[Review] Wanna One – Light (+ unit songs from “1÷x=1: Undivided” album)

It’s been exactly three months since Wanna One’s last comeback, and here they are again with newest mini-album 1÷x=1: Undivided. This album is special: instead of full-group songs only, Undivided consists of 1 title group track Light, and 4 unit songs, the formation and production of which were broadcasted on Mnet through variety show Wanna One Go: X-Con.

Usually I would just review a title track, and judged by its quality decide to whether check the rest of the album or not, but with Wanna One, I usually check from top to bottom without prior evaluating of the title track. Which, I’d say, is not always satisfying. Let’s check this one?


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Wanna One – 1÷x=1: Undivided

Release date: June 4, 2018

Tracklist:

01. 켜줘 (Light) *Title
02. 캥거루 (Kangaroo) (Prod. ZICO) – Triple Position
03. 영원+1 (Prod. NELL) – Lean On Me
04. 모래시계 (Prod. 헤이즈) – The Heal
05. 11 (Prod. 다이나믹듀오) – Number One


As I was very disappointed with last album’s title track Boomerang, this time the boys came back with a song somewhat better than the mentioned, but still very unimpressive and generic to my own ear. Light follows Boomerang with that heavy beat and dubstep/EDM elements, but what sets you off the most is how colorless the vocal line became with the amount of autotune used on mixing/engineering stage. You can clearly hear that if you compare Light with Energetic. This time I barely could differentiate the voices, even of those most distinctive vocalists like Sungwoon, Daehwi and Seongwu. This title track also heavily reminded me of Jinsoul’s (LOONA) solo song Singing In The Rainspecifically in the chorus part. It’s really upsetting that after such mastepieces as Energetic and Beautiful, Wanna One keeps receiving such generic title tracks that doesn’t highlight each member’s vocal charms. Please ask Hui and FlowBlow to produce another piece of art for these talented boys.

The music video was as boring and unconnected to song meaning/lyrics as Boomerang was, and oh my god, please allow me to facepalm over the lyrics again. At least if you want to make a song sound relevant, make a visual sequence connected to it. The only song that had that kind of perfect connection was Beautiful.


Now going onto the unit songs. I will highlight what I liked the most in each track.

  • Kangaroo (Prod. ZICO) – Triple Position (Jaehwan, Daniel, Woojin): Zico always was listed among trustable composers/producers, so I had no doubts Kangaroo is going to be musically interesting. It’s a super fun track, and the piano in it sounded so playful! Also it’s a chance to see a new side of usually sentimentally powerful vocalist Jaehwan. See the performance here.
  • Forever and A Day (Prod. NELL) – Lean On Me (Sungwoon, Jisung, Minhyun): With all my love for Hwang Minhyun and Yoon Jisung, I have to say that I wasn’t overly impressed with this ballad track. Partially it’s because of the line distribution, but I don’t want to go way too deep into disputes, so let me just say that I didn’t really like it. See the performance here.
  • Sandglass/Hourglass (Prod. HEIZE) – The Heal (Seongwu, Daehwi): Hands down best unit song in this whole pack (followed by Kangaroo). Vocals on point, melody on point, lyrics on point. Heize’s featuring was a cherry on a top of this tasty cake. The song is very Heize-y, I love it so so much. The combination of Seongwu’s and Daehwi’s voices is amazing. See the performance here.
  • 11 (Prod. DYNAMIC DUO) – Number One (Jinyoung, Jihoon, Kuanlin): I always feel uncomfortable when I hear a sexy sounding R&B kind of track performed by minors… No matter how good the song mind sound (like in this case), I just can’t bring myself to fully enjoy it. But putting that aside, the work is well done, and definitely 807% better than Light. See the performance here.

𝓡𝓪𝓽𝓲𝓷𝓰:

Title track – 6/10
MV – 5/10

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