Beast’s Yoseob, one of the best vocalists in the idol industry, has finally released his solo album! Is this great news or what? “The First Collage” consists of five innovative tracks composed and produced by none other than Yong Junhyung, Beast’s rapper. Aside from being featured in various other songs, it’s been known that Junhyung is one of the few idols who have been producing successful tracks for his group as well as for other project songs and collaborations. So not only do we get to enjoy Yoseob’s extraordinary vocals, we also get to experience more of Junhyung’s musical creations! This alliance has got to be one of the best in Kpop history and I’m sure B2utys are in for quite a delicious treat.
The first track is called “Look at Me Now” and it has an upbeat and funky sound. There’s a very prevalent beat that is steady throughout the song, making it fun to dance to. There’s also a specific part in the song where it sounds rather similar to “Wings”, Daesung’s solo from Big Bang’s “Alive” mini album. The song depicts a sincere and confident confession. Yoseob’s voice in this track is not as powerful as it can be but the charm behind his suppressed vocals still makes him sound very alluring.
“Caffeine”, the title song featuring Junhyung, follows up next with a smoother and slower R&B melody. The acoustic guitar piece at the beginning of the song was a very nice touch to the overall song and that was probably made me like the song so much. It complimented Yoseob’s silky vocals so well. The song compares the act of trying to get over a broken relationship and the ex-lover herself to caffeine, meaning that the person is who is trying to forget is forced to lay awake, lost in endless thoughts for he is still addicted to the memories he shared with her. The music video was straightforward; it was filmed in a bar/café like room and there wasn’t anything too extravagant about the setting. Despite this simplicity, it also ironically reminded me of Junsu’s “Tarantellera” music video which exhibits almost the exact opposite form of visual appeal. Maybe it’s the fact that both music videos use similar lighting and that’s why they feel like opposite parallels. The only thing that bothered me about this song was the English lyrics from the refrain because it was grammatically incorrect. The refrain was quite catchy though, so I guess that fact made up for the grammatical error. However I do have to admit that I was a bit disappointed with this track. It’s not that I don’t like the song, I was just expecting something more.
We’re in for another sad break up song with this next track. “Just Do as You Did” pleas for a happy though heartfelt parting between two people who have grown apart. Although the lyrics are so sad, this song actually sounds a bit blissful and it’s very soothing to listen to. I guess all goodbyes are bittersweet and like this song, although farewells are sad now, the sun is still shining brightly as we look ahead into our future.
The fourth track is called “Even Then I” and it is heavily based in Jazz. I love the whole feel of the song because it’s so soft and light. Yoseob’s voice is so angelic in this track that it sounds like a lullaby, causing me to almost slip away into sweet and peaceful slumber. This makes me wish that this song was a carefree and happy one but no, it is yet again another sad love song. Still, I like this song the best out of all of the tracks in this album.
The closing track is “You Don’t Know” and this time around, this song is a happy and cheerful one. The meter arrangement picks up again as well, causing listeners to pay closer attention to the song and Yoseob’s voice. The discreet whistle in the background also adds more to the song’s radiant and untroubled mood. In regards to the lyrics, it expresses the happiness of a one sided love, which is a refreshing change of scenery because not many songs ever showcase the giddy and tingling sensations that come along with secret crushes. “You Don’t Know” is a cute song that brought smiles to my face and I appreciate the fact that Yoseob allowed us to experience a happy, though slightly lonesome, ending for his album.
I actually am not sure where I stand in regards to how I feel about this album. Was it good? Was it bad? “The First Collage” was neither of those things, it was just so-so. I actually feel a bit empty after I finished listening to all of the tracks. I just expected and wanted so much more, that’s all. I mean come on, it’s Yoseob! He is definitely capable of providing a lot more than what he gave us in this album and I honestly think that Junhyung held back with these tracks. “The First Collage” seems to be an album that is just testing out the waters, an experiment of some sort? On the other hand, maybe they intended for this album to be light and simple; after all, it is only Yoseob’s first solo release. So instead of an expected powerful use of vocals and heavily arranged songs, both singer and composer wanted to express a different side of themselves. I guess that’s fine; I did enjoy the song after all, just lay it all out next time! How do you feel about the album? If you haven’t listened to it yet, go do so and tell us what you think!
This is the music video for “Caffeine”.
Review By: Samantha Her
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