[Album Review] Last Romeo / Be Back (2nd Studio & Repackaged Album) – Infinite

As the album contains 14 tracks, this album review has become quite lengthy. 

This week’s ‘past album’ review (I really need a new name for this particular series) is Infinite’s 2014 releases Last Romeo (which featured the title track Last Romeo) and Be Back (which featured the title track Back). I chose Infinite for today as they tend to have a number of cool non-title track hidden in the midst of their album releases, alongside that amazing title track they return with each time. This album is not an exception, with my attention immediately drawn to Last Romeo when it was first released. The album also contains releases from subunits and solo members, some of which hadn’t even had their respective debut at the time.

Season 2 Album Cover

2. Last Romeo (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Last Romeo. (8/10 – TImes have changed, so I bumped up the original 7.5/10 to 8/10)

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

4. Diamond – What I tend to like about Infinite’s title tracks is the fact that they tend to collaborate with an orchestra for a special performance, resulting in a beautiful performance in one form or another. Diamond takes on that orchestral instrumental and while it isn’t a title track, it deserves recognition as it is one of Infinite’s best b-side tracks ever! It places Infinite’s vocals into the spotlight in a jaw-dropping manner that captures your attention. Dongwoo was especially surprising, with his high note. I really like the piano in the instrumental and the dramatic sounds during the bridge. (10/10)

5. Follow MeFollow Me combines a violin instrumental with some rock elements and what I suspect to be the a few seconds of a standard pre-loaded ringtone (i.e. the first 3 seconds of the song). Together, we result in a nice song that reminds me of Infinite in the older days. The vocals are good, with some harmonies present in the chorus. I think the first rap sequence was unnecessary but the one in the bridge (with the echo effect) was cool. To me, the song doesn’t feel spectacular, but it is still good. (7/10)

6. Rocinante (로시난테) – Within seconds of the song starting, I was pretty much sold on the song. There were upbeat vibes, brightness and energy just coming off the son. Perfect for a song about motivation. I really like the synth-based instrumental for this pop track, especially with that electronic effect during the bridge, which gives it some detail. The vocal in this song was ideal, perfectly stable and fitting for the song. I liked the rapping, but I thought it could have been more powerful and intense for the song. (8.5/10)

7. Breathe (숨 좀 쉬자) – Interesting theory is that this is song is about the saesang fans. Those who don’t know, saesang fans are those who become obsessive and stalks their ‘idols’. To the point where things can become life-threatening to the idol. I personally do not consider them as fans as they are dangerous to themselves and the people around them. Putting the topic aside, the instrumental is quite edgy. There seems to be a little bit of funk mixed into the song. The combination becomes quite addictive and the simple melody from the vocals aid in that. (8/10)

8. Light (Sunggyu Solo) – Kicking off a series of solo and unit works is Kim Sung Gyu, whom at the time of the release of the album, already started his solo career. It is a change up from his usual style, going for an acoustic approach. The instrumental doesn’t shine as much, leaving his vocals to do all the heavy lifting for the song. The way he vocalises throughout the song keeps it interesting. Not entire his best release but still decent. (7/10)

9. Alone (Infinite H) Infinite H took a more melodic and flowy approach to their unit song on the album. I personally found the song to be disappointing as it lacks in colour and remains too consistent throughout, leaving us hearing the same tune repeatedly. It goes for a hip-hop R&B sound with rap-singing, but the track fails to inspire or really lift off. I don’t hate it but it is the track that I just want to skip over since it is so boring. (5/10)

Be Back Album Cover

10. MemoriesMemories, to me, feels like that Summery ballad-y track that you often get as a b-side track on the album for an album released during the Summer period. It showcases Infinite’s vocals in a light and refreshing manner. The instrumental could essentially be described in a similar fashion. I particularly liked the harmonies in the song. That extra intensity provided by the raps was nice, My favourite part would have to the pre-chorus ‘Ddu Ddu” part. (9/10)

11. A Person Like Me (나란 사람) – Based on the first few seconds of the song, you can tell that this song is going to be a emotional ride. And essentially, it is a ballad backed by another orchestral instrumental that does just that. Personally, I felt like the vocals were just slapped onto the track. They didn’t feel like it fitted 100% neatly. Sunggyu and Woohyun stood out the most but everyone did an awesome job. The harmonies with each other when they paired up, along with the backing vocals were really nice. (8.5/10)

12. Reflex – Based on the title of the song, Reflex sounds to be the coolest song on the album. Overall, the sound of the song reminded me of KPOP back in the day. To me, the song felt weak as I expected sharpness and something fast-paced. The instrumental seems to go in that direction with some of the smaller details in the instrumentation going for something more electronic but was held back for the vocals. Once again, I don’t mind the song, but it is in no way my favourite. (6/10)

13. Crazy (미치겠어) (Infinite F) –Infinite F, at the time of the release of the album, had yet to make their unit debut. They made that jump at the end of 2014 with Heartthrob. If you are a seasoned KPOP fan, this is what you would call rather ‘standard’. Nothing to special about the song in a nutshell. There were some effects (such as after the first chorus) but they felt mismatched for the song. The vocals for the song were okay. Compared to their unit release that occurred afterwards, I think the song failed to really push their limits. But that is just my opinion. (7/10)

14. Close My Eyes (눈을 감으면) (Woohyun Solo) – I think out of the solo and unit songs on the album, I am most impressed with Woohyun’s. It is an emotional sounding ballad that really allows Woohyun to standout. I really like the sudden mix of electric guitar right after the chorus, which gives the ballad some uniqueness (This is usually saved for the bridge). Woohyun didn’t make his solo debut until the year after, so the question that should be asked is why didn’t he get on sooner? (8/10)

15. I Need U Back (소나기) – Going back to the start of this review where I mentioned Infinite’s classic sound (dance track with the potential to incorporate orchestral instrumentation), this album may just prove that if the song has just that factor in it, it is would be enough to sell as an Infinite song. The song contains 70% electronic components and synths to really make it upbeat and fast-paced, giving the song some individuality. The lyrics don’t match this, however, going for another emotional fuelled message. It ends the album on a good note, though. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.9/10

Be Back Teaser Image

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