October K-Pop Comeback Reviews #1 // the rose, ikon, nct 127, monsta x, kim donghun & ateez

There was (again) loads of amazing comebacks this month. This post will be the boy version and then I will also come out with a post where I review the comebacks from female idols! This post will be long since there are a lot of groups so let’s get right into it!

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The Rose – Dawn

therosedawntracklist

About: A band of 4 members under J&Star Company. Debuted on August 23, 2017 with the single ‘Sorry’, which instantly became a hit. Fans are called ‘Black Rose’.

Members: Woosung (Sammy), Dojoon (Leo), Hajoon (Dylan), and Jaehyeong (Jeff).

Fun Fact(s): Woosung is from Los Angeles, USA and was the last member to join the band. Dojoon lived in New Zealand for 5 years and was in a band called Windfall with Hajoon and Jaehyeong before.

Take Me Down – Woosung’s voice sounds great as always, the instruments themselves are beautifully included in the song’s background. There’s a nice balance with the keyboard, the steady beat of the drum, and the guitar. 3/5

She’s in the Rain* – Dajoon started this song instead and his voice is more deeper and soulful than Woosung, so I liked that he started the song before switching to Woosung. There’s a lyric where he sings “she wants to look alright but she’s dying inside. why, why, why”. The lyrics also change from “she’s in the rain” to “we’re in the rain” which is a subtle change but makes all the difference in the meaning of the song, which is him staying with her through the toughest of times. 4/5

Insomnia – This song is more about sadness inside yourself (I think, that’s the vibe I got). It has a sad, inner conflict, feeling. 3.5/5

I Don’t Know You – All the rest of the songs on this album so far have been slow so it’s nice to have this song. It’s more loud and the vocalist’s voices are more pronounced rather than quiet and emotional. It’s more of the loud emotional like from their first album, and how I would describe Coldplay. 4/5

She’s in the Rain (Instrumental) – I really like the instrumental versions for actual bands such as The Rose and Day6. Obviously because they’re actual bands that play instruments, but they also have such distinct sounds to their music. Even if I’m listening to just the instrumental I can tell who the group is. 3.5/5

Overall – I liked this comeback. It was different from the first mini album they put out last year, which is good, but I was also a bit… underwhelmed with some of the songs? Don’t get me wrong, the songs were all great, but they kind of sounded less unique compared to their last album which had a really unique sound. A lot of the songs on this album sounded like I’ve heard something similar before. 3.6 Stars

iKON – New Kids: The Final

thefinalikontracklist

About: A boy group of 7 members, created by YG Entertainment. They debuted on September 15, 2015. The group was first introduced in the reality survival program WIN: Who is Next as “Team B.” After that, Team B went on to appear in the 2014 reality survival program Mix & Match, which determined the final seven-member lineup. Fandom name is ikonics.

Members: B.I, Jay, Song, Bobby, DK, Jun-e, and Chan.

Fun Fact(s): Before their official debut, the group performed in December 2014 as the opening act for BigBang at their Japan Dome Tour.

Goodbye Road* – I really love this song. It’s much different than most of their other title tracks. It’s more meaningful and emotional and I really loved that. It shows how diverse iKON is as a group. Their party bops are great but I like what they decided to do in 2018 so far. 5/5

Don’t Let Me Know – I loved the beginning of this song. iKON is a group that has great entrances to their songs. They reel you in from the beginning which is really important in a group’s music for me. If I don’t like how a song starts there’s a big chance I won’t like the song. 4/5

Adore You – iKON gives me a lot of BigBang vibes (probably since they’re from the same company). With most of BigBang in the military right now, I think this was their perfect chance to shine. I say that because they master the slower songs just as well as their party anthems. This is another one of those. 4/5

Perfect – Opening up with the vocals. I like that. The thing with iKON is that their songs are usually very hip hop-based which means rapping takes the forefront and the vocal line isn’t overshadowed, but you don’t notice their voices as much as the rappers. This EP has let the vocal line show off. 4/5

Overall – I haven’t listened to an entire iKON album (though this was just an EP) so I’m not quite sure if they usually have a lot of slower songs as their side tracks, but I love what they did with this album. All of the songs sounded really meaningful and emotional, even the title track. Making the title track slower is a risk but they handled it perfectly. 4.3 Stars

NCT 127 – Regular Irregular

regularirregularnct127tracklist

About: The 2nd sub-unit of the boy group NCT. The sub-unit currently consists of 10 members. They debuted on July 7, 2016 under SM Entertainment. Fans are called NCTzen.

Members: Taeyong, Taeil, Johnny, Doyoung, Yuta, Jaehyun, Win Win, Jungwoo, Mark, and Haechan.

Fun Fact(s): Johnny was born in Chicago, USA and Mark was born in Vancouver, Canada so they both speak Korean and English. Yuta is Japanese, and Win Win is Chinese. Jaehyun speaks fluent English because he lived in the USA for 4 years.

City 127 – Oooh this is slower. With a name like ‘City 127’ I was expecting something more hype, but I’m happy it’s not. Also, the 127 in their name is the coordinates to Seoul I believe so my theory is that this song is an ode to Seoul as a city? 4/5

Fly Away With Me – Those vocals at the beginning though. I don’t know who that was but that was a nice entrance to the song. This song gives me EXO vibes from the sort of R&B sound I’m getting. If you listen to EXO you’ll know what I mean. The members do a lot of harmonizing together. It’s a good song. 3.5/5

Come Back – I really like this song. I hear more of NCT‘s signature bass sound in the beat in this song, which I was missing in the last two songs. The rappers also started the song, which is always nice. Mark and Taeyong are some of the best rappers in K-Pop right now. 4/5

Replay (PM 01:27) – Ooooooh this song. It has an electronic-house feel but it works SO well. Whoever put together the beat for this song knows exactly what sounds good with their voices. I think this song was made to appeal more to the American listeners, which I usually don’t like, but this wasn’t bad at all. 3.5/5

My Van – I… don’t know what to think?? This sounds like it’s only Mark and Taeyong rapping, which I said I like. They are great rappers… I just don’t know? This song just sounds a bit creepy and shady (given the title of the song). BUT. It’s not bad. Just not my style. 3/5

Knock On – This song put me in a trance haha. I can only imagine how great it would be if I had really nice headphones. 3.5/5

Regular (Korean Version) – I love this song. I’ve already heard it about 6 times because I couldn’t help myself. Unfortunately the English song was made as the title track but not the Korean version? I get it, they want to appeal to the American audience, but still. I prefer the Korean version. I also love the music video and choreography. 4.5/5

Interlude: Regular to Irregular – I think it’s extremely cool how they added an interlude to this album! I’ve only seen it done in two other K-Pop albums I think? And this one is much different. There’s a piano and (cello?) and then one of the members talking. The last minute is louder and more epic, mixing in intense noises and electronic beats. This would also be epic with a nice pair of headphones. 4/5

Regular (English Version) – Here’s the English version. In English it reminds me of ‘I Like It’ by Cardi B (the members said the song has heavy Latin influences). The reason I like the Korean version more is because it talks more about how they worked hard to get the money and fame they have now but in the English version, they sing more about the diamonds and gold more than how they worked hard for what they have now. If that makes any sense. Anyway, it’s still good considering they altered the English version in order to fit American music. I also prefer the music video for this version. 4.5/5

No Longer – Slow song time! I have a big love for Korean slow songs. I don’t know what it is but they make me feel all of the feels. I guess it’s like when you go to the Opera. You don’t understand what they’re singing but the singing is filled with so much emotion and feeling that you end up crying by the end. I also might associate these types of songs with K-Dramas. 4/5

Run Back 2 U – So this is a bonus track! From the beginning I’m happy they added this to the album haha. Although the rest of the album is great, but I needed something fast and dance-influenced so this was perfect of them to add it in the album as a bonus track. It’s not my favorite of the album solely because it’s not my style but I appreciate it for what it is. 3/5

Overall – This was NCT 127’s first full album, I believe. I think the songs in here were strong. Most of them were pretty slow and/or quiet, different than what I was expecting. The other groups I reviewed in this post so far are doing the same thing which I LOVE! It shows versatility. 3.8 Stars

Monsta X – Take.1 Are You There?

areyoutheremx

About: They’re a 7 member group formed from the Mnet survival show No.Mercy in 2015 and debuted in May 2015 under Starship Entertainment. Fandom name is Monbebe.

Members: Shownu, Jooheon, I.M, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Wonho, and Minhyuk

Fun Fact(s): Shownu used to be a JYP Trainee with GOT7 and a backup dancer for Lee Hyori. Hyungwon was a model before joining Monsta X and is a DJ under the name H.One. Jooheon used to be part of the K-Pop boy group Nuboyz. I.M used to be part of the group Nu’bility. Jooheon and I.M both speak English.

INTRO: ARE YOU THERE? – Monsta X have never done an intro for their albums yet and honestly this was a great intro. I don’t really have many things to say about intros since they’re short and technically not songs but this was a good intro. 3/5

Underwater* – This has become one of my favorite songs off the album. The person that composed this song composed ‘Destroyer’ and another one of their songs I think. The song is just really beautiful. I can hear Shownu’s voice a lot in this song (and the rest of this album) which I love, he’s an underrated vocalist. 4.5/5

Shoot Out* – This is a nice title track. People keep saying it’s like ‘Dramarama’, ‘All In’, ‘Trespass’, ‘Beautiful’, ‘Shine Forever’, and basically all of their title tracks mixed into one. I’m not sure if I like this song more than those title tracks or not but it’s definitely a great title track. 4.5/5

Heart Attack* – This is also one of my favorites off the album. I didn’t know what to think when it started but I got really hyped by the end of the song. The chorus reminds me of EXO in some ways – just the way their line delivery is really sharp and fast. It’s a good song. 4/5

**yes i miss exo that’s why i’m mentioning them so often

I Do Love U – This is a slower song, something Monsta X does really well despite being known for their hard, loud beats. I heard a lot of Shownu in this song (again) which I love. 3.5/5

MOHAE – I THINK HYUNGWON BEGAN THIS SONG!! I got a bit too excited about this haha. He never gets lines so having him get lines for the first like 5 seconds of the song makes me happy. This is another slower song, but it’s made faster by the escalating beats in the background and Kihyun’s strong vocals. 4/5

Oh My – This is my favorite song from the album!!!! It’s repetitive, of course, but it’s not annoying. You can clearly hear all of the member’s voices (i even heard minhyuk!) It’s just a great song. 5/5

Myself – Is that Hyungwon at the beginning again…? If so it was brilliant to transition between Hyungwon (since he has a deeper voice) and Changkyun’s rapping. Then the rest of the vocals come in and ughhhh this song is really good. Oh I hear Hyungwon again abfsofhfwobw they’re actually giving him lines!! 4.5/5

By My Side – Another slow song but I’m definitely not complaining. It evens out the album to have slow and fast songs, so this was a great addition. I got to hear all of their great vocals too so I liked that. 3.5/5

Spotlight (Korean Version) – I love Monsta X‘s Japanese releases. I think everyone was excited when they announced that there would be a Korean version (or at least I was haha). 4/5

Overall – This is by far my favorite album from Monsta X. This is their second full-length album, I think, and it’s absolutely brilliant. Every song is so unique and I love them each for a different reason. There’s songs I like more than others but every single song off of this album is a masterpiece. 4.1 Stars

Kim Donghan – D Night

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About: He competed in the reality survival show Produce 101, and later debuted in the boy band JBJ. After the disbandment of JBJ, he became a soloist under OUI Entertainment. He debuted as a solo artist on June 19, 2018.

Fun Fact(s): He was part of a dance group called DOB. He was also part of a dance team called The Face before joining DOB. His specialties are aikido (Japanese martial arts), hapkido (Korean martial arts), and cover dances.

Born – The second this song started I was already in love. The way he sings “Born” in that high voice is kind of addicting and I love how it repeats throughout the song. It makes me think of something Taemin or Jonghyun would do in their songs. 4/5

Call My Name – This is a good song but it’s nothing special for me. I would definitely listen to it and now skip when it comes on my playlist but it’s not like *wow*. 3/5

Good Night Kiss* – Like ‘Born’, this song hooked my attention from the beginning. It actually sounds like he’s rapping a little bit?? This surprises me (as you’d expect). I think I might like ‘Born’ slightly more but this was still a good song. 4/5

Tipsy – The title for this song is perfect. The song has a vibe that makes you believe the song itself is ‘Tipsy’ because of the weird beat and the song itself kinda alters and turns itself side to side and around like you’re dancing or tipsy. 3.5/5

Don’t Go Yet – This is slower and relies more on Donghan’s vocals, the background drum and guitar. It was alright. 3/5

Overall – I’m not sure if I like this EP or ‘D-Day’ more. This EP seems like he’s exploring more different sounds than in the first one which I like, but I’m not quite sure which I like more because they both sound very different from each other.  3.5 Stars

ATEEZ – TREASURE EP.1: All to Zero

treasureateeztracklist

About: They used to be called KQ Fellaz until changing their name to ATEEZ. They’re an 8-member group under KQ Entertainment and debuted on October 24, 2018.

Members: Hongjoong, Seonghwa, Yunho, Yeosang, San, Mingi, Wooyoung, and Jongdo

Fun Fact(s): The original lineup for the group originally had 9 members but Jungyoung left the group before debut. Hongjoong, Mingi, Wooyoung, and Jongho were contestants on MIXNINE. Many of them are fans of BTS and see them as role models.

Intro: Long Journey – That was an epic intro!! It sounded like something from Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack and the intro was all spoken in English too. All of the members had a long journey to this debut (ie: the intro title) and this is the intro to the group as a whole. I think they did a great job. 4/5

Pirate King – This was a hype song in every sense of the word. The rappers were on fire, the beat was fast and the instrumentals were loud. I really enjoyed this song. 4/5

Treasure – I actually already listened to this because I watched the music video. It’s more clean, fresh, and free than ‘Pirate King’. I like both songs for different reasons. I feel like this song would appeal more to a Western fan base BUT it’s still very K-Pop. 4/5

Twilight – I want to say that I get tropical vibes from all of the songs so far but it’s not quite tropical, or Latin. I’m not quite sure what to call it. Caribbean? I hear flutes in the background of this song as well as something else you’d expect from a summer song. The song itself doesn’t feel too special, but it is a good song and sounds refreshing. 3.5/5

Stay – This is using some similar instrumentals as the last few songs mixed in with other beats to make it more interesting. This was an okay song. I don’t know if I’d really listen to it again or not. 2.5/5

My Way – Starting with the rappers. Nice choice. I like it a lot. 3.5/5

Overall – I love this entire pirate/treasure concept. I’m so happy this group finally debuted. I’ve been following their Instagram account for months now waiting for their debut and now they finally made it. They’ve already gained a lot of traction from their debut which I’m really happy about. They’re going to get big, mark my words. 3.6 Stars.

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This post was not meant to be this long, I promise. It could’ve been longer but I forgot to include Stray Kids and I’m too lazy to add it now. If you’re interested on my opinions for their comeback just ask and I’ll let you know.

Sometime later this week expect another comeback review post for the girls! I haven’t listened to them all yet so it’ll probably be up on Friday.

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3 thoughts on “October K-Pop Comeback Reviews #1 // the rose, ikon, nct 127, monsta x, kim donghun & ateez

  1. Pingback: October K-Pop Comeback Reviews #2 // fromis_9, iu, weki meki, iz*one, april & jeong eun ji | The Book Prophet

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