[Album Review] WOLF (1st Mini Album) – Woosung (The Rose)

As mentioned during the week, I announced that I would be reviewing Woosung’s debut mini-album. And that is where we find ourselves today. Woosung is the main vocalist of The Rose and made his solo debut with FACE on the 25th of July. FACE is the title track featured on his first mini-album, titled as WOLF. During the week, The Rose also made their comeback with RED. If you want another song that shows off Woosung’s voice, as I will reiterate throughout this album review, then I highly recommend the band’s newest track! While you are there, check out the rest of the band and their other tracks (which I have linked in that review as well).

WOLF Album Cover

1. Wolf – One thing that I really want to hear when it comes to new releases is something that really amazes me in some way. The fact is that I am amazed about a lot of things, so it doesn’t have to be a major detail or aspect of the track. Well, Woosung kicks off the album with a track that pretty much satisfied the above. It is a pity that the song is only an introductory track as there is such a strong aesthetic vibe to it that would have been epic as part of a full track. On the other hand, the track would have been repetitive. I like how the verses and choruses contrast, bringing together acoustic and electronic instrumentation. The combination works well. The chorus was full of that aesthetic, while the verses felt paced, like how you expect a pack of wolves to circle around you. The best part would have to be when Woosung utters the song’s title, Wolf. It is creepy and goes well with the modern twist of the chorus. (9/10)

2. Moon – There is no doubt that Woosung’s vocals are on full display on this album. Moon manages to take this up a notch for me. There is something about his vocals that are so alluring. It might be as simple as the melody being able to highlight the strengths of his vocals. Or it could be the raspy nature that gives the song texture. And texture was needed. It started off as a minimalistic instrumental and it built up from there. But it was relatively plain and without the texture, the track would not have been as good. I also like how he doesn’t hold back lyric-wise for this track. While it isn’t as explicit as some other tracks, the ‘Bitch’ is rather striking, and you can tell by his tone that he is disapproving of his former lover. Overall, Moon was a pretty cool track. (9/10)

3. FACE (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for FACE. (10/10)

4. Lonely – The final song on this mini-album is Lonely. It takes more of that typical approach for main vocalists, as the track is a ballad. But I am not complaining. We get to hear various styles of Woosung’s vocals throughout the album. And I did not know that I needed to hear a heartbreaking side of the artist. I really like the song’s melody. I also like how the instrumental didn’t really develop into something more. It is an odd predicament. But think about it, not building up almost felt like the song was trying to portray a sense of hopelessness, which was the direction in which his vocals and lyrics were trying to showcase. It makes perfect sense and pulled off well. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9/10

WOLF Teaser Image

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[Review] FACE – Woosung (The Rose)

There are two solo debuts today to cover. The first is by Woosung, the leader and lead vocalist of The Rose. We last saw Woosung through The Rose’s promotions for She’s In The Rain last year. As this is a solo debut, it will be interesting to see what music Woosung will release, given that his band does tend to go for a unique sound in KPOP already. When I saw his teasers, I thought they were very striking, lifting my expectations for the release. His solo track is titled FACE and is featured on the mini-album, WOLF.

I described the teaser images as striking. And that is the very same word that I would use to describe the song. It is a bold track, without the epic flairs and extremely upbeat atmosphere. Instead, he uses a very minimalistic yet groovy instrumentation that really highlights his vocal work. His vocals are husky and raspy throughout and the best way to really showcase these qualities is if there was no music at all. It wouldn’t be too much fo a song that way, so a minimalistic instrumental would be the next best option.  I also really like how punchy the vocals are. The ‘I like your face‘ line in the chorus is a great example of this. And by being punchy, it helps with the memorable side of it. Overall, I think the better way of describing the song is that it is smart. Woosung, who composed and produced the track, played towards his strengths well.

The song carries a simple message: that regardless of a person’s face, they deserve respect. Which makes total sense, given that Woosung is declaring his love for your face. The music video features a number of people, with close up of their faces and other body parts that he references during the music video. And I like how he didn’t use your typical models. I find Woosung to be quite alluring in this video. But I think my favourite shots of him has to be during those darkened scenes, where it seems like he is on a high because of the faces. It is a bit intriguing both visually and metaphorically.

There weren’t any choreography scenes in the music video and there hasn’t been a showcase video uploaded (if there was one in the first place). So I guess we have to see what the stage performance looks like when it comes to the promotions (if he does go on a promotional run for this release).

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.4/10