[Album Review] Grown (3rd Studio Album) – 2PM

Due to the number of songs on the album, this album review post is quite lengthy. 

Today’s ‘Past’ album review post will be focusing on probably what I consider to be 2PM’s most memorable album (form the top of my head). Grown was released back in 2013, featuring both A.D.T.O.Y and Come Back When You Hear This Song as the title tracks (links to their respective review can be found below). And while this album is almost 6 years old, I still return to it often. They did release a repackaged version, which contained many more songs but I think that is suitable for a follow-up post in the future. But before we get to that, we have to look at the original version!

Grown Album Cover

1..A.D.T.O.Y (하.니.뿐) (Title Track) – Most of my comments in my original review stand. However, I felt that a 7/10 is a little unfair for this album review as I have enjoyed the song countless times since its release. Hence I have bumped up the ranking by 1 point. Click here to read the full review for A.D.T.O.Y. (8/10).

2. Come Back When You Hear This Song (이 노래를 듣고 돌아와) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Come Back When You Hear This Song. (8.5/10)

3. Zero Point (원점으로) – This is the style of KPOP that I want an artist to revisit. To me, this song sounds quite like Come Back When You Hear This Song. It utilizes a traditional synth-pop (but more pop centred) instrumental and is very easy on the ears. It shows off their vocals and I really liked the melody of the track. Those ‘violins’ they use in the chorus was so good, despite them feeling synthetic. I also liked the extra few seconds of suspense they add to the song during the pre-chorus, which makes this track so good. There were a few moments just before Taecyeon’s rap sequence that I thought they could have gone down the trap route but that is something common today and not so much back in the day. And this just makes the song feel so much more wholesome feeling. (8.5/10)

4. I’m SorryI’m Sorry is an R&B track that has a very smooth feeling, which you can feel straight away from its initial second. There is this sensual vibe going in the song, which I think the smooth R&B sound cannot avoid. But it definitely a mature sound that I personally like from 2PM. Once again, sleek vocals and amazing harmonies are heard in this song. The rapping was well tweaked for the song as well. My favourite line has to be Chansung’s “So I can’t stop stop stop thinking about the time…”, which is constantly replaying in my head. (8/10)

5. The First Date (오늘부터 1일) – Opening up the song is some piano. And from the first second, you can tell this song is going to be lively, changing the album’s flow. While the piano was nice, the brass in the chorus was perfect. It came on just at the right time and managed to add an extra influx of energy that I did not even know was missing from the song. The song is also capped with great vocals and I liked the rapping, which also added to that addition of energy that I have mentioned. (8/10)

6. Dangerous – The song has this jazzy and upbeat vibe to it, which gives it an intriguing feel. And as much as I want to like the song, I think Dangerous is a little weak compared to the other tracks on the album (but that in no means it is bad). It has a nice clean and modern touch, which from memory was something that was extremely big at the time of its release. The vocals were good and I thought the rapping added a little smugness to the song. I just think its placement in a sea of great songs was probably its biggest downfall. (7/10)

7. One More Day (오늘 하루만)One More Day takes the form of a ballad. It is a nice soothing track to really kick back to. I don’t think it stands out much, like Dangerous and probably for the exact same reasons. I did like the instrumental of the track as it incorporates soft synths into the otherwise classical instrumental. I think it gave the song some character and really differentiated it from other ballads. I am personally not sure if a rap sequence was necessary. Taecyeon’s execution is not the problem but for a ballad, it felt a little too much. (7/10)

8. Game Over – Intensity has been missing from the album thus far. So it is really nice to really get something loaded with it. The powerful instrumental really sets it apart from any other of their songs (and if memory serves me right, any song released at the time). I wonder why they didn’t go with this track as one of the title tracks. It had maturity, an awesome dance break section, amazing vocals and definitely underrated rap sequences. Jun.K’s line ‘This Endless Game’ replays hauntingly in your mind as it was an impactful finisher to the song. (10/10)

9. Coming Down – Based on what I know of music and from movies, this is probably something you hear somewhere that you need to spend a lot of money. Otherwise known as a classy bar or cafe music. Coming Down follows a similar comment pool as per the jazzy songs before. But there is a little more to the song that makes this one a little more likeable. The jazzy vibes are felt but they don’t seem to be as prevalent, which I think is a rather refreshing twist. The vocals and rapping are just so clear and undeniably interesting. Hence, this is why I think this song a little better than the others of the same nature. (7.5/10)

10. Go Back (고백)Go Back is one of those misleading tracks. The song started off as a ballad for the verses. But out of nowhere, the song builds up to a techno-focused chorus. I am not sure if it was the first of its kind but it is a rather interesting mix. And while the two are very different extremes, the song does merge well together. I also like how Taecyeon’s rapping was kind of the intersection of the two sides, as this isn’t something that occurs that much even in today’s songs where the mashup of two genres occurs often. I also enjoyed the ‘Eh Oh Eh Oh’ hook of the song as well. (9/10)

11. Love Song – An album will always have a weak song. That is how things work. Any fan who says that say each song is perfect on any album is probably lying to themselves. And since I started this section like this, I think you know what I am going to say. Love Song is the weakest track on the album. I think this song was the hardest to connect to. That jazzy sound returns and does show off some maturity. Some vocals also flourished but I simply pass over this track every time I return to the album. (6.5/10)

12. At Times (문득) – This is as ballad-y as you can get with a ballad. At Times is 2PM’s push for a promising ballad and I think they nail the song. Taecyeon started the song off very soft singing and by the time we swing to the chorus, the vocals make it feel like the peak of a ballad. It pushes the song forward and makes it feel very elegant and extravagant at the same time. But what makes this song so good is that it continuously builds, resulting in the final chorus to be truly spectacular (ticking all boxes for my style for a power ballad). I think it is a beautiful ballad and a powerful ending to the album. (9.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.1/10

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