Release Date: December 25, 2019
- Starlight Parade
- Winter Begins
Total Runtime: 00:20:51
Recommended for: those who love FlowBack’s more laid back songs and pop ballad tracks.
NOT recommended for: those who love any of their EDM or upbeat tracks.
Winter Trip is the 2nd concept mini-album released by Flowback. It was released in three versions: a CD+Blu-ray edition, a CD+Photobook edition, and a CD-only edition. This is Flowback’s latest release since their 2nd full album release, “do not hesitate.” Compared to their first concept mini-album Summer Trip, which had a melody music video for all the tracks, “Taste” is the only title track with an MV. Without further ado, let’s get into this review.
Track One: Taste
Out of all genres, I think R&B and retro suit FlowBack the best. I was surprised to find out that both Masaharu and Judai wrote the lyrics to Taste (while FlowBack as a whole partially composed the track). The track conveys the feeling of being in love with someone, but being afraid of breaking up in the future. This is conveyed in several lines such as “I want to be connected with something that cannot be unraveled” and “Even if this story ends, we continue to pour until the final story.” Although FlowBack showed off their sultry vocals here, the missed opportunity came with the rapping parts. Judai has a great vocal/rapping color but he was heavily auto-tuned. The choreography isn’t too crazy and is definitely light compared to their previous choreography.
Track Two: Starlight Parade
Starlight Parade is actually a cover, originally sung by SEKAI NO OWARI. In my opinion, I prefer FlowBack’s version. I felt like they made it more lively compared to the original, which was mellow and autotuned. The lyrics, written by the members of SEKAI NO OWARI, convey how one loves the starry night so they call it a “Starlight Parade.” While I wasn’t expecting too much when this cover was first announced, FlowBack meshed well together. Vocally, it’s nothing too crazy but it does showcase all the members’ ability to sustain long notes. This is the only track featuring a dance practice video. I find Starlight Parade to be one of FlowBack’s best-choreographed dances. It was so well coordinated that whichever member was singing/rapping at a time got to have the center spot.
Track Three: YUKIIRO
YUKIIRO has your typical Japanese ballad vibe. It feels like it could be an OST for a drama series or something of the sort. It is from the double a-side single YUKIIRO/ BREAKOUT, released back in December 2017. The track’s instrumentals are fairly simple until it reaches the pre-chorus. The piano, along with light synth drums, brings out the synth-pop and violin sounds. The lyrics are accompanied by a lot of imagery and mainly talk about a time with a lover under a snowy night.
“White Town Thousands of breaths wrapping white the streets, Tonight it got deeper and we came over.”
My favorite part of this track is the progression between the verses and the pre-chorus. Vocally, this is one of FlowBack’s best tracks.
Track Four: Winter Begins
“The winter begins, open a big window. When I look at the stars, I’ll lend my sweater.“
Winter Begins is one of those feel-good songs that make you bob your head to the music. The track’s instrumental is mainly comprised of an 80s synth drum which is paired with a light trap beat (as well as winter/Christmas like sounds). Lyrically, Winter Begins is similar to most tracks in WINTER TRIP. Out of all the tracks in this album, I found myself repeating Winter Begins the most. The only major downside is the auto-tuned rapping, which they could’ve toned down.
Track Five: Heartbreaker
Heartbreaker is the track that made me a big fan. It is the 2nd single released by FlowBack back in 2016. FlowBack included this track as it fit the mini-album’s concept of winter and romance. The lyrics convey a lover constantly being heartbroken but still going back to the relationship. The use of 80’s synths, the overall retro vibe, and the members’ vocals are what really make this song. FlowBack really showed off their vocals in this track through their high notes and vocal runs. The rapping from Judai also immensely adds to the track and meshes well with the synths.
The mini-album is available worldwide on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music as well as for purchase on iTunes/Google Play. Let me know what you think of FlowBack’s Winter concept down in the comment section below.
- WINTER TRIP as a whole is true to the theme and very consistent.
- Auto-tuned in a few tracks ruined the flow and could have done away with it.