This will be the last weekend completely full of album reviews, which has been occurring for the past two weeks or so. I will be reverting to the usual timetable for album reviews (publishing every Sunday and Friday for new albums, and Tuesday for older albums starting this week). And to end this album review rush is SF9’s 7th mini-album, which features the title track RPM. Bound to give you a rush of energy and intensity, let’s see how the rest of the mini-album faired.
1..RPM (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for RPM. (8/10)
2. Round and Round (돌고 돌아) – If I was to follow how I have always written my review, Round and Round is a ‘standard’ pop track. And truthfully, there isn’t anything mind-blowing or new regarding the track that sets it apart from the rest of the other pop tracks we listen to daily. But I dislike the use of the term ‘standard’, as that can give off the impression that the song is boring. It isn’t. Despite its typical approach, I found the track to have some good energy, smooth vocals, neat rap sequences and catchy melodies. Furthermore, the instrumental was quite soothing and calming in moments, despite it still being a heavy dance track. Combining it all together and you get a standout combination. (9/10)
3. Dreamer – I have described many songs as dramatic in the past. But I think we have a new leader in the dramatic song category. The song starts off like an adventure film’s soundtrack. Knowing it is SF9, however, the instrumental will turn towards synths and dance-based sounds. But they do maintain that dramatic nature, which makes this song sound very epic and grand. I thought the vocals were nice, but the rapping comes out on top as the most likeable element. Mainly because the instrumental and the rapping combined together forms an intensity powerhouse. And I enjoyed the continuous build-up that the song featured, allowing the ending to be very powerful. (8.5/10)
4. Liar – Note that this song was the final song I wrote about, as I didn’t have much to say initially when I was writing the review in order. By seeing how dramatic Dreamer and epic See U Tomorrow surrounds this track, I find Liar to be a suitable middle-man that bridges the two together. The song starts off slow and you can sense the rough EDM creeping into the track. But I like despite it transforming into a dance track, it maintains its pace and doesn’t become saturated with synths that just fly through. Once again, the rapping stands out, adding intensity and texture. But also adding a smooth texture of the song are the vocals, which I think were nice. The bridge is my favourite vocal section of the track, along with the ‘Beautiful Liar’ repetition during the chorus. Overall, another nice track. (9/10)
5. See U Tomorrow – If I described Dreamer as dramatic, then See U Tomorrow is epic. This is thanks to the instrumental, which is a mixture of electronic and classical. Several artists have successfully pulled off this combination in the past, but I think SF9 played it smart by matching up this mixed instrumental to their vocals and rapping. Kicking off the song are polished harmonies that put the track in the pop genre. They revisit the harmonies during the chorus, which I think allows the track to become a full circle. The rapping in this track is amazing, giving the song more of those epic vibes and intensity. But the best part, overall, has to be the energy-intensive EDM dance break, as they were the most epic sounding sections of the entire song (and definitely going to be scene-stealing moments when performed in concert). (9/10)
6. Echo – Echo manages to mash up SF9’s electronic dance side and an acoustic sound. But unlike See U Tomorrow (where the two different genres are incorporated together), Echo manages to keep the two sounds separate and don’t really have much fusion going on. And I think it sounds amazing this way, as well. You can hear the two genres without interference and get a sense of how they would handle them separately. I find that the acoustics allowed them to focus more on their natural voices before the chorus kicks up the energy with the intense EDM sound. And I find this song to be a great closer to another amazing album from the group. (8.5/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.7/10