[Album Review] Mark (1st Mini Album) – Lee Changsub (BTOB)

BTOB is nominated for Best Male Group and Best Vocals. Support BTOB and your other favourite artists in this year’s KPOPREVIEWED Awards by clicking the link here. Voting closes tomorrow night, so make sure you vote!

The final review of the year comes in the form of an album review. Lee Changsub made his solo debut a few weeks back with Gone and listening to his debut mini-album (Mark), I knew I had to write an album review for it. And I will be straightforward with you, I love all the songs on the album. All the songs delve into the rock ballad side of music, which I really like. His album reminds me Kim Sung Gyu’s (from Infinite) work. But we are here for Lee Changsub and Mark.

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Mark Album Cover

1..Way – Starting off this album is Way, which is a soft rock ballad type song which actually got me interested in the album in the first place. This personally my style of songs that I tend to seek for in Western music. The best way to describe Way is that it is pleasant, perfect for a day that you want to just relax and chill. Changsub’s vocals are breezy and float on top of the music, which adds to that pleasant feeling that I have touched upon. It also has a very nice melody and hook, which has me coming back for more. (9/10)

2. SpaceSpace is similar to Way. However, it kicks it up a notch by adding more of that rock element into the song, which definitely adds character and substance to the song. I also enjoyed Changsub’s vocals in the song, which also kicked the song up to an even higher notch. To me, his vocals were versatile in the song, showing slowness when required and the ability to enter into high notes to give the song that needed climax. Overall, another amazing song from the soloist. (9/10)

3. Shelter – Departing from the ballad side of his music, Changsub opted for a rock song mixed with pop elements, which I thought was nice. It is a break from the rock ballad side, which was needed (or else the album would have been too heavy). Once again, Changsub’s vocals were spectacular. His ad-libs were extremely powerful, and I liked how he used them to extend the finale of the song, which I don’t mind because those ad-libs kept on adding to the song (rather than making lengthening it to drag out the time, which would have been unnecessary). (10/10)

4. Ever – All the songs on his album remind me of At The End. But I think Ever comes the closest to his previous solo single. Firstly, I enjoyed how husky his vocals were. But not only that, however, as the way he built up his vocals for the chorus was a winning component of the song. The instrumental was like any other on the album, so there really isn’t much to discuss Though, I thought an electric guitar solo would have added a nice touch and intensity to the song. I really like ‘Whenever… Wherever… Whatever…’ background vocals as well. (9/10)

5. Gone (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Gone. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9/10

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Mark Teaser Image

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[Review] Gone – Lee Changsub (BTOB)

BTOB is nominated for Best Male Group and Best Vocals in this year’s KPOPREVIEWED Awards. If you haven’t voted for BTOB yet (or any of your favourite artists), click here to vote right away!

With the impending military enlistment of Changsub confirmed for next year, he is saying farewell (for the next two years) through a solo debut mini-album titled Mark and the title track, Gone. This isn’t the first time I reviewed Changsub’s solo work, as Changsub released another solo single as part of Piece of BTOB, At The End. BTOB also returned a few weeks back with Hour Moment and the single, Beautiful Pain as a parting gift to their fans before the military enlistment of each member.

Given Changsub’s vocals, it was expected he would go with a song that would show off his vocals. Gone does just that. It is a ballad that has a standard ballad instrumentation but manages to incorporate some flair into the song. The buildup instantly comes out of nowhere, which was a great way of offsetting the slow start to the song, which I felt made the song feel too standard. So, this buildup was definitely needed. His vocals start off really nice, matching that slow, soothing sound. But it built up at the same rate as the instrumentation’s buildup, remaining as the main focus of the song. And I liked how powerful his vocals got, which really gave the song a needed kick. Despite that, I like his soft touch to the ending, which made the song feel like it ended as a complete circle. Overall, a pretty cool solo debut ballad.

The music video features APINK’s Chorong, who I found out are friends in real life, based on what I am reading. I not 100% sure on what the video is about and I have yet to find English lyrics to really give me hints. But here is my take on it. Changsub is a top celebrity, who is tired of his work. He decides for a night out at a small bar, where he meets Chorong, who is a singer at the bar. Chorong is verbally abused for probably being a poor singer and she is about to attack her abuser when Changsub stops her and drags her away. She thanks him by inviting him back to her part-time work to have a soft jam session. He writes a song with her in mind and he performs it at the same bar. He is slightly nervous, but Chorong is present to support him, which leads to a successful performance. It was a nice video to watch, overall.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.6/10