Release Date: March 3, 2017
- Wake Me Up
- Diamond 4 Ya
Total Runtime: 00:10:38
Recommended for: Those with an inclination towards bass-heavy, hard-hitting rock, infused with rap and R&B
NOT recommended for: Listeners who prefer light and easy music
Six-membered boy group, B.A.P returns with a single album, Rose, led by its title track Wake Me Up. Co-written by their leader Bang Yongguk, Rose is almost guaranteed to please long-time fans of their original dynamic sound. Listen to this one with proper headphones or earphones. If possible, crank up the volume as loud as you can without damaging your eardrums (or bothering anyone sitting next to you on the bus).
Track 1 – Dystopia
To say that Rose begins with a bang would be an understatement. Dystopia is a hard rock/rap fusion, that immediately opens with harsh, discordant guitar riffs, and progresses with lyrics that are tempered by Yongguk’s own brand of sensibility. And its lyrics seem personal, almost painfully so. In some ways, they seem to reflect the group’s personal struggles, in light of their extended hiatus during their legal dispute with their label. Youngjae’s vocals, a heavier baritone than Daehyun’s light clarity, perfectly carries these angst-laden lyrics. Time seems to have matured his vocals ever so slightly, showcased through Dystopia’s fury and despair.
Track 2 – Wake Me Up
Here, I’m going to emphasise on the importance of listening to this album with proper headphones (or earphones). This is absolutely imperative. Wake Me Up is a banger of a song without them, but with headphones on, the song will lift you to a higher astral plane. Daehyun’s crisp vocals, in particular, elevates the entire song right off the bat, and leads us towards a crescendo that highlights its lyrics’ sense of urgency. Of course, no B.A.P song is complete without Yongguk and Zelo’s distinctive combination of deeply rich and acetic rapping. Wake Me Up is no different. Against the song’s insistent beat, their rapping further amplifies its profound exigency. Simply outstanding. This is B.A.P at their best.
Track 3 – Diamond 4 Ya
Rose finally closes with Diamond 4 Ya, the lightest of the trinity that still maintains the album’s overall aural intensity. Again, keep your headphones on with this one. The song’s use of heavy bass provides a smooth transition from Wake Me Up, as it eases us towards the end. Together, Daehyun, Youngjae, Himchan, and Jongup soften their vocals into soothing, almost teasing, falsettos, artfully juxtaposed against an R&B inspired instrumental. The production value for the vocals in this track is incredible, quite possibly some of B.A.P’s best. Kudos to their producers.
By the end of it, Rose left me clamouring for more. Some probably may bemoan the fact that this was only a single album with a paltry number of tracks. But frankly, I feel blessed enough as it is. Rose was a bona fide all-killer, no-filler. Moreover, it closes so masterfully that one could easily leave it on repeat for hours on end. It has precisely the kind of substance and cohesiveness that was missing from B.A.P’s previously released music since their hiatus. And that is why Rose deserves a spot in your playlist.