Release Date : January 25th, 2018
- 사랑을 했다 (Love Scenario)
- 돗대 (One and Only) – B.I SOLO
- 나쁜놈 (JERK)
- Best Friend
- 안아보자 (Hug Me)
- 잊지마요 (Don’t Forget)
- 시노시작 (Sinosijak)
- 나를 사랑하지 않나요? (Love Me)
- Just Go
- Long Time No See
Total Runtime: 0:42:51
Recommended For: iKONIC’s, general K-POP fans that are looking for a cohesive album with memorable tracks
NOT Recommended For: Those purely interested in iKON’s more intense side, those who don’t like mellow, less powerful songs.
TRACK 01 | 사랑을 했다 (Love Scenario)
After about half a year away from the Korean music scene, iKON came storming back with Love Scenario. This track has a lot to offer, and while it might not be crazily upbeat or intense like iKON’s last comeback with Bling Bling and B-Day, it’s still easily memorable and interesting.
Love Scenario’s playful instrumental is one of its strongest points. The piano and cowbell style melody that is carried throughout the track is met with both energetic rap verses and smooth vocal lines which creates a great relationship between the instrumental and the artist.
The chorus is infectiously catchy, and the verses lacing the rest of the song are able to easily carry the track. Love Scenario is generally quite relaxed, except the final chorus takes advantage of the groups collective vocals and the song ends on a final repeat of the chorus by Bobby.
While there isn’t much of a giant buildup or increase in tempo throughout the song, I believe this is to the track’s advantage. Love Scenario knows what type of song it wants to be and it plays that part perfectly. Relatively upbeat with a hint of melancholy, Love Scenario definitely makes for an all-around enjoyable title track.
TRACK 02 | Beautiful
Beautiful is riddled with upbeat verses and a hint of a tropical house feel during the chorus. The instrumental to this track adds to the appeal and gives off an energetic vibe, with the verses smoothly gliding into the cheerful chorus. I absolutely love Ju-ne and Jay’s singing on this track; I find that their vocals fit very well with the feeling and their parts match nicely with the tune.
Beautiful quickly became one of my favourites off of Return. With its bubbly instrumental and happy-go-lucky pace, it’s able to easily leave a positive impression on me. iKON also seemed to have a lot of fun performing Beautiful on SBS Inkigayo!
TRACK 03 | 돗대 (One and Only) – B.I SOLO
Now we’re onto One and Only, a solo track by B.I. The song itself isn’t very eventful, but it flows nicely and B.I is able to keep a steady pace throughout. The verses effortlessly glide into the punchy and in-your-face chorus that carries the song, and it begins and ends with an anthemic chanting reminiscent of that at the end of Love Scenario, except much more striking. The playful boyishness of the song mixed with B.I’s rapping makes for a strong track.
However, while I enjoy the song I still think there is room for improvement, and that improvement lies in the instrumental. At the beginning of the track, we are welcomed by strong rhythmic chanting. But as the song progresses, it is not used again until it is abruptly placed at the end. The stark contrast between the loud and expressive chants compared to the following rap verses and choruses makes it feel like there is much more to be desired. I was captivated by those chants and would’ve liked to hear what One and Only would’ve sounded like if they were incorporated throughout the track, instead of only copied and pasted onto the beginning and end.
With all that being said though, I find that One and Only is definitely one of the most memorable tracks and it surely deserves its place on the album. It’s catchy, compelling, and all around a fun listen. The improvements that I believe could be made are minimal, yet B.I’s growth with every new solo track he releases has me excited and hoping for him to continue making music. It’s clear that as an artist, he is finding his footing in the industry and is making a name for himself both as a member of iKON and as a potential soloist.
TRACK 04 | 나쁜놈 (JERK)
Next up after B.I’s solo, we have Jerk. It’s a softer rock track and with the lyrics focusing heavily on regrets. The lyrics are definitely the focal point of the song in my opinion, as it shows the raw emotions of losing someone you love due to your own mistakes.
I was expecting Jerk to be a standout track because the name of the song is quite fierce. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case. It’s relatively laid back and the verses easily transition into the chorus without making much of an impact. Jerk is chill and relaxing, but I do wish it was a bit more memorable.
TRACK 05 | Best Friend
With mellow verses and an uplifting instrumental, we have Best Friend. I love the snapping sounds in the background of the song that packs a bit of a punch to go along with the casual verses. The lyrics of the song tell a story about loving a girl who only sees you as a friend. Around the 3:08 mark, the song picks up the pace with group chanting and ends the song strongly.
While the theme of the song is quite saddening, its cheerfulness creates a great contrast and helps it come off as even more heartfelt. The first time I listened to Best Friend it didn’t stand out much. However, after I gave it a listen on its own it quickly became one of my favourite tracks on the album!
TRACK 06 | Everything
Everything’s fast-paced tempo and upbeat instrumental is able to catch my attention immediately, but it seems to lose me at the refrain. The rushed verses make it feel like they will be leading into an infectious chorus, yet that buildup never seems to take the track anywhere.
I believe that with a little more substance, the chorus wouldn’t be so lackluster. But the fact that it’s mainly just the instrumental along with a few words here and there makes it seem quite underwhelming compared to how hype the verses laid throughout the song are. With that being said, it’s an enjoyable track nonetheless. Once you become accustomed to the lack of chorus, it doesn’t seem like much of a problem after all.
TRACK 07 | 안아보자 (Hug Me)
Up next we have Hug Me, which is soft and sensitive. The lyrics tell a tale of falling in love with your friend, yet she is already taken. You can hear the longing clearly in this track, and the chorus is by far my favourite part. It’s gentle and slightly sad, yet the instrumental brings a bit of life to the chorus.
Another notable factor of the song is the rapping. I find that Bobby and B.I’s rapping fits very well on this track and gives off a nice dynamic in between the verses and choruses. Overall, Hug Me is an easygoing track that fits nicely with the rest of the album.
TRACK 08 | 잊지마요 (Don’t Forget)
Don’t Forget is a power ballad that showcases iKON’s vocal and lyrical talents. It starts off with a gentle whistling and quickly follows into soft piano and singing from the members. iKON’s vocal line really gets to shine on this track. After the first emotional chorus, we are met with a rap verse from Bobby. Surprisingly, the rap verse doesn’t divert from the somber feel of the song, and instead, it adds a bit of flare.
The lyrics to Don’t Forget are about asking a person not to forget after separating, and they do a great job at conveying the emotions poured into this piece. Finally, we are met with the last chorus, and it’s much stronger than the other choruses in the song, making for an impactful ending to the track. Overall, I believe that Don’t Forget was needed in Return. It brings down the volume and lets the members step forward to showcase their talents, especially those in the vocal line.
TRACK 09 | 시노시작 (Sinosijak)
I’d have to say that Sinosijak is personally my least favourite track on the album. The EDM style beat clashes with the overall sound on Return and the track itself feels kind of bare due to the lack of a chorus. It also sounds quite jarring considering that it is placed immediately after a ballad track like Don’t Forget. However, it is a song to get you off of your feet and would definitely be a fun track to perform at concerts due to its crazy, upbeat nature.
While it may feel out of place on such a laid-back album like Return, as a standalone track it is as energetic as ever and the “Si-No-Si-JAK!” laid out in the choruses are lively and memorable. As a whole, Sinosijak is a hype EDM-influenced track that is full of liveliness and is perfect for those looking for something a bit more intense from iKON.
TRACK 10 | 나를 사랑하지 않나요? (Love Me)
Love Me is easily one of my favourite tracks on Return. Right from the beginning, it is captivating and catchy, with the infectious hook being placed right in the first verse. The hook on this track has the ability to effortlessly get stuck in your head because it’s so fun and fresh. It’s also worth mentioning that the way the verses are delivered gives the song a unique sound due to each member’s different vocal inflections, and it really adds personality to the track.
The ending of the song where Bobby and B.I are chanting “somebody, somebody, somebody, anybody love me” is super upbeat and gives the track even more life than it already has. Paired with a bouncy instrumental and laced with intricate rap verses, Love Me is undoubtedly a great addition to the album!
TRACK 11 | Just Go
Just Go is a smooth, bluesy track with a beautiful piano melody. iKON’s vocal colours are able to grab attention as the toned down instrumental gives the spotlight to the members’ vocals. B.I is credited as the sole lyricist on this track and we can see him demonstrate his lyrical ability with the heartfelt words he has written.
On the track, B.I writes about the hardships of letting someone go to be with somebody else. The gentle instrumental paired with impassioned singing from the members gives this track a warm yet melancholic feel that fits perfectly with the other tracks on Return.
TRACK 12 | Long Time No See
Reaching the end of Return, we have the dreamy pop track Long Time No See.
It’s a nice closer to the album, nothing too impactful but it’s still memorable enough to make an impression. Long Time No See is a song about seeing somebody you care about after time separated, and B.I and Bobby do a great job at conveying that message through the sweet lyrics.
The clear and refreshing instrumental reminds me of a warm spring day, and the light vocals carry the song as it flows through effortlessly. Finally, the track gradually comes to a close, and with that Return ends on a relaxing and easy-going note.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Return. It served cohesiveness while still having standout tracks that showcased the talents of the members, both lyrically and vocally. My favourite tracks would have to be Love Scenario, Beautiful, Love Me, and Best Friend. I found that I replayed these four tracks the most, but I can definitely say that while in the process of writing this review I had pretty much every song stuck in my head at some point!
Since hearing Return, I’ve had it on replay ever since, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a well-rounded album with many different sounds and styles!