And the week long album reviews continue with this post being focused on YENA’s second mini-album, SMARTPHONE. The mini-album was released at the start of August, alongside the title track of the same name. Alongside the title track are four additional side tracks. SMARTPHONE follows the release of YENA’s debut mini-album, x‿x (SMiLEY), from very early on in the year.
YENA’s debut mini-album was a standout for a debut act. This time around, I feel YENA’s album release was a bit more typical, but it is still a fairly strong album release nonetheless. The SMARTPHONE title track was by far my favourite from the mini-album. Do you agree with me? Let me know in the comments below.
1. Make U Smile – Starting off the mini-album is a ballad. Usually, ballads are kept for the end of the album, but it isn’t unheard of for ballads to be place in the front of the release. YENA sounds really beautiful throughout Make U Smile. I liked that she sings in both low and high registers, and that her vocals were quite airy. The instrumentation was quite soothing and dreamy. (8/10)
2. SMARTPHONE (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for SMARTPHONE. (9/10)
3. WithOrWithOut – YENA revisits the punk genre with WithOrWithOut. You might remember the likes of Lxxk 2 U from her first mini-album, which was also delved into the punk genre and was a favourite of mine. WithOrWithOut is a bit softer around the edges, but it still has that nostalgic feel to it. Of course, this song is best during the chorus when the energy is at a high, and the bridge was super awesome. Her brief stints of rapping in the bridge in particular were awesome. (8.5/10)
4. Lemon-Aid – Lemon-Aid goes down the pop path. The instrumental alone was already extremely enjoyable and just hits right, for me. The energy that YENA and the instrumental comes together to form successfully brings a smile to my face. YENA’s vocals are cutesy and I am not too troubled by this. Her rapping was probably the weakest aspects of the song, especially in the pre-choruses. I wished they were just vocals in a similar manner to elsewhere in the song. (8/10)
5. U – The final song on the album is U, and this is probably the style I would have expected from YENA from the very start of her solo career. The pop instrumentation was fun and YENA’s vocals were quite cutesy sounding. It is just a bit too sweet for me personal taste, but it was still a neat way to round out the mini-album. (7/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.1/10