven member lineup.

Tears of Chaos is another gripping song from the group. The start is purely chilling. There is a stillness to this section (thanks to the piano) that I find so captivating. The start is further enhanced by the remarkable rap-speak sequence brought to us by Wonhyuk, which infuses all of this intensity into the song that just really pulls you in. The soft vocals that follow adds to that chilling vibe and brings it a whole new level. To me, these parts felt like the ‘calm before the storm’, with the clanging beat in the background of the verse allude to the dramatic flairs to come. When more of the beat kicks in soon after, you can hear more of the incline in momentum, which makes the promise that the chorus was going to be epic. Unfortunately, I was slightly disappointed with the chorus. I wanted something more dynamic and had more power channeling through it. What we got was a melodic take on a classical mashup with heavy dramatic synths, which definitely an interesting route to take. It works well with the rest of the song, but I guess I am hungry for more. But the song isn’t over yet. What came after the first chorus was the rapping and that blew me way. To me, Tears of Chaos peaked with intensity during the second verses and Rano and Wonhyuk showed us that they can be really extremely passionate and dynamic. Similarly, that little section just before we go back into the ‘calm before the storm’ mode (or is not ‘calm after the storm’ mode?) showed us an extension of that dynamism, with the members providing us more kicked up vocals and raps despite the music ending. Overall, Tears of Chaos impresses as a whole. I may be have been let down slightly with the chorus, but the rest of the song compensated.

While I really like the aesthetics for this music video and the overall imagery throughout, I cannot figure out the story that they were telling in the video. And I am not going to even try to attempt to make sense of the video. But I would like to hear any theories you may have about the video. I particularly like the idea of the zoetrope set, which made the video appear cooler. I also really like the vibrancy of the blue in the sets and the dominance of a colour in the other sets. Definitely aesthetic and visually appealing to watch.

I really liked how eerie the performance was. The music lends extremely well to this description. Their facial expressions were really well thought out. I wished the moves a little more dynamic. They felt quite flowy and loose, which I didn’t feel suited the song. Similarly, the formation felt very spacious and I wished things were a bit tighter. However, the flying member we see towards the end was an epic moment for this choreography.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10

[Review] Swear – E’LAST

One week ago, E’LAST (which is shortened from the term Everlasting) made their debut with their first mini-album, Day Dream, and title track, Swear. But before I proceed further with the review, who is E’LAST? Well, this male group is made of 8 members (Choi In, Rano, Seungyeop, Baekgyeul, Romin, Won Hyuk, Wonjun and Yejun) and is the first group from E Entertainment. Members Won Hyuk and Wonjun have previously participated Produce X 101 and placed in 33rd and 47th on the show. Now that we know a bit more from the group, let’s move onto the review.

My initial listen to the song when the first came out didn’t rule in its favour. And naturally, I passed on the opportunity to review, pushing it behind the pack to focus on other artists of the week. But I ‘rediscovered’ Swear towards the end of week and was drew into its grand and epic nature while it played in the background while I worked. Now, I find the mash of classical orchestra and trap to be quite captivating. That opening medieval sequence really sets the song up. It allowed the group to focus on the more elegant side of classical music, before the song fuses with those trap influences in the second verse (which provided a different form of intensity and tempo). As Swear progressed, we were treated to a build up that hinted towards an epic drop. But once the chorus came around, we are unexpectedly given a slow and paced instrumental sequence. While this does not make sense to me at first, I am enjoying it now because they manage to maintain the intensity and energy in a unique fashion. They could have followed what we thought was coming (i.e. an epic drop), but that could have been seen as typical. I liked that the producers deviated from the formula, which attracts my attention. Similar comments can be made for the delayed climax. You could tell it was coming, but the producers kept on dragging it out, giving it impact once it came around. I was amazed at how amazing the vocals and rapping turned out. At first, I felt like Swear could have been more dynamic, giving the members an opportunity to show off more of their vocal/rapping potential. But we are treated to very powerful vocal moments and memorable hooks, whilst also getting some leeway through the use of trap elements to allow the rappers to fit in and bring their own intensity/some tempo to the song. Overall, an interesting song.

As I spent a fair amount of time on the song part of the review, I will cut to the chase for the music video and performance sections. The set design is really epic and looks amazing. It makes their solo shots a lot more captivating. The members showed off their acting in a satisfying manner, as they looked really hurt after thinking that their partner would stay with them. It gave me the impression that they are only coming to terms of this, which is the journey they take in the lyrics, as well. Big ticks from me for the music video.

We see a bit of elegance at the very start through the opening sequence of the song. As the song progresses, we get more of those epic and grand vibes translated into the choreography. But all is maintained despite the changes in the music. The final section of the bridge and final chorus drew my attention the most in this choreography, as it showed off a lot of potential and intensity from the manners.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10