[ALBUM Review] NU’EST W – W,Here EP

Hi!

I know that it’s been a whole damn month since W,HERE was released, but people wanted me to post a full review to it (see the poll results lol), so here I am, with my honest opinion on NU’EST W‘s latest release.

poll review


Release date: October 10, 2017

Title track: Where You At

Tracklist:

01. 하루만 (My beautiful)
02. WHERE YOU AT *Title
03. PARADISE (REN SOLO)
04. GOOD LOVE (ARON SOLO)
05. WITH (JR SOLO)
06. 지금까지 행복했어요 (Thankful to you) (BAEKHO SOLO)


If you still haven’t figured out, I’m a belated NU’EST trash (an official 2nd generation L.O.Λ.E., btw), and I dare to say, NU’EST has one of the best full discographies out of all groups I actually listen to (there’s literally NO song that I dislike, only songs that I like less than others, but still, like), and I have to give thumbs up to the boys for NEVER neglecting music quality.

If you’re interested in the group introduction, here I have links to my old blog where I ranted about them during Wednesday K-pop! with Liliana segment: part 1part 2.

Okay, now back to album review.

Oh god damn. Just what Baekho and Bumzu do with NU’EST music every single time is beyond my imagination. Before I go into analyzing songs, let me just tell you one thing: nothing – NOTHING – up still, until now, can top Canvas album. I’m not saying that W,HERE is not outstanding, because it IS, but just those magical things Baekho and Bumzu did in Canvas album is unbelieveable. K-pop still has to go long way until they can mainstream what NU’EST did in 2016.

WHERE YOU AT is a Future EDM kind of track that perfectly shows NU’EST significant music style. When you listen to it, you might have a thought, “Oh, this is the music NU’EST usually do”, and you’d be damn right. Baekho mentioned in numerous interviews that with this album he had to work a lot more with members’ personal vocal traits that could be clearly shown in new songs, especially since Minhyun is absent until 2019. Now look at this line distribution:

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Baekho did an excellent job at showcasing other members vocal skills, since ALL of them improved so much over 5 years.

There is an opinion that this song wouldn’t have been this good if not for NU’EST members unique vocals. And, to be honest, I completely agree. If Where You At was performed by any other group, I doubt it would receive this much attention. For me personally, there are two key factors for song’s excellence: Baekho’s high-pitch vocals, and JR’s low raspy rap parts. The combination of these two elements, blended by Aron’s higher-ranged raspy voice and Ren’s smooth vocals, makes the title track seriously outstanding. Moreover, I dare to say that Baekho’s voice is made for heavy Future EDM/dubstep kind of songs. (I can give you another great example: Open Up from Produce 101 season 2. Honestly, it was only that good thanks to Dongho’s vocals [don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to look down on other trainees efforts], because, as you can see, it’s really hard to win over a general public with a heavy EDM (and 2017’s trend, if you’re actually interested, was Tropical House – hence Never winning over music charts back in May-June).

The choreography for Where You At quickly became one of my favorites. There’s that thing with NU’EST dances is that they literally convey song lyrics (see FaceSleep Talking, Overcome, Love Paint). Absolutely loved how the choreographer heavily involved back dancers into the whole thing, making living borders/walls in order to express the song meaning.

The aesthetics of music video is beyond amazing. It’s the first time Pledis investing THIS much onto the whole MV production, and let’s be honest: it was damn worth it.


Now onto other tracks in mini-album!

I really loved 하루만 (My beautiful), somehow a little bit more than Where You At. Maybe mainly because I love songs that showcases members’ vocal skills at its full scale, and Haruman definitely belongs to that category.

I apologize in advance to all Tokkidans/Ren’s stans because right now I’m about to say something that might hurt you all.
Out of four solo tracks, I liked Paradise the least. I know it’s Ren’s first time 100% committing to song lyrics, and I know he already said that his lyrics-writing skills are still lacking, but I really have to say that his solo was least attractive. Mainly because of lyrics. Too cheesy for me, although I acknowledge that it was screaming out Ren’s usual fancafe fairy-esque kind of cheesiness. It just wasn’t for me, then.

Baekho’s solo was sort of predictable. Doesn’t make it less valuable, anyways. I loved the strings progression throughout the song, probably that’s the reason Thankful To You managed to grab my attention (yes, I’m a sucker for strings). That strings break in the middle was so good I had goosebumps.

Aron’s Good Love and JR’s With are two on-par songs that I absolutely loved. In Aron’s  solo I totally wasn’t expecting the electric guitar intro with a following transition to a R&B sound (and that guitar kept going on, which is loooove). I love Aron’s vocal tone, seriously. The sexy R&B vibe made me fall in love with the song, especially that iconic piece from highlight medley, where Aron goes, 말해 뭐해 그대는 내 은하수 별~, – I DAMN LOVED the manners Aron used to sing that part. It was sexy. seducing. luring. Call it however you want, but I was instantly sold at that part. His solo deserves a separate sexy choreography. Somebody please make it happen.

What makes JR’s solo the most outstanding is how effortlessly different vocal technics were used together, from whispering, to fierce rap, to soft half-singing/half-rapping, to Bumzu vocal featuring. Oh, and the damn STRINGS. And the lyrics. I don’t know a person who DIDN’T cry over JR’s rap lyrics.

𝓡𝓪𝓽𝓲𝓷𝓰:

Title track – 9/10
MV – 10/10
Album – 8/10

P.S. W,Here is the first album I ever bought in multiple amount (in total of 11) just because I wanted the boys to see their real success, to make them realize that all their dreams are coming true. Lastly, congratulations on getting 2 music show wins (we all cried, really), and receiving Best Entertainer Award (Singer sub-category) on AAA 2017! I'm so proud of you.

5 thoughts on “[ALBUM Review] NU’EST W – W,Here EP

  1. Hello, I kept reminding myself to come on your blog and read this review when I would have time. I finally did it! Thank you for taking time to share your opinion with us and for being sincere with your review. I appreciate these kind of reviews because people like, who are have a wider knowlegde about music terminology and technicality, are always interesting to read. It’s also because I literally have an emotional approach to songs and what my heart likes, my heart likes without any further explanation. I find it fascinating when people can express their thoughts so well.
    I agree about your opinion on Where you at and Haruman, especially the later because even if I enjoy WYAT the most Haruman really showcases their vocal skills the best. However my ranking of the solo songs are reversed in terms of liking.
    Beakho’s song made me cry for 20 minutes straight the first time I’ve listened it with the translation under my eyes. I agree about the strings! I appreciate it as ending of the album because the progression from Haruman to My Beautiful was well managed. Quietly starting yet intensely, quietly finishing with a delicate note that was bittersweet.
    Yes, at Tokkidan reading that Paradise was your last liked has hurt a bit but no offense taken. xD I understood your point of view about the lyrics and it made me reflect again how people have many different thoughts on the same matter. Diversity is really fascinating.
    Putting aside the fact I’m a Ren Stan, personally the lyrics of Paradise are the reason why I like this song so much (but it’s only second to Beakho’s solo). Yeah, you can say they were cheesy in some point and simple as first full experiment of his writing skill but it was endearing to feel his sincerity. Certain lines resonate with me so well, I feel them every time and oh I like how this song gives me such a sesantion of light and hope. I wish for Ren to keep trying and trying, I believe he will surprise us more in time.
    My opinion about Good Love and With mixed. It really depends on my mood when I like one or the other. I can say I like how both have a sophisticated sound and various layers blended together very well.
    Okay that’s all, thank you again for sharing your opinion with us. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Gillian, for taking your time to come here and “finally” read my review! I’ve been waiting for your response 😀

      Like

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