Album Review: Wanna One – 1-1=0 (NOTHING WITHOUT YOU)


Release Date: November 13, 2017

Tracklist:

  1. Nothing Without You (Intro.)
  2. Beautiful
  3. 갖고 싶어 (I Wanna Have)
  4. Twilight
  5. 활활 (Burn It Up) (Prequel Remix)
  6. 에너제틱 (Energetic) (Prequel Remix)
  7. Wanna Be (My baby)
  8. 에너제틱 (Energetic)
  9. 활활 (Burn It Up)
  10. To Be One (Outro.)

Total Runtime: 00:30:56

Recommended for: Wanna One fans, Fans of ballads and chill bops

NOT recommended for: Those looking for fast-paced dance songs

Wanna One are arguably the most note-worthy rookies of 2017. After their highly anticipated début album swept the charts and their hit song “Energetic” earned the most music show wins of any song this year, all eyes were on the “Produce 101” winners to see what they’d do next. After all, the follow-up of a début album can be a pivotal moment in a group’s career. Finally, Wanna One are back with their repackaged album, “1-1=0 (NOTHING WITHOUT YOU).” So, was it worth the wait?

Track Review:

Track 1 – Nothing Without You (Intro.)

The album’s intro track captures the essence of the album well, teasing the light instrumentation and exceptional vocal performances that are to come. The overall vocal performance is strong; the main saviour of this track. In setting up the overall themes of the album, the intro track does its job, but it also doesn’t offer anything much other than sounding mildly pleasant. However, it is an intro track and I think that the song did as much as it could given how short it is.

Track 2 – Beautiful 

Wanna One’s title track that’s got everyone talking is none other than “Beautiful,” the focal point of the album. “Beautiful” is easy on the ears and will hit you right in the feels if you’re in the mood. The song’s nostalgic intro seamlessly transitions into a solid first verse with a gentle beat. Furthermore, the song’s production is high quality and allows the group’s stunning vocals to stand out. This is especially prominent in the second half of the bridge. The vocals in that portion of the song are breathtaking and packed with emotion. However, I don’t know if good singing is enough to fill in the song’s gaps. Overall, “Beautiful” somehow just misses the mark. The track feels a little anticlimactic, like it never reached its full potential. It’s a solid ballad, but perhaps not quite title track material. The song is certainly pretty, yes, but I don’t know if it can quite be considered “beautiful.”

Track 3 – 갖고 싶어 (I Wanna Have)

“I Wanna Have” is undoubtedly one of the strongest tracks on the album. At first listen, the song’s intro promises a medium-tempo acoustic ballad, but you get so much more than that. The first verse and hook are nice enough, but the real treat comes when the beat drops. The transition from acoustic to electronic could have very easily felt chunky or forced, but it somehow works perfectly. The song features elements that are present in the title track “Beautiful,” but overall presents a feeling that’s a little more comfortable for Wanna One, allowing the song to be cohesive with the rest of the album’s new songs but also stand out.

Track 4 – Twilight

“Twilight” feels a little gimmicky; bordering on “cheesy-boy-band.” The random bleeps and bloops in the background are a fizzled attempt to add depth to a song that otherwise lacks a backbone. The verses are okay, and the pre-chorus is promising, seemingly building up to something exciting. However, listeners will be left disillusioned, as the chorus is totally bland. However, Lee Daehwi and Park Woojin’s performances in the song are to be praised, as they inject a little life into what is otherwise just a generic pop song.

Track 5 – 활활 (Burn It Up) (Prequel Remix)

“Burn it Up” was one of the most heavily criticised tracks from Wanna One’s début album, but I’m happy to say that the prequel remix has the done the song a solid. The wobble bass in the verses makes the song feel a lot less choppy and full on. The remix falls a little flat at times (the brass instrumentation pasted on top of the pre-chorus feels a little awkward), but more often than not, it enhances the song exponentially.

Track 6 – 에너제틱 (Energetic) (Prequel Remix)

The Prequel Remix of Wanna One’s hit début song “Energetic” starts off great but unfortunately goes down the drain. Right from the get go, the song’s chorus is teased by subtly fusing it with the iconic piano introduction. The opening lines of the song are given a little extra “oomph” with the help of a trap beat. This eventually builds into the chorus. The addition of a wobble bass to the chorus maintains what the song had been building up to without going overkill, which is a huge part of what made the original song so great. However, the beat drop is pretty underwhelming and quickly becomes very messy. After that, the song is all over the place, feeling like different parts of separate songs cut and pasted together. The remix had a lot of potential but unfortunately, it went to waste.

Track 10 – To Be One (Outro.)

The album’s outro “To Be One” is great. It really feels like the “goodbye” to the intro’s “hello.” A good outro should make you feel satisfied with what you’ve listened to and tie all the tracks together. “To Be One” certainly does that perfectly. The best thing about the outro is that it feels really short and leaves you wanting more.

“You know what? We are nothing without you. We’ll be back. To be… one.”


 

Review overview
Summary Wanna One fans can expect to see a new, softer side to the group through their repackaged mini album. However, whether or not Wanna One lived up to the hype remains to be decided.
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choiyujins

Maknae blogger who likes CLC and raisin toast

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