[Album Review] Dystopia: The Tree of Language (1st Studio Album) – Dream Catcher

It is time for another album review! And (once again) it an album that I should have reviewed a while back. I am talking about Dream Catcher’s very first studio album, Dystopia: The Tree of Language. It is definitely long overdue for the group as it has been four years since their debut (officially) and countless intense and unique comebacks. The album, released mid-February, features the title track Scream and 13 new tracks. Per usual, I will review all tracks excluding the intro, outro and instrumental tracks. Let’s get going!

Dystopia: The Tree Of Language Album Cover

2. Scream (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Scream. (10/10)

3. Tension – The title gives us a little teaser of the tension and intensity the song will feature. And it blasts you with just that from the very first second in which the song started, opting for a predominately rock instrumental. For all you dedicated fans of Dream Catcher (otherwise known as InSomnia), this is something we all know is within Dream Catcher’s repertoire, given this is the style that they debuted and consistently pull out. But rather than being the same as the past songs, Tension manages to make it refreshing. The song features a change in the intensity throughout the song but manages to make it well balanced. There are also interesting vocal textures thanks to the use of autotune (Dami’s line just before the chorus is just perfect) or a more delicate backdrop (see the bridge). (9/10)

4. Red Sun – If you think the title track is amazing, wait until you have a listen to Red Sun. The song seems to go towards of a hip-hop based sound, which I think it is unfamiliar territory for the group. But it keeps that edgy sound that we know Dream Catcher for. But there is more to the instrumental than just hip-hop. It is haunting in some parts and employs trap synths in other parts. The vocal work brings very interesting and mature twist to the song, as well. The repetition of the title post-chorus and the overall aesthetics are very memorable. Red Sun ticks all the boxes for me. (10/10)

5. Black or White – As we go down this list, the songs get more interesting. There is no going back with this album. I love the thumping beat at the very start, the orchestral touch during the pre-chorus, the funkiness we got in the chorus (on top of the orchestral touch). In addition to that, I really liked how they autotuned the main hook to be part of the instrumental for the bridge. Their vocals and Dami’s rapping fitted right into the track, like a key and lock. Altogether, Black Or White is another mindblowing, addictive and very unique song. (10/10)

6. Jazz Bar – Like how the title suggest, the song delves into jazz. It is a very subtle groove to the song and its flows effortlessly from start to end. The melody was very pleasant and the chorus was satisfying good. Their vocals were very refined and delicate, matching with the jazzy nature of the song. But the real winner in this song has to be Dami. How awesome does she sound? Her nasally voice just works wonderfully in this song and has to be the best section of the song. (9.5/10)

7. SAHARA – We now return to a song with a rock touch (aka. the group’s roots). And it is a good song. But I don’t think it is as good as what we have heard so far. I found the verses to be forgettable for the most part. I did enjoy the rock rush the song had incorporated during its building up moments and during the chorus. Sadly, I also found the hook in this song to be rather weak. But I did enjoy their vocals and Dami’s rapping was pretty decent. As you can see, I would better describe as the song to skip on the album. (7/10)

8. In The Frozen – We re-enter the more interesting sounds on the album. In The Frozen starts off like any other dance track and it remains locked in that gear for majority of the track. It may sound like I am trying to saying it is typical, but I still liked it. There is an adventurous tone to the song, in my opinion. It just took its time to build up. But once we reached the final chorus, everything dropped (or should I say twist) and the entire song’s dynamic changed through the tempo, the incorporation of the song’s title and Dami’s ‘Limit no more’. This is pretty unique from other dance tracks, which once again brings another interesting song to the album. (9/10)

9. Daybreak (새벽)Daybreak delves into the R&B genre. It seems like Dream Catcher is captialising on the number of songs by showing a lot of variety in their sound, yet still showing some of their roots in others. The instrumental has this deep yet striking beat, which reminds me of Red Velvet’s Be Natural (a song I felt was boring at first but has grown on me over time). The vocal and rapping work brings life to the song and adds a sense of refinement. The ending is one of those abrupt kinds, which I still don’t like. But overall, another nice song. (8/10)

10. Full MoonFull Moon was a single for the fans by Dream Catcher, released back in 2018. As you can tell by the rock influences in this song, it is one of the many songs by Dream Catcher that I refer to when I talk about their roots in this review. This is one is a little more straight forward and doesn’t really do add to the sound that we are already familiar with. But this was released in 2018, when the group was still cementing their footing in the industry. I enjoyed the momentum of the song and remember head banging to it every time I had listened to it in the past. I also love the delicate ‘Full Moon’ ending to the chorus, which contrasts strongly with the rock sound that dominates the rest of the chorus. Great track, overall. (9/10)

11. Over The Sky (하늘을 넘어) – And here is another example of their roots, released in 2019 for their fans. The way this song starts off reminds me of many opening themes to animes. They literally throw you into the mix and they probably have no regrets. It is a little overwhelming at first, but you get used to it with multiple listens. Their vocals add more of a cheerful tone to the song and the melody/hook feels very pop-like in comparison to the rush of rock energy that we get in this song. But the two merges neatly with each other and sounds very decent, overall. (9/10)

14. Paradise (Siyeon Solo) (Pre-Release Track) – Not exactly sure if this was ever marketed as a pre-release track, but the final song on the album (even after the outro) Is Siyeon’s solo debut, Paradise. Paradise reminds me of old Western pop tracks and takes on an instrumental profile of a dance track through its use of EDM. But vocally, the song is steered towards the ballad domain. But it is not one or the other. However, the use of the dance instrumental gives it an engaging appeal, while Siyeon’s vocals are on full display in this song. I do feel this combination is rather safe and feel like the song would have been epic if the producers pushed in one or both regards. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9/10

Dystopia: The Tree of Language Teaser Image

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