Today, we return to the PARs (Past Album Reviews), where I look closely at an album from the previous years. This way, I am able to revisit artists who have disbanded or inactive, rediscover old songs and introduce to you (and myself) the unsung b-side tracks on different albums. Today, the focus will be on HISTORY, who officially disbanded in 2016. HIM was their final release ever and this occurred in 2017. It is a pity to see HISTORY disband, especially since I was a fan of many of their title tracks. So it will be interesting to see what their B-sides tracks are like.
1..Wild Boy – Wild Boy starts this mini-album on a very strong front. Wild Boy is a dance track that consists of a heavy and intense EDM instrumental. It adds to History’s style, with the next release always building on top of the previous. It is a pity that they are no longer around to continue with this vibe. The singing was quite good. But there is no doubt that the rapping was the real winner in this song. The rapping added more intensity and roughness to the song. And I like it how they didn’t hold back. All these elements together tapped into the group’s wild side, which fits the song’s direction perfectly. (9/10)
2. Queen (Title Track) – I decided to bump the original rating from 7.5 (the combination of song, video and performance) to 9 (just the song). The song has remained a favourite in my books since its release, so many of my comments in the review still stand to this day. Click here to read the full review for Queen. (9/10)
3. Baby, Hello – Diverting from the intensity that we have felt so far is Baby, Hello. It goes for an R&B style, instead. It is typical in some senses. But it is a nice break from that intense sound that I just mentioned. And while the previous two songs allowed the rappers to come to the forefront, a song of this style allows the focus to shift towards the vocals. The members sound smooth, with the rappers still doing a really good job. What makes this song kind of unique is that it extends itself using an additional dance break. Around the 2:30 mark, we get a bit of electric guitars to ‘finish’ the R&B style. But we are given an additional jazzy outro, which paired really well with the rest of the song. (8/10)
4. Whenever (그럴 때면) (Dokhyun Solo) – Continuing on with this ‘break’ from intensity is Dokhyun’s solo song. If I remember correctly, he was the member that was often hidden away. Their debut with Dreamer put Dokhyun into the limelight as a strong vocalist. But from every release from then on, I didn’t get to recognise or see him as much, which is a little disappointing. Whenever proves that he does have a really good set of vocals. I wished that History’s title track gave him a little more opportunity to flourish. It does feel like he strains his vocals towards the end. But apart from that, this R&B number was well polished and was very light in tone, suiting this ‘break’ nicely. (7.5/10)
5. LOST – I was under the impression that I had written a review for LOST, as it was a track that they promoted within Japan. It is also a return to intensity, as the song launches into a grand start through the classical instrumented driven start and probably one of the most intense EDM launches that I have ever heard. The song stabilises out once the vocals are brought into play. But not for long, as the EDM instrumental and classical lineup joins forces for the most drown-able chorus ever. I couldn’t even hear any of the vocal work during the chorus as the instrumental was too much. Apart from that, the verses were fine. Just the chorus was the biggest letdown. (6/10)
6. Liar – Liar is significant as this is the final song we ever heard from the male group. After the release of this album, the group went away and was never heard of again (until the news of their disbandment). I find this to be a nice mix between the R&B side of the group and the dance side of the track. It isn’t too much of a slow song, nor is it overly intense. Some might think this is rather typical of a KPOP track. But with History’s style, this pop style track was something different for the group (as far as I was concerned). I like how the rapping gave some roughness to the song, while the vocals evenly smooth out the song. (8/10)
Overall Album Rating – 7.9/10