[Album Review] 5NALLY (1st Special Mini-Album) – AB6IX

I take a break from the usual reviewing schedule to bring you the next album review (I know this isn’t Friday or Sunday, but it is a special album review). Over the last few weeks, AB6IX have been releasing music videos for each of their members. Each music video accompanies a solo track off the group’s latest digital mini-album, 5NALLY. I thought about how I wanted to review this as an album, or whether I thought I treat them as standalone releases. But then, I thought why not both. So I will be reviewing each solo track as I have been doing in Catch Up Reviews, combining the song, music video and performance reviews into one paragraph.

5NALLY Album Cover

Moondance (Jeon Woong Solo)

With all the members of AB6IX, I most unfamiliar with Woong as he is the new member of the group that we didn’t get to see prior to the debut of AB6IX. Moondance is a R&B track that packs a punch during the chorus. It starts out as a soft number, but quickly bring the thumping drums into the mix as the song builds to the chorus. The entire track becomes very dramatic in its sound and this allows for an amazing seductive dance sequence (more on that later). His vocals were superb in this song. Particularly, I draw your attention to the really low husky whispering tone we got for the bridge, followed a return to the chorus but with autotune to give the ending some texture. Altogether, the song definitely opens my eyes to Woong’s future as both a solo artist and as part of AB6IX. The music video is really aesthetically pleasing. I really liked the glowing moon the producers made Woong dance in front of, the furniture in the dark room with the floor covered in water and the really reflective dance floor. All these sets had a place in the video and were well utilized post-production of the video to make it extremely captivating. As hinted in an earlier sentence, Woong’s choreography for Moondance is quite seductive. I mean, Woong was grinding on the floor for like 30% of performance. When Woong wasn’t grinding on the floor, he did a damn well job on the performance, which used many smooth and fluid motions that made it look stunning. (9/10)

More (더 더) (Kim Dong Hyun Solo)

Kim Donghyun is one of the vocalists of the group and More shows off his vocals in a decent manner. I was caught off guard with Donghyun’s rap-speak section at the start of the second verse. Maybe something that could be used in some of AB6IX’s tracks? The pop song employs some synths to keep it modern and relevant to the current trends in the industry. But we aren’t talking about huge drops and heavy bass. Everything is kept relatively light and pleasant in this song, which reflect well with the sweet nature of the lyrics in the song. Come to the think of it, this is the polar opposite to what AB6IX releases, and I thought this was rather interesting. More had some good hooks that was pleasant, but none of them really grabbed my attention and this resulted into the song being easily forgotten. As for the music video, it looked very fluffy. And once again, it would be the polar opposite to any AB6IX’s music videos. Dressed in a pink suit and white turtleneck; hugging a teddy bear. I would never guess this would be a track from one of the AB6IX members. I did like ‘sets’ in the music video, namely the church and theater they performed in. They looked cool. The choreography was quite good. I liked chorus routine and how it matched up with the lyrics. Nothing that impressive but still pleasing to watch. (7.8/10)

Rose, Scent, Kiss (Lee Dae Hwi Solo)

Lee Dae Hwi is one of the more popular members of the group, given his time as part of Wanna One. One thing that Rose, Scent, Kiss highlights is the maturity behind his voice and an ability to go quite deep. Together, this made Lee Dae Hwi’s solo track stand out. The instrumental is very crunchy, which matches the texture that we get from his deep voice. The instrumental fuses trap and pop together in a rather typical way. But you can definitely hear the attitude behind it, which really helps draw further attention to this voice. I really enjoyed the Rose, Scent, Kiss whisper, which reminded me of fellow Wanna One’s member Park Ji Hoon’s 360. The music video opens up with Lee Dae Hwi’s monologue about moving between the age of 19 and 20. The rest of the music video was rather dynamic despite following the typical choreography and closeup formula. The dynamic nature of the video was thanks to Lee Dae Hwi’s captivating expressions during his closeup shots, the amazing set design, the flashing patterns in the background on the screen and the lighting throughout the video. I thought the choreography was great. I liked how Lee Dae Hwi is able to show off his own style in this performance and he isn’t afraid to show off some (what usually would be considered) feminine moves. (9.3/10)

Break Up (좋게 끝내) (Lim Young Min Solo)

Lim Young Min is the lead rapper in the group. But he also as an impressive set of vocals, which I don’t remember being used all that much in AB6IX’s tracks. Break Up takes on R&B, but it a lot more upbeat compared to R&B style that Jeon Woong opted for his solo track. Alongside his vocal work, his rapping is on point in this song. I did like the piano that made up part of the instrumental. It really help drive that emotional side of the song, which is all about breaking up. I just wish the song was a little more interesting. I wished the song didn’t stay overly consistent towards the end and I wished they added some sort of texture in addition to that high pitch synth that opened the song and appeared periodically. The brief pause at the end was going in that direction, but I wanted a bit more. The music videos seem pull elements from one another. Lim Young Min’s music video featured the water floor that Woong had in his video and brought along the cube structure from Lee Dae Hwi’s (Kim Dong Hyun’s music video featured the sofa and lampshade from Woong’s music video). But I liked how they managed to infuse some individuality to the music video, namely the phone booth, the use of the city imagery and the sports car. The choreography was good, but I wanted to see a bit more in the music video. There was a sensual side that Young Min was going for that was good, through the many body rolls. But that was all I could pick up from the stuff I saw for this track. (7.8/10)

Color Eye (Park Woo Jin Solo)

Alongside Lee Dae Hwi, Park Woo Jin is the other member that everyone knows of due to his time as part of Wanna One. Color Eye is probably your typical rapper solo song on a group album. The song delves into hip-hop and features both Woo Jin’s well known rapping style and the autotuned singing. To be honest, I found Color Eye to be a little lackluster in terms of suspense and was rather dull. There wasn’t much of a buildup to the song’s peak and it was fair too consistent for my liking. The instrumental was the more exciting bit, featuring a music box like sample, which gave off an eerie sound at first. I just wished they built upon this. The music video features that square screen that we saw in Young Min and Dae Hwi’s music videos. But this one flashes lights and patterns more aggressively. The post-production in this music video makes the video look very edgy and ‘dark concept’. I liked how they never really put Park Woo Jin into the spotlight, which does reflect well with the song. Park Woo Jin doesn’t seem to participate in the choreography, assumingly due to his injury. So I am going to forgo this part of the review for him. (6.8/10)