Album Review: PRISTIN – The 2nd Mini Album ‘SCHXXL OUT’


Release Date: August 23, 2017

Tracklist:

  1. WE ARE PRISTIN
  2. WE LIKE
  3. ALOHA
  4. 티나 (TINA)
  5. 너 말야 너

Total Runtime: 00:15:20

Recommended for: HIghs and perhaps I.O.I fans specifically, and girl group fans in general.

NOT recommended for: LOws, and those who are tired of the same old girl group tracks.

Pledis Entertainment’s all-action girl group PRISTIN returns with their second mini album “SCHXXL OUT”. The extended play includes five (5) new tracks, with “WE LIKE” as its title track. All tracks are penned by the group’s members this time around. Idols these days are very multifaceted don’t you think? But does all the hard work translate to quality products? Let’s give the mini album a thorough listen, shall we?

Track Review:

Track 1 – WE ARE PRISTIN

I reckon this track would be better off as an intro track, because it strongly feels that way right from the start until it ends. That, however, does not mean it is a bad thing because an introductory song, especially with a title like “WE ARE PRISTIN”, would leave a lasting impression for new fans or casual listeners alike towards PRISTIN. PRISTIN is no cookie-cutter girl group. Despite that very fact, “WE ARE PRISTIN” fell short. I must say this song is relatively forgettable. Quite unfortunate because the beat in the beginning of this song is very promising (which only lasts for a few seconds).

Track 2 – WE LIKE

From my experience writing many music reviews, the title track, rather routinely, won’t end up as the best of the bunch. But for SCHXXL OUT, “WE LIKE” swiftly debunked that notion. Despite being only their second title track, this song is more than enough for us to recognize their distinctive musical colour. PRISTIN operates on a basis of dynamic harmony and energetic presentation. Much like a cheeky cheerleading team, if you like.

The song starts with a chorus, head first. It’s unconventional, but a welcoming fresh breath of air. “WE LIKE” is a vibrant dance track and it does what it is meant to be, to keep us galvanized throughout the song. The “I Like You Like We Like” and “Du-du-du-du-du-du” parts are undeniably catchy. For a title track, a strong hook like that can keep listeners coming and wanting more from the song. The song also incorporates several different verse parts. We should be thankful to the song’s producers for composing “WE LIKE” with varying structures so the song won’t end up like a national anthem. All in all, “WE LIKE” is a solid title track.

Track 3 – ALOHA

A staple-kind of track in girl group albums these days – that’s my stance on “ALOHA”. Not outstanding, and on top of that very formulaic. In spite of its bland nature, you might find the song to be quite enjoyable only after many listens. “ALOHA” only runs for 00:02:48 so that probably helps the song from being too tedious to listen to. “ALOHA”  could be better but we already have hundreds of its clones out there.

Track 4 – 티나 (TINA)

There are bits of retro and funk in “TINA”. That’s a win for me because any tracks of aforementioned genre are catchy and fun. And it’s true for “TINA.” Ironically, the “TINA” part is the catchiest one. There’s not much for me to elaborate further about this track. It is simple, not overproduced, straightforward, and upbeat. This song somehow managed to put me in a delightful mood. Hopefully, it does the same to you all!

Track 5 – 너 말야 너 (YOU’RE MY BOY)

“YOU’RE MY BOY” is simply the best non-title track in this album. I really love the intro. No unnecessary accompaniment, just straight up vocal, which I admit completely caught me off guard. The girls are very good at singing and they harmonise ever so well from start to finish. Roa and Eunwoo’s parts are my personal favourite, while Xiyeon and Rena’s rap parts are pretty good amidst all the beautiful voices. No offense to Nayoung’s rap talent but she should rap less and replace it with singing because this song just proved that she’s a better singer than rapper.

 


 

Review overview
Summary An upgraded title track but a downgraded album. "WE LIKE" is really good but the other tracks bar "YOU'RE MY BOY" could be better. To improve and gain recognition from the public, PRISTIN needs to avoid paint-by-number tracks in their albums. Other than that, the album is pretty solid.
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