[Album Review] Re-Boot (1st Studio Album) – Golden Child

Golden Child’s Spring Again and Hong Joo Chan’s A Song For Me are nominated for Best Song in the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. To support Golden Child, click here to vote and select Golden Child’s 2019 as Best Song (final question in the survey).

Golden Child returned last month with their very first studio album. Titled as Re-Boot, the album also marks the beginning of a new era for the group, with the supposed ‘reboot’ of the group. Known for their more brighter concepts, the group made their return with a edgy and darker style through the title track Wannabe (link below). Let’s see how the rest of the album and group fares with the reboot.

Re-Boot Album Cover

2. Wannabe (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Wannabe. (7.5/10)

3. Lately (느껴져) Lately opens with a little retro throwback, before settling into the 80s with its driven background. It features synths that felt like it was pulled from an Infinite track; strings that give the chorus a grand launch and extra momentum; and electric guitars that really made a strong impression on me from the start. One thing that really stood out with me is that the song doesn’t go overboard with the synths and any EDM-element, like other dance tracks. Going hand-in-hand with the instrumentation are the vocal work and rapping sequences performed by all the members. I am not familiar with each individual member of Golden Child and their potential, but this shows great promise. (9/10)

4. Compass (나침반) – What stood out for me in Compass during my first listen was the effortless flow that the chorus had. It makes the song feel so pleasant and smooth. The vocal work and rapping was really good, once again. It showcases more of the group’s potential, extending what they presented to me in both the title track and Lately. I would have enjoyed the song a level more if the song had some sort of oomph to it. Whether that would have been in the instrumental or within the vocal work, I think the song would rivaled their more memorable works (i.e. Lady). (8.5/10)

5. No Matter What (by Jangjun, TAG and Joo Chan) – What the last two tracks is made within an instant from the very first second. No Matter What features a synth heavy instrumentation, which no doubt forces this track into dance territory. The trap influences in the instrumentation give way to a vibrant and powerful dance track. The song is also very rap intensive, with the verses focusing on the rapping work by Jangjun and TAG. Both sounds good here. Their delivery was very clean and helped boost the energy of the song to a new level. Joochan features during the chorus and I felt his vocal work was very clean cut as well, providing a little relief from the intensity brought upon by the rappers. (8/10)

6. A Song For Me (문제아) (by Joo Chan)Click here to read the full review for A Song For Me. (9/10)

7. Spring Again (그러다 봄)Click here to read the full review for Spring Again. (7.5/10)

8. She’s My Girl – Kicking off She’s My Girl is a very bold set of drums, before launching us into a concentrated funk mix that is very infectious and memorable. The energy that comes from this track alone trumps the rest of the songs on the album. On top of the upbeat and powerful energy/sound that the song delivers, the vocalists show off a powerful set of vocals. This was necessary and at the same time, they managed to enhance the boldness of the track. My favourite part of the entire track was clever the rap was incorporated into the song. I really liked that short pause in the background when the one of the rappers throw us the legendary line ‘I’m Gonna Make You Mine’. (9/10)

9. Our Heaven (둘만의 천국) (by Daeyeol, Seungmin, Donghyun) – Following the loaded She’s My Girl, we are gifted 3 and half minutes of relief through Our Heaven, which is performed by three of the members of the group. It is a decent track that is vocally centered. And I feel like the three did a good job with the material that they were given. I did like the pre-chorus, with it being the most memorable part of the song for me.   The song does feel like a typical pop track, however, which might just be the one thing working against the track for me. I just think if they incorporated more a rock sound towards the end, it would have been a little more captivating to the very end. (7.5/10)

10. Fantasia (by Y) – The second solo track on the album is by Y (who I gather is another main vocalist). He has a nice set of vocals, as demonstrated through the song. I liked how his song is not a ballad (we already have one solo ballad on the album). Instead, it takes on a form of a pop centered track. I would have liked the song to have more development. It felt too consistent instrumentally from start to end, so it would develop into a repetitive track quite easily through repeat listens. But it is still a decent track, overall. (7/10)

11. Don’t Run AwayDon’t Run Away is another pop track that sounds pretty good. I liked the pleasant nature of the song and how it doesn’t become overly saturated with any element. It is well balanced and has good momentum to it. It just doesn’t ping me as the best track on the album as there is bit of a typical vibe to it. I liked how the rapping was posed in this song, providing a little extra sprinkling to the song (in a good way). I also liked that high-pitch bouncy synth in the background. It is something quite typical but it works well in this song and is worth mentioning. (8/10)

12. Go Together (놓지 않기로 해) (by Jaehyun, Jibeom and Bomin) – The final song on the album features the final three members who have yet to have their ‘own’ track. I thought this was a great end to the album, as it a calming and pleasant song (in a soft manner). Go Together is a ballad that showcases the vocals of the three members in a very positive light. It isn’t a slow ballad, as the song does pick up along the way (appropriate for a ballad). The song itself reminds me of those tracks that the final set of trainees sing on stage prior to the announcement of their ‘final group’. I like those songs as well, so it is no wonder that I liked this one. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.1/10

Re-Boot Teaser Image

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