Album Review: DIA – Spell

Release Date: September 13, 2016


  1.  “7과 4분의3 (널+만나러+가는+길)”
  2.  “Mr. Potter”
  3.  “Flower, Wind, and You (꽃, 바람 그리고 너)”
  4.  “화가”
  5.  “The Love (#더럽)”
  6.  “Mr. Potter” (instrumental version)
  7.  “The Love (#더럽)” (instrumental version)

Total Runtime: 00:24:00

*The track list is of digital edition of Spell.

Recommended for: AID (official name for DIA fans) especially, and casual K-Pop fans in general.

NOT recommended for: listeners who are searching for originality or uniqueness in a song, headphone users.

DIA started this year’s summer with a mini album “Happy Ending”, and gained much attentions and love from the public with its title track, “On the Road”. Now they are back to end the summer they started with a new mini album “Spell“. MBK and DIA worked with Shaun Kim this time around together with other producers including DIA’s very own members, Huihyeon Ki and Yebin Baek. Title track “Mr. Potter” is set to amaze fans with shots of magical love arrows that will leave them astounded, and a fan song “The Love” will bring the group members and their fans together to cherish sweet memories for DIA’s first anniversary.

Track Review:

Track 1 – 7과 4분의3 (널+만나러+가는+길)

“Seven and Three Quarter (Meet You On the Road)” is a nice track to start our magical journey on exploring Spell. The title “7 3/4” is a nice homage with a tasty twist to Harry Potter’s fame platform 9 3/4. We entered the magical world through that platform and will meet seven sorceress while on the road to Hogwarts or likewise.

A soothing and smooth track that you can sing along.

Track 2 – Mr. Potter

The track opens up with a magical slash fantasy-like, mysterious intro; very promising and from that moment you know this track is going to be a huge improvement from their previous title track, GFRIEND-esque “On the Road”. Make no mistake they said, but we just did. The whole internal fiasco of listening to a song with sampling(s) from world-renowned fantasy novel series “Harry Potter” ends after just seconds. From there onwards, everything is cutesy, bright and cheerful. None of that is wrong, but a little too late for listeners who are in autumn mood. But hey, with the help of magical spells from seven pretty girls, nothing is impossible!

For dear listeners, Mr. Potter provides us with DIA’s original and distinct trademark sound. Bits of “Somehow” and “My Friend’s Boyfriend” can be heard while listening to it. Unfortunately, the recorded vocals are muffled to an extent that the instrumentals are unnecessarily louder, making the track less enjoyable to listen to. Such a shame because contrary to popular beliefs that idols are bad singers, members like Yebin Baek, Eunice, Eunchae Kwon, and Eunjin Ahn are actually more or less good singers.

Mr. Potter is a catchy track but not good enough to make you coming back for more.

Track 3 – 꽃, 바람 그리고 너 (Flower, Wind, and You)

DIA version

Huihyeon, Chungha, Yoojung, and Somi version

This is autumn. What fall supposed to feels like. “Flower, Wind, and You” was written by Huihyeon Ki is a track that will leave you wondering, cherishing, and reminiscing all sweet and warm memories. Arguably the best track in Spell. The only downside of this track is that like most DIA tracks, line distribution is vivid and bad. I wouldn’t be surprised to see listeners mistook this track sang by a duo. Trio at max.

This track comes with two versions. The first version features Huihyeon’s fellow friends from Produce 101; Chungha, Somi, and Yoojung of I.O.I. The other one is DIA’s version.

Track 4 – 화가 (Artist)

“Artist” is a solo track from Huihyeon. A solo track plus Huihyeon equals to a fiery hip hop track. Let’s not get too technical on this. Diction, flow, and energy don’t matter when you want to appreciate her effort to showcase her talent as a rapper. She has it.

Not a bad effort from her and not a bad track too.

Track 5 – 더럽 (The Love)

Personally my favorite track in this album. As an AID myself, “The Love” speaks a lot. As a K-Pop fan, it is relatable. As a person, it keeps you warm and human. The vocals are nice to listen to, though like usual, unbalanced line distribution is really annoying at this point.

“The Love” is a great song to put you in a sentimental autumn mood, and you can listen to it anytime anywhere.

Overall Review:

Terrible line distribution is the major sin in this album. DIA has four vocalists and two subs. Chaeyeon has more singing lines than ever, which is a bad thing for listeners and other members. Only Jenny is more or less better or worse than her. Eunjin can do both (rap and sing) but she is almost nonexistent in all tracks. Eunchae and Eunice are main vocalists yet they have lesser lines than Chaeyeon who is a sub vocalist and to be blunt her singing voice does not worth a headphone. Most of the time, it’s Yebin and Yebin. Then Yebin again. Chaeyeon will fill in between. “Spell” will be a better EP if other members are allowed to sing like it should be.

All in all, all tracks are generally good and thumbs up for them for giving more efforts on b-sides instead of taking it as filler tracks for the sake of meeting the quota.

Replayability – Green

r21pIbR.png  Tracks are evergreen even with low quality productions.

Cohesiveness – Yellow

kSB8FHy.pngLine distribution is bad. Enough said.

Originality – Yellow

kSB8FHy.pngOriginality in K-Pop is hard to come by. Even so, an A+ for effort to MBK for trying to win with Harry Potter.



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