There might be a reason to why I pushed out a review for UP10TION’s What If Love despite it being released half a year ago. That is because I made a decision to review the Code Name: Arrow mini-album in which the single was present on, given the massive changes the group underwent earlier this year. While the group has reassured us that they have not disbanded and wish to continue UP10TION into the future, the lack of news (such as signing on with a company) since their departure from TOP Media does make me slightly concerned about their future. However, given the group is at the stage of their career involving military enlistments, this might be slowing things down in terms of future activities and relevant news. Regardless, I will be looking out for news of UP10TION’s future and hope that it comes soon. But for now, here is my thoughts on Code Name: Arrow.
1. Angel – Starting off the mini-album is Angel, which was a solid EDM track. I did like the rush of energy that the instrumental following the first chorus. I also liked how the presence of guitar throughout the song peeking through the EDM, with my favourite being the brief yet funky guitar riffs detailing we hear in that same instrumental break just mentioned. The rapping and its flow in the song added a nice flair to the song, while the vocals were a good showing, particularly the falsetto in the choruses. Though I think a stronger hook would have really taken Angel up a notch. (8/10)
2. What If Love (Title Track) – Click here to read the review for What If Love. (7/10)
3. Bloom – For me, Bloom’s chorus was its highlight. The thumping EDM/dance instrumental that opens the centerpiece of the song was quite a showstopper and I liked how it wasn’t just a one-trick moment. The second and final chorus are also the same, with the latter incorporating an extra set of beats to just give the final chorus that just that little bit more. The vocals here was really well done. Elsewhere in Bloom, we have a pop ballad-like first verse (which helps make the first run at the chorus that bit more shocking – but in a good way). The deeper toned rapping was also well used, just to give the song more depth. Hook-wise and melody-wise, I find Bloom to be particularly strong in these areas, as well. (10/10)
4. Flash – Guitar riffs and casual energy takes the helm in Flash. It is an enjoyable track, with a slight retro tinge to the instrumental. The vocals take the win in this one, with the vocal line doing a splendid job of showcasing that bright and cheerful tone that the song has. (7.5/10)
5. Starlight – I quite enjoyed the blast of energy we get in the choruses. It isn’t as iconic as Bloom’s choruses were, but it did make the chorus for Starlight to be strong. I also enjoyed the affectionate tone that comes from the song, which is what the lyrics depict. I actually would not be surprised if this is a song for their fans. Powerful vocals were also needed to stand out over the instrumentation, and UP10TION definitely delivered in this aspect. (8/10)
6. Rewind – The final song on the album is also some of UP10TION members’ favourite. Rewind is a rock ballad that showcases the members in a more emotive state with their vocal and rapping delivery. I personally thought they executed this well, and I can see why the members’ said this was their favourite song on the mini-album. (8/10)