Album Review: CNBLUE’s 7°CN

Release Date: March 20, 2017

 

Track List:

  1. 헷갈리게 (Between Us)
  2. It’s You
  3. 끊지마 (Calling You)
  4. When I Was Young
  5. 마니또 (Manito)
  6. Royal Rumble

 

Total Runtime: 00: 22 : 54

 

Recommended for: K-rock goers and those who prefer band music.

 

NOT recommended for: Hip-hop and dance listeners.

 

Veteran K-rock band CNBLUE returns after a year-long absence by stealing hearts through their new mini-album, 7°CN.

The flower boy quartet’s latest release features six tracks based on the chase for a relationship and its woes along the way.

CNBLUE explore some fresh and catchy melodies and compositions in what is yet another impressive mini album.

Review

Track 1 –헷갈리게 (Between Us)

 

CNBLUE have gone for an emotional and edgy title track for this comeback. “Between Us” starts off with a bang, as Yonghwa exclaims ‘What are you’ in a brief snippet of the chorus that’s to come. The first verse features techno beats and a punchy guitar tune. Yonghwa’s vocals sound like he’s telling a story about his past relationship before Jonghyun’s mellow tone leads into the chorus. Yonghwa turns up the intensity in the chorus through delivering each line with burning passion. The line, “What are we now?” hits all the right feels; especially for those who’s relationships have camped in a grey area. The instrumental brightens in the second verse and so does Yonghwa and Jonghyun’s vocals. In the bridge, the beat drops as Yonghwa pleas, “I don’t know why you’re so much trouble” and belts out a high note. In the final chorus, he continues his vocal frenzy and delivers a few exhilarating adlibs.

Track 2 – It’s You

This track is a great listen for a road trip or a holiday. In the beginning, clicks and auto tune are combined with a fresh and festive instrumental. Yonghwa continues liveliness when singing his lines, which create a fun, party vibe. The chorus is half-sung in English where Yonghwa cutely sends a message to his girl. Yonghwa does a few vocal runs at the end of the chorus. Before the bridge, Yonghwa croons the line, “Oh baby girl, it’s you” which sounds totally cheesy but it works. In the bridge, Yonghwa returns to his older days in showing off his rap skills before wrapping it up with a nice head voice moment. “It’s You” finishes on a chilled and light-hearted note with sounds of chirping birds.

Track 3 –끊지마 (Calling You)

An electronic tune pops and pauses to start this number before the guitar and drums add to the music. Yonghwa sings about the beginning stages of a dating game before Jonghyun chimes in with his sweet vocals at the end of the first verse. The chorus features Yonghwa’s airy yet stylish falsetto that gets the body swaying. In the second verse, Yonghwa sustains the ending notes of his lines, which is a bit of a change up to the first verse and Jonghyun follows suit. The highlight bridge features Yonghwa phrasing several high notes that give off a sense of clinginess like he’s really attached. Jonghyun takes the start of the final chorus and sings in his falsetto. Yonghwa concludes the song with a few repeats of the line, “I’m calling you”.

Track 4 – When I Was Young

“When I Was Young” begins with Yonghwa and Jonghyun reminiscing to their past rather than a bout of instrumental like the previous track. A strong guitar solo is introduced before a bit of EDM kicks in. Jonghyun sings in desperation before Yonghwa finishes the first verse on a bittersweet note. The chorus is pretty vocal centric, highlighted by several calls of “You~”. In the second verse, the emotions grow and start to hit the feels. In the bridge, a dominant piano tune is played before the bass guitar takes over. The song finishes on the final chorus, where the catchy beat is kept consistent until the last mention of the word, “Reminiscing”.

 Track 5 –마니또 (Manito)

This song resembles a pre-2010 idol drama OST similar to those featured in Boys Over Flowers. A sweet, acoustic guitar sound sets the spring and flirty tone from the get go. Yonghwa serenades his way to every fan’s heart with the line, “You’ve done well”. It is the ideal thing to hear after a long hard day at work. Jonghyun continues the honeyed vibe in the lead-up to the chorus. Yonghwa’s vocals evolve from sweet to moving in the chorus, giving a real “fighting” feeling. The bridge is headed by a guitar solo and Yonghwa’s high-pitched falsetto when he sings the line, “Baby, stay with me”. In the last chorus, Yonghwa confesses, “I love you” and “I will protect you” which are cheesy yet touching.

Track 6 – Royal Rumble

CNBLUE’s final track of 7°CN is a smashing number. “Royal Rumble” starts off with a quirky, electronic instrumental. The whole band blends in an energetic sound. Yonghwa adopts a dreamy and soft approach to his vocals in the first verse. It is like he is warming up a small crowd in a private bar. He turns up the intensity to match the quick beat in the chorus by sustaining belts at the end of each line. There’s a cool guitar solo that leads into the second verse. In the highlight bridge, the electronic instrumental takes over while Yonghwa chimes in with a few short lines. The last chorus is where the “Royal Rumble” really ramps up as Yonghwa gives it his all. CNBLUE’s mini album wraps up with a final instrumental break where you don’t stop grooving to until the last second.

 

Review overview
Summary Overall, CNBLUE do not disappoint with 7°CN. From sentimental anthems to sweet and suave numbers - there’s a whole lot of variety and high quality. The highlight of the album is the title track, “Between Us”. This beauty is different to other titles as the composition and lyrics show packs of emotion, intensity and reliability. Softer songs like “It’s You” and “Manito” might be less impactful in comparison to “Between Us” and “When I Was Young” but are still pleasant listens. CNBLUE have truly shown professionalism and great musicianship again, as they have done for the last three years where each release is near perfection.
4.5
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krusty95
OH!Press' resident journo

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