R&B artist DEAN recently came back with his first mini album ‘130 Mood : TRBL’. Filled with soul and a rebellious feel, DEAN took inspiration from iconic American actor, James Dean, and put his own spin on the famous “rebel without a cause” featuring hints and clues throughout the album.
Looking up to the image of the Hollywood actor, DEAN not only felt connected in the form of his stage name, but also looking at aspects of the man’s life such as the 130 decal on the side of James Dean’s car for the Salinas Road Races.
DEAN added his own spin to the album through the TRBL aspect. Knowing he never backs down for a challenge, DEAN wanted to express his feelings of rebellion and trouble throughout the extended play in detail such as the cover work, lyrics and music, and even the title of his first album. Let’s take a closer look at ‘130 Mood : TRBL’!
Love is a powerful thing. The known phrase “I have a [crush] on you” holds weight when you first get feelings for someone; but when the love ends and a break up is near, it finally [hits] you like a car crash that it is over. Based on these two thoughts, DEAN made the back of the album a crime scene, and ties that concept throughout the album with sirens, police knocks and lyrics cards in the form of investigation polaroids one could see at a scene. The album is also shaped differently than a normal extended play as the songs go from the end to the beginning, including having to open the album from the back cover as you enter the scene of the crime.
‘130 Mood : TRBL’ uses a lot of symbolism, first being that of a door or room. In songs like ‘Bonnie & Clyde’, ‘I Love It’, ‘D (Half Moon)’ and ‘21’ DEAN incorporates the symbols such as filming both ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ and ‘D (Half Moon)’ in rooms with doors. The reference continues with lyrics like “10:00PM on a Friday night, got no work tomorrow, inside a small room, you and I” on ‘I Love It’ and knocking sounds in ‘21’ along with ending ‘D (Half Moon)’ with knocking on a door. It’s important to know that each time there is knocking throughout the album, it takes on a new meaning.
“But more than that, ‘130 Mood : TRBL’ is an album about love. It travels through the emotion in all its forms, vibrant, hazy, and evocative like a short art film”, according to his agency. If we take a look at the last track, which is actually the start of the story, DEAN sings about falling in love at first sight in ‘21’ and trying to open the door to the heart. In ‘I Love It’, the new couple moves to the next stage of their relationship with intimacy and though the deep sensual sounds, the listeners are able to know his feelings of the new affair. Over time, the relationship unravels and DEAN is left with emptiness of the love being lost from the woman he cared for in ‘D (Half Moon)’. The album’s climax is with ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ as he enters a downward spiral with the break up and is overwhelmed with the pain and stress, begging her to recognise how much he needs and loves her causing imagined violence against her and himself. Suffering the aftermath, DEAN enters his rebellious era and goes on a spree of drinking and debauchery in ‘풀어 (Pour Up)’ until a he receives a call from his ex in ‘어떄’. The outro shows a disarray of emotions and leaves the audience wondering what exactly happened with DEAN and does he move on with a new love or was it a murder? Either way, one can only try to decide what was listener’s fantasy and what was DEAN’s reality.
Each song was written so that with each listen of the album, more parts of the story reveals itself. One thing is for certain, DEAN has created such a beautifully complicated album that just gets better with each listen. DEAN has made mention that he plans on making the “130 Mood” idea into a series of albums, building more on the concept with each new release. For fans of the artist, this is fantastic news as it means DEAN is here to stay and we haven’t seen the last of him yet!
You can get DEAN’s new album on iTunes, and various websites like Kpoptown for the physical copy! What you realise the secrets behind DEAN’s ‘103 Mood : TRBL’? Tell us your thoughts!
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