[Album Review] All Light (1st Studio Album) – ASTRO

With their growing fanbase, I spent the last year awaiting a comeback from the one and only ASTRO. But we were left with a special album that was barely promoted in 2018, which was a disappointment (not at the album but rather their lack of promotions). But now, the male group from Fanatigo returned last week with All Light, breaking their promotional drought. It features 10 tracks in total, one of them being the title track All Night, which I have enjoyed since its release. Today, we have a little closer look at the group’s album release.

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All Light Album Cover

1..Starry SkyStarry Sky is an R&B dance track that starts the album off on a bold note. And by that, I mean the song is very defined and robust. I like the thumping instrumental and the small details within the instrumental, which really gives off the effect of a beautiful night sky. The vocals were really good. The rapping was also quite good but it felt ordinary. I felt like the song could have benefited from a rougher or stronger rap sequence, showing off the rappers even more. (8/10)

2. All Night (전화해) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of All Night. (10/10)

3. Moonwalk – The deep pounding in the instrumental continues in Moonwalk. And this is one of the biggest attractions of the song. There is something about that really pulls me into the song. I thought the choppy nature at the start of the song, the use of autotune throughout the song, the pounding instrumental and their vocals/raps really create an aesthetically pleasing track. Overall, it left a very strong impression on me and it is a track (other than the title track) that I would personally recommend. (10/10)

4. TreasureTreasure continues the electronic touch to the album thus far with a nice dance track that has influences in tropical house. It isn’t as strong as other songs in the same sphere, which I think is quite nice. I liked the small details scattered throughout the track such as the whistles and the layering of vocals and raps. I think the track could have benefited from a better hook, as this would have made the track more memorable. But other than that, it is another good track. (9/10)

5. Roleplay – Taking a break from the electronic nature of the album this far, Roleplay is an acoustic R&B track that really stands out. It is a style that sounds extremely mature for the group and I personally would like to hear more of this. I like the chill nature of the instrumental, fitting neatly into an urban setting. The vocals were quite nice. Interestingly the song contains no raps, which I think was unfortunate because a rap sequence could have done wonders to this song, if it was executed right. (9/10)

6. 1 in a Million – This song is probably an example of what many people would think boy groups do. It is bright, youthful and very energetic in nature. The electronic instrumental returns once again, this time it has pop-infused into it. I don’t mind this song, but it does feel rather generic, like it is a go-to style of song. I thought the rapping was nicely done in this track and the vocals were amazing, like everywhere else on the album. The chorus was catchy, so what more could you ask for! (8/10)

7. Love Wheel – Once again, we depart the EDM direction with a sweet pop track. Sure, the song fits ASTRO’s profile perfectly. The track has a very consistent instrumental but it doesn’t feel repetitive as each section (apart from the chorus) sounds slightly different but remaining tight together. The vocals were nailed, and the rapping was perfectly fitting for the song. It is one of the songs where despite you not being able to understand the meaning of the lyrics, you are able to smile along. (8/10)

8. Heart Brew Love – Another great pop song on the album. I can’t really find much to say about the song besides repeating a lot of the things I have said thus far on this album review. I must commend the rappers for doing a really good job of really ensuring the song doesn’t become too repetitive. Vocals were nice. I think the song could have had a stronger hook but I am happy with what we can hear based on the instrumental of Heart Brew Love. (8/10)

9. Merry-Go-Round – I really like the cheerful nature of the track. And this cheerful nature is quite infectious, given the major repetition of the song’s title as the main hook of the song. It is another song that fits ASTRO’s profile perfectly. Harmonies at the end of the song were nice. I think the verses could have been a lot more memorable, but I am not sure how. But that is me nit-picking at the smallest details. (8/10)

10. Bloom (피어나) – We come to the end of the album and we have yet to hear a ballad. Well, Bloom ends the album with just that genre. The instrumentation to this track is quite beautiful and somewhat dramatic. The vocals were really nice. Started off quite husky but soon built up alongside the instrumental. The rapping is a different story, however. It felt too heavy for a ballad of this nature. Rocky’s rap speak section just didn’t really click with the song. But apart from the rapping, everything was quite good. (7.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.6/10

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All Light Teaser Image

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