[Album Review] Emergency: Quantum Leap (1st Mini Album) – X1

So, I have been a bit busy with my week off. A lot do to for my studies, so it wasn’t really a week off. And that means I didn’t get around to posting my album review yesterday. Well, don’t fret as I will be posting it today! I have decided to push the Japanese reviews to next week onwards because of this. Today we will be leaping into X1’s first mini-album, Emergency: Quantum Leap. It seems like both the album and their title track (Flash) is a major hit with fans and listeners alike, as the group have been topping album charts and weekly music shows consistently this week! Congratulations to the group! But let’s see if the album is worth the attention.

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Emergency: Quantum Leap Album Cover

1. Stand Up (Intro Track) – This introductory track opens with a bit of piano, making you think they are going with a soft approach to ease us in. But in a matter of seconds, the group changes into a harsh rock-like track. It is a great opener, full of energy to drive interest towards this new (and expectedly popular) group. We got solid vocals and rapping from the members, which I think did enough to showcase themselves. It is catchy and there was a fun vibe to it. I would have liked to hear this song extended into a full track. With a few changeups, I think this would have been a fabulous contender for the title track position. (9/10)

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

3. Like Always (웃을 때 제일 예뻐)Like Always opens with someone typing. It might be random but given the song’s lyrics, it might be alluding to typing out a confession letter/email to their lover. It was also a nice lead in to the rest of the song, as the song opted for colourful and lively percussion synths. The verses were positioned in the pop genre and I thought showcased an impressive set of the vocals from the members. The chorus takes a turn to the industry trends, opting for a synth-heavy electronic dance-based instrumental. It was robust and was a nice changeup in my opinion. Some might think the two styles clash but I thought it was fine. The rapping was pretty good, but I have to admit it wasn’t nearly as exciting as the rest of the song. (8.5/10)

4. I’m Here For You (괜찮아요) – It is expected that there is a ballad on the album. I think all the Produce 101 resultant group’s first albums contained a ballad that says thanks to their fans. It is also a very different sound to the group, given that all the songs were more dance tracks on the album. I am sure fans of the group (and of the survival show’s latest season) would find the song touching. For the song, I thought the vocals sounded nice throughout the track. The ballad melody was fluid and well-paced. I thought the rapping was a nice touch. Not many individuals can tweak their rapping abilities to fit ballads, but X1’s rappers do a splendid job here. Instrumentally, the track was a little dry. But still, a nice track for fans. (8/10)

5. U GOT IT (X1 Version)U GOT IT was first released during Produce X 101. I have previously reviewed it and you can find the review for it by clicking on this link. As it forms part of this album review, I will give it a rating based on X1’s version. (8/10)

6. Move (움직여) (X1 Version)Move was first released during Produce X 101. I have previously reviewed it and you can find the review for it by clicking on this link. As it forms part of this album review, I will give it a rating based on X1’s version. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10

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Emergency: Quantum Leap Teaser Image

[Review] Flash – X1

And now we move onto that big debut that I mentioned in my previous review. Back in July of this year, Produce X 101 wrapped up their season by announcing the trainees that will be going on to debut as part of X1 (i.e. the Top 10 plus the member with the most points throughout the entire season). A huge congratulations to Kim Yo Han, Kim Woo Seok, Han Seung Woo, Song Hyeong Jun, Cho Seung Youn, Son Dong Pyo, Lee Han Gyul, Nam Do Hyun, Cha Jun Ho, Kang Min Hee and Lee Eun Sang for making their debut yesterday with Flash.

I did tweet (my shameless plug to advertise I have a Twitter that you can follow to get up-to-date news about where reviews are at!) last night that Flash is quite good. And that statement does still stand to an extent. The dance track definitely has intensity and this builds throughout the song. The instrumental also felt very dynamic at certain points of the song, which goes hand-in-hand with the intensity. I thought the pre-chorus was probably the main highlight point of the song, as it was where that intensity was felt the strongest. Following closely behind would have to be the closing chorus of the song, which brought upon some impressive adlibs. But the keyword a while back was ‘…to an extent’. While we were on the topic of vocals, I have to point out that they didn’t have a backing that could have made them flourish. Instead, it resulted in them feeling quite neutral. The second disappointment of the track was the drop. While it was okay, I expected something with a little more striking, especially following that cool pre-chorus.

The music video had an artsy side, which I think appealed to me. If you know me, I really like visuals. And the sets were very aesthetically pleasing. The various sets that could be seen in this video looked amazing. My favourite had to be the big half X in the background. I also really liked the use of black, red and lights in that set. The green light set wasn’t that good looking and the streamers made it look constricting and elementary. While the music video did opt for a standard closeup and choreography combination, I thought the video turned out well for their debut.

The choreography is definitely intense. That is the only direction you could go with a song of this nature. There was a little generic atmosphere at the start. But I really enjoyed the fierceness and power that came from the final section of the choreography. I also like their ‘Flash‘ pose.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8/10