It is finally time for me to sit down and knock out some album reviews that has been sitting on my to-do list. First up is for a comeback that occurred in early February, which means this review is almost 2 months late (really sorry for this). For those who may not remember this comeback, iKON returned with Dive at the start of February, their first comeback since the departure of B.I from the group. It was reported that the group had to re-record the album again and hence the comeback delayed to earlier this year. Let’s have a closer (and belated) look at the album.
1. Ah Yeah – Ah Yeah kicks off with a rolling marching drumbeat. It gives the song an epic lift-off. While there was a bit of dramatic flair to it, the song moved into more of a rock sound, which makes complete sense. More unexpectedly was that there was a perky melody and tone to the song, which I don’t mind. But I would have loved for the rock sound to add onto the dramatic flair we got. The group handled the song well, despite it containing parts that we all know B.I once filled. There were two parts that I didn’t enjoy. First the trap-like breakdown for the bridge. We all know how overused this is now and it is becoming more and more obvious with each song. And second, iKON keeps on pulling out the anthem card. It is becoming slightly overused and this might ruin the appeal that card has. (8/10)
2. Dive (뛰어들게) (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Dive. (7/10)
3. All The World (온 세상) – We get a blast of 90s energy in this song at the very start, before the song settles for a pop sound. Everything in All The World is very vibrant and lively, a side of iKON that we get to see from time to time. The group’s rapping and vocal delivery really made this song feel so much more energetic and appealing to fans. And based on the comments from other listeners on YouTube, the song’s lyrics add to that regard, as well. Once again, they pull out the anthem card for the end. Here, however, it did feel like it made more sense and helped create a wholesome profile for the song. (8.5/10)
4. Holding On (견딜만해) – Following the same tone and energy as the previous track, Holding On brings in the vibrancy with some brass. Within the instrumental seems to be also some orchestral and classical instruments, all built to form an upbeat and playful track. This is a vocal centric track, containing no rapping sequences. The raspy vocals brought to you by Ju-ne and Bobby was an amazing texture. The ad-libs at the end were pretty good and I loved how the instrumental moulded around them. The chorus was catchy and definitely got me in a good mood (especially since the lyrics give empowerment to those who recently broke up). The song also pulls the anthem card out towards the end, but it was more for a backing rather than straight up singing the final chorus (as previously done in the above songs). (9/10)
5. Flower (너란 바람 따라) – The album ends with a song that is almost like a ballad. When I look at the lyrics of the song, I can’t help but think that iKON is paying homage to their former leader. Lyrics like ‘Hope your way is not painful, Hope you just smile happily’ strongly suggests that mentioned meaning. And I am sure this provokes tears in loyal fans of the group. I really like how the instrumental takes a slightly heavier tone, suitable for the song’s message, as opposed to following the upbeat tone that preceded the track. I also find the instrumental to be rather soothing with the acoustic guitar and violins and in despite the drum beat we do get. Vocally, the group did amazing and Bobby’s rap gave it that little push. (9/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10