Excellent comebacks from KINGDOM, CNBLUE, SEVENTEEN and Nam Woohyun.
“Black Crown” by KINGDOM
KINGDOM just continues to wow. The most epic K-pop group out there, they’ve had an amazing debut year. And the third part of their ongoing series is another excellent release from them. If you aren’t familiar with the group, they have established a concept that can’t be called anything but epic. The grand narrative each of their title tracks contribute to is so fascinating and awe-inspiring to follow. “Black Crown,” their latest, is another breathtaking chapter. Performance, vocals, visuals; it’s all here. The dramatic, engrossing performance sets KINGDOM apart from pretty much every other group out there. A unique sound and style that no other group has truly attempted on this scale. And it’s not over yet.
What’s even more awesome is the rest of their albums contain great music that might suit a more mainstream taste compared to their title tracks. But that merely showcases the group’s talent and versatility. A few of their album tracks might just make my favorite list at the end of the year. That includes “Fallen Star” from this album as well.
“Love Cut” by CNBLUE
It’s been almost a year since the last CNBLUE release, so their new album Wanted is a very welcome arrival. Their title track “Love Cut” is a fun, familiar sound that fans of the band will no doubt love and appreciate. And it is accompanied by an equally fun music video. “Nothing,” from the album, is also quintessential CNBLUE. And songs like “99%,” “Hold Me Back” and “Time Capsule” are great, funky tracks that make Wanted a well-rounded showcase.
“Rock With You” by SEVENTEEN
If you asked me which SEVENTEEN I prefer, it’s definitely the SEVENTEEN that churns out a song like “Rock With You.” It’s the kind of song that’s right up my alley. The rock-infused track’s pre-chorus is especially wonderful before it kicks in to the catchy refrain. The energetic track’s passionate lyrics show off the group’s mature side. Of course their fun sides that we see from time to time with their releases are great too. But “Rock With You” is definitely more my speed.
“Calm & Passion” by Nam Woo Hyun
INFINITE’s Nam Woo Hyun makes his first comeback since completing his military service and “Calm & Passion” is a sultry R&B song about a bad breakup. An impactful and more mature comeback for him to lead off a strong album. “Alone” is a similarly sultry and pensive track while “Lonely Night” (my favorite off the album) shares the dreamy vibe. R&B ballad “Somehow (My Diary)” has Woo Hyun show off his smooth vocals while the album wraps up with the bright “A Song For You.”