Next to get an album review is UP10TION, for their 10th mini-album, Novella. This was released on 3 January 2022, the same day in which their title track Crazy About You also dropped. Like their most recent comeback (SPIN OFF), this one featured only seven members with Kim Woo Seok and Lee Jin Hyuk sitting out due to solo promotions (and their solo careers, while member Jinhoo is currently serving in the military.
Novella is another really strong album release that I should have covered earlier in the year. Unfortunately, their comeback has since fallen off my radar and I won’t be surprised if it has fallen off other people’s radars, as well (it seems to be the usual occurrence a few weeks after an UP10TION comeback). So it is nice to get it back on my radar through this album review and I hope that this album review is a nice reminder that UP10TION made a comeback earlier in the year! Maybe you will even find another favourite song somewhere on this album. Continue reading to see my thoughts on the album!
1. Give Love – Starting off Novella is Give Love, which I can best describe as a stylish beginning to the mini-album. Give Love dips into the deep house genre, creating a very sleek and elegant profile. The piano that kicks off the song and reappears throughout the song really emphasized this, as well. The chorus, which reverts Give Love into a dance track briefly, had great energy. The synergy between the deep house and dance sides of the track is quite cool. I also really enjoyed the vocals and rapping in Give Love, which had some pop and (like the other elements) all contributed to the sleek/elegant nature of the song. (8.5/10)
2. Crazy About You (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Crazy About You. (7/10)
3. PANDORA – PANDORA has some dark energy that I am totally down for. It’s their strongest track on this album, both in terms of energy and execution. This also would have been a cool title track (my mind is whirling with different dark concepts – for some reason, the medieval era jumped into my mind), as well! I enjoyed the dramatic and intense flair that PANDORA had. The whistle was pretty cool, and I liked it as a bit of a centrepiece in the instrumental. The members really came through with their vocals and rapping, all showing intensity and power behind their delivery. (10/10)
4. Incredible (설레 (雪來)) – Despite it opting for funky and groovy sound that has dominated KPOP for a while now, Incredible somehow comes off as quite fresh. Not sure how, but it just does. Incredible has this bright tone that I enjoyed and I also found the vocals to be quite vibrant. On the other hand, the rappers ground the track with their deeper rapping tones, which added maturity. (9/10)
5. FALL – FALL is a pleasant track on this album. It comes to life thanks to pop band instrumentation that makes for a nice background piece. It isn’t too heavy or too light, opting for a nice balance that I personally find likeable. I like how most of the vocals glide over the instrumentation, while other members, like the rappers, brought a raspy tone to FALL (which compliments the use of the band instrumentation quite well). The melodies were also quite nice, helping bring some emotional heft to the song. (8/10)
6. SAD ENDING – Finishing off the album is SAD ENDING. It is quite a somber end to the album, based on its tone and title. But it is a nice display of UP10TION’s vocals, especially with its straightforward execution and delivery. The melodies were really nice. I like the R&B instrumentation, especially with the guitar in the background. The entire instrumental gives off a delicate feel, which compliments the vocal tone of the song. I just found it to be the least interesting side track on this album. (7/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10