[Album Review] Color (2nd Mini Album) – Kwon Eun Bi

The next album on the reviewing front is Kwon Eun Bi’s Color, her second mini-album since her debut last year with Door and Open. I unfortunately have not reviewed Open. However, I put on her second mini-album on my reviewing agenda as I wanted to expand on the different artists who I commonly write album reviews for. And with the title track Glitch (and ESPER, her single for the UNIVERSE app) impressing me, it felt logical for me to expand and include Kwon Eun Bi. After all, who knows what I might discover.

While Color might not be the knockout album I am looking for, it was still a particularly decent one. The album, consisting of five tracks and one introductory track (not included in the final rating), starts off with dance tracks and eased out a series of ballads. It is two sides of the spectrum, but we get a bit of variety as a result (and that is always a good thing). Check out the mini-album and let me know what you think on the overall album and the individual tracks, as well!

Color Album Cover

1. The Colors of Light – Starting off this mini-album is the intro track The Colors of Light. This is primarily an instrumental track (aside from the faint whisper of ‘Like a glitch’ in the background towards the end of the song). The track begins with this scenic and dreamy instrumental piece that reminds me of the playlist I play when I go to sleep. But The Colors of Light hints at what is to come as it glitches up. Some of the glitches resembles the title track, while others are much harsher and abrasive. However, the track soon normalizes back on the dreamy aspect just before we ease out of the song.

2. Glitch (Title Track)Click here for the full review of Glitch. (9/10)

3. Magnetic – The violins make Magnetic intriguing and keeps me around for the rest of the song. And I am glad that was the case as Magnetic was a pretty awesome song overall. Its chorus was quite charming and there was some nice flow in the song. Kwon Eun Bi sounds amazing throughout and impressed me with her more powerful moments and ad-libs. I think it would have been nicer to hear the very brief rapping earlier in the song (i.e. second verse) but in a more fulfilling manner. I think Magnetic calls for it and this potentially could have taken the song to the next level for me (provided it was executed well). (8/10)

4. ColorsColors is a neat R&B ballad track. While the entirety of the song is pretty straight forward, I enjoyed Kwon Eun Bi’s is delicate vocals at the start of the song and how it builds towards the end to give the ending a definite and conclusive ending. The presence of both delicate and defined vocals helps keep the song from falling into neutral territory and allows the song to be somewhat more impressive. (7/10)

5. Speed of Love (우리의 속도) – Next up is a ballad, slowing the album down even further. The combination of the jazzy styled instrumentals and Kwon Eun Bi’s youthful and smile-inducing vocals in this song makes it a really soothing piece. Speed of Love features swayable and drifty melodies that makes this a strong track. I liked the golden aura that comes from the song, and the old Hollywood style start. (9/10)

6. OFFOFF continues the slow momentum of the album with another ballad. The swaying melody is a lot more noticeable in this song, as it isn’t masked up by other elements or characteristics. This is because the producers allow Kwon Eun Bi’s vocals to be the focal point of the song, with the accompanying instrumental being small and soft for the most part. It isn’t something unique, but it is spectacular and ends the album the opposite manner to how it started. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10

Color Teaser Image

[Review] Glitch – Kwon Eun Bi

Also making her comeback earlier this week was Kwon Eun Bi, who returns with her new single Glitch, and mini-album, Color. This is Kwon Eun Bi’s first comeback, following her solo debut with Door in August of last year. Since then, the former IZ*ONE member/leader also released a single titled ESPER (which I highly recommend you listen to as it is an awesome dance track) for Universe Music and UNIVERSE mobile application.

The instrumental for Glitch takes on a ‘glitchy’ approach, which felt extremely appropriate for a song titled as Glitch. What I like about this glitchy approach is that it isn’t contained to just one part of the song. Instead, it run as a common theme throughout the song, making the entire 3:45 minutes a unique and aesthetic listen. Glitch is described as having ‘neuro bass sounds’, which itself is a unique sound in KPOP and unexplored territory. The latter description of Glitch having a ‘minimalist start and a dynamic second half’ was quite accurate as well. The start had minimal instrumentals, yet it was still textured enough to give off an interesting vibe. The funky underlay to the instrumental provided momentum and the buildup to the chorus was extremely satisfying. As for the chorus, I quite like the consistent beat, followed by return of the upbeat and funky instrumental that is slightly amplified to help give the centrepiece a bit more definition. From there, the dynamic nature of Glitch is stepped up, with an abrasive turn in the instrumentation for the second verse, before a turn towards dubstep-like territory at the end in a successful last ditch effort to incorporate some energy to Glitch. You don’t really expect these turns and changes in sound, so Glitch definitely keeps on your toes. As for Kwon Eun Bi herself, I liked how light she kept her tone and vocals throughout the song, contrasting really well with the bass of the instrumental. It also came off as striking, and helped increase the uniqueness to the song. If anything, I wished the song had more hooks, just to make it even more memorable. But as it is, Glitch is already quite memorable already.

As for the music video, the glitchy effect comes through in a visual sense thanks to the post-production. It makes sense that they also went in this direction for this music video. But I like how it the video wasn’t just an overwhelming amount of just post-production that made the video look cool. There was actually really promising shots and cinematography throughout this video. Some of the choreography shots relied on a glitchy background displayed on the big screen, and I liked the subtle yet prominent blue colour theme in this video. Kwon Eun Bi also looks awesome and very pretty throughout the video, with her outfits showcasing an awesome sense of style.

Not exactly sure if this choreography would be described as tutting, but there were some moves that reminded me of tutting, in general. But for the most part, the performance was more delicate rather than sharp (with the latter being a hallmark for tutting). But the delicate nature was also offset by a strong attitude vibe, which helped make the choreography and Kwon Eun Bi sleek and confident. The dubstep part also looks powerful.

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

[Review] Door – Kwon Eun Bi

Time to knock off one of many reviews I should have written ages ago. As you can tell from the title, the focus of this review will be Kwon Eun Bi’s solo debut with Door (the title track) and Open (the mini-album). For those who do not know who this particular artist is, she is a former member and leader of the now disbanded project group, IZ*ONE (she was also part of the short-lived group Ye-A prior to Produce 48). Upon disbandment, Kwon Eun Bi returned to her home company, Woolim Entertainment, and made her solo debut as a solo artist at the end of August.

Door‘s most notable element has to be its instrumental. It is what stood out to me the most since its release. It takes on a jazzy electro swing sound that exhibits a cute bounce and a colourful tone thanks to its brassy elements. This isn’t necessarily a new sound/style in KPOP. But it has felt like it has been a while, and so Door actually comes off as quite refreshing and different. I liked the boldness of the instrumentation when it is vibrant, resulting in a dance track that pops out of the crowd. Me reviewing this way after its release might suggest otherwise, but I can assure that Door does stand out a lot thanks to this sound. Kwon Eun Bi’s vocals were quite nice throughout the song. I liked how she whispers the opening line to the choruses at a low tone. This combined with the delayed drop, makes it a very impactful and memorable element of the song. It does come second to the instrumentation, but not by far. The rest of her vocals and melodies were quite pleasant, and I quite liked the elegance her vocals exuded in Door. But before you think I am singing praises for Door and Kwon Eun Bi, I must admit that I have this really burning feeling within me that says Door is missing something. Personally, I don’t where this feeling is coming from and I am not too sure what this lacking element could be. I thought the instrumentation was great, her vocals/melodies were nice, and my go-to suggestions just don’t feel like they would fit in this song. But yet, Door just feels incomplete somehow.

Visually, I find the music video for Door to be quite stunning. It definitely highlights Kwon Eun Bi’s visuals and the classy styling of this music video (in terms of sets) was pretty cool. I found the entire ending sequence (i.e. the choreography scene with gold confetti falling down on the stage) to be quite memorable. Kwon Eun Bi’s stylist also managed to a fantastic job of showcasing Kwon Eun Bi in both elegant and cutesy spotlights. Personally, I am usually drawn to the classy side of things, but it is hard to not like the cutesy style in this video. I am also sure there is a story somewhere in this video, based on the bunny ears she wears. But I can’t figure it out.

For the performance, the choreography went with a more mature vibe, which was absolutely fine. But the choreographer kept it fun and vibrant throughout, just like the song. I also enjoyed the jazzy influences that the choreography had at the end as well. The most memorable aspect of the performance has to be the floating move, which was cool and unique.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.9/10