With so many groups and artists having comebacks recently, it’s time for another music release roundup! This edition will feature BLACKPINK, Crush, I.O.I, Jay Park, Hyolyn of SISTAR and Grace. Read on to find out more!
The eagerly anticipated second album from YG’s newest girl group is titled ‘Square Two’. MVs were shot for new tracks ‘Stay’ and ‘Playing with Fire’. ‘Stay’ showcases BLACKPINK’s ability to tackle a ballad for the first time. The use of a harmonica in the accompaniment gives an effective nostalgic feel and incorporation of background claps that come to the fore help the song pick up the pace. ‘Playing with Fire’ changes up their style once more to great effect. Our pick of the album, ‘Playing with Fire’ gets the best out of the members, utilising their vocal tones well, and Lisa gets to shine with her rap breaks. Not as aggressive as previously released track ‘Boombayah’, this track feels more balanced with less contrasting sections. Check out the official MV below. The album also includes an acoustic version of ‘Whistle’ with the original vocals overlaid onto an acoustic instrumental backing track.
Crush came back with an EP called ‘Wonderlust’ with a total of 5 tracks. The title track is ‘Fall’ (which has an MV), a beautifully smooth song. The piano is a perfect accompaniment to Crush’s voice, but when it drops away for a short section, you can really hear the quality in his delivery. ‘Wanderlust’ is an up-tempo, introduction to the album, giving a futuristic and funk vibe. In ‘2411’, Crush ventures into rap to contrast against his vocals. Our pick from this album is ‘Nostalgia’ in which Crush sings about comforting a loved one.
All members of I.O.I reunite for the last time with mini album ‘Miss me?’ Aside from the JYP penned lead single ‘Very, Very, Very’ that is being promoted at the moment (fully reviewed here), ‘Hold on’ is a slower song with a mature sound and pleasant melody. ‘More, more’ is a track very much in keeping with the ‘in trend’ sound for Kpop at the moment. ‘Ping Pong’ (has a similar sound to Red Velvet) and ‘M-Maybe’ (which builds on the style adopted for ‘Whatta Man’) make up the remainder of the album.
Jay Park released an LP, ‘Everything You Wanted’. Working together with long time collaborator Cha Cha Malone, Jay Park has put together a solid R&B LP, with a list of 19 tracks for listeners to enjoy. We liked ‘Me Like Yuh’ and ‘All I Wanna Do’ most in this outing, and these are also available as Jay Park only versions, without featurings.
Hyolyn has another solo comeback in the pipeline, and in the meantime has a pre-release song called ‘One Step’ that features Jay Park’s vocals to build up anticipation for fans. Hyolyn shows a different side to herself in the MV, acting slightly coy and flirty for the video. Keeping busy, Hyolyn also has a single out that features rapper Dok2, titled ‘Love Like This’. The MV was shot entirely in black and white, simply highlighting Hyolyn doing and enjoying what she does best.
The eccentric singer, Grace has a single release. A timely song titled ‘Trick or Treat’, that seems apt for Halloween! The beat is simple but intense, sounding like it would be used in an underground track.
It was a tough choice this time round but our pick of all of these releases is ‘Playing with Fire’ by BLACKPINK! (Crush’s ‘Nostalgia’ came a close second, highly recommended to take a listen to that one too!)
Featured image source: © Square Two. YG Entertainment. 03.02.2017. Mnet website.