And it is now that time of the week for another album review. Fridays and Sundays are dedicated for the more recent album releases. For example, today we will be diving into Park Ji Hoon’s most recent album release, The W. This is the soloist’s 3rd mini-album since his solo debut last year and it also features the title track, Wing. I have been paying close attention to Park Ji Hoon as his title tracks have been quite dynamic in the past and his albums have been good listens. This one is pretty much the same, so let’s see how it sounds.
1. On The Rise – Usually, I do not review the introductory tracks as there are instrumental-based. Sometimes I do comment on them if they do have a uniqueness to them, but I don’t include them in the rating. But any introductory track that consist vocals will contribute to the rating. And On The Rise falls into the latter category. The song features a similar instrumental as the title track (see the review below), just everything is at a very lower tone and slower pace. Park Ji Hoon also uses his deep voice in this song, which reflects well with the instrumental. The deeper tone does give the song a heaviness, but as it is quite short, it comes off as airy, which is ideal for an opener. The catchy ‘Doom Doom Doom‘ from the title track is featured in this track, but the rest of the lyrics are different. (8/10)
2. Wing (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Wing. (7.5/10)
3. Frequency (주파수) – The start to Frequency was quite promising when I first heard for the first time. Unfortunately, the song just didn’t go in the direction I had wanted with that start. I am a little disappointed about this, but the direction it did end up going in was actually quite good. The song opted for a sleek R&B instrumental, which incorporated a really cool piano and squeaky synth combo instrumental break during the bridge that gave the song unexpected life. Otherwise, I would have said that the song went with a slow burning form of R&B. I also did like the rest of the instrumental, when the piano would peek through and there were some funky synths presents to further add some appealing details to the background. Park Ji Hoon actually sounds pretty good here and I liked when he switches to a rap-speaking delivery for a brief moment. Usually, I want more. But I feel like the song does justice with his vocals, which I felt more drawn to. (9/10)
4. Driving – Another great start to a song on this album. This time around, I didn’t have much expectations for it. So Driving ran its course and at the end, I am naturally reaching for the replay button. The song starts with a slow pop type of vibe. It was interesting to note that they returned to this slow pop vibe throughout the track and I liked that, as if they were reminding us of the song’s roots. But what I really liked about the song the most was the fast tempo chorus. In terms of the tempo and melodies, it is quite different to the how the song started and I liked that contrast. The bass helped it become dynamic and energetic. The song would be perfect for when you are driving with the windows down on a nice bright sunny day. Park Ji Hoon’s vocal was very nice. The rapping was good, but I felt that the producers could have taken that sequence up a notch by giving it some more texture in the instrumental. (9/10)
5. Paradise – Paradise combines and mashes different styles, all falling under the realm of EDM. But I think it fits under the house genre, overall. The song seems to play around with texture for a bit. Nothing crazy or concerning, actually relatively tame when you think about it. It starts off with a relatively smooth instrumental and features a very straight forward melody, which made it appeal to those who may want something ‘simple’. The chorus changes up with a more complicated and textural deep house style. At first, the combination of the two seems to not go hand-in-hand, but it slowly grows on you. Unlike the title track, we are eased into the change for a brief few seconds. And this change was minute and didn’t cut the flow of the song, which was an issue in the title track. I liked his husky vocals in this song, which added more texture of the song. (8/10)
5. Let’s Love – It isn’t Summer until you hear some tropical beats in a song. As I have noted in past reviews, it is still in its refreshing stage due to the limited number of tropical 2020 tracks. I do note that the number of these tracks is slowly growing and maybe a few more might remind me of how tiring the genre really is. While that is the current situation for tropical influenced numbers overall, I just don’t hear anything that special with this track to warrant much discussion, apart from the use of piano-like synth in the instrumental. And for that, I find it rather typical sounding. Even Park Ji Hoon’s vocals came off in that manner and probably earns the title for the most skipable track on the album. (7/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.1/10