An incredible comeback from one of the greats and great tracks from the next generation. Featuring FTISLAND, NIK, LUCY, ATEEZ.
“Unthinkable” by FTISLAND
It’s been a long two years since FTISLAND last released new music and perhaps even longer since the group was last together performing. But Hongki, Jaejin and Minhwan return as a trio with the stunning rock ballad “Unthinkable.” FTISLAND is one of the very first Korean artists I ever listened to more than 10 years ago and I’ve been a fan ever since. For many fans, “Unthinkable” will be quintessential FTISLAND. A powerful, breathtaking track with Hongki’s vocals bringing to life those emotional lyrics; something that is to be expected from a band like FTISLAND. Add this as another late entry to my favorite tracks of the year.
The other four tracks on the album Lock Up are a diverse mix of genres infusing the band’s always excellent rock performances.
“Anotokie” by NIK
First of all, Lee Gunmin is a busy boy these days! First with NIK’s official debut then the debut of Triple Seven and then the long-awaited comeback of B.I.G. Now, NIK is back with the release of their first album Project 1 : We Are the Future and the first new track from it is the surprising “Anotokie.” It’s surprising only because the midtempo pop/R&B track is quite different from their debut releases “Santa Monica” and “Universe.” “Anotokie” is a much mellower vibe. And similar in theme to FTISLAND’s “Unthinkable,” speaks to the bittersweet struggle of letting go of a loved one. A different side of the rookie J-pop group. But a very welcome and enjoyable treat showing off the group’s versatility and potential.
“Rolling Rolling” by LUCY
From one of the all-time greats to a great band of the new generation this week, band LUCY has had a great year of releases. And they cap it off with the cheerful, encouraging “Rolling Rolling.” I’m so happy to have gotten to know the band this past year. And their latest track is a great example of the positive, youthful vibes they deliver with every release.
“The Real” by ATEEZ
Not having followed MNET’s Kingdom competition series, this is my first time listening to ATEEZ’s “The Real.” The second of the double title tracks for their Zero : Fever Epilogue album is definitely different from “Turbulence.” This rousing hip-hop track employs a healthy sprinkling of Korean traditional music throughout as the group sings of being confidently themselves.