It’s been a year since the release of ‘Knock,’ a.k.a, the last ASTRO comeback. Even though the sub-unit with Moobin and Sanha was everything we wanted and way more, we can’t help but feel ecstatic about the release! Nothing less than ASTRO’s second full album, All Yours, and its powerful title track: ‘One.’
Let’s talk about the star of the show first: ‘One.’ This time, they did not hold back on the dark and sexy concept. You can see so as the song is on a whole other level. Sonically, the music mixes influence from the years 2000 and EDM, something that we had heard from ASTRO before. We can say for sure that this song is very different from anything they’ve released before. Still, it has a very catchy hook, and the song builds up into a pop chorus that has almost an anthem feel to it. The big highlight of the song is for sure the second verse, a.k.a the rap. Rocky and Jinjin choose violence with this one. Their verses are surprising and unique – Rocky with his rap almost-whispered verse and Jinjin with his more aggressive verse. It’s something that will take you by surprise for sure, but it’ll also be one of the main things that’ll make you come back to it. The other big highlight can be found in the music video (apart from their flawless visuals, of course), and that’s the insane breakdance lead by ASTRO’s leading dancer, Rocky.
One thing’s for sure this will live rent-free in our minds for a while.
But as great as ‘One’ is, let’s not forget this comeback included a full album, and the b-sides did not disappoint in any way. All Yours opens up with ‘Dear My Universe,’ a soft, sincere, and uplifting pop track that is most likely to be dedicated to AROHAS, their fans. It then goes on to one of the best songs in the album, ‘Butterfly Effect.’ The second track is a more EDM-influenced track with a very hopeful vibe transmitted by its instrumental, voices, and lyrics. This song is all about reaching for their dreams no matter what, and the music gives out that energy of hope and emotion even without reading the lyrics.
After these more sincere tracks and the darker ‘One’, the album goes into more fun songs such as ‘Someone Else’ and ‘SNS.’ The latter is a fun laid back, kind of chill and vibey, a love song that uses play on words to include social media – as its title indicates. Now, if ‘Butterfly Effect’ was one of the best tracks, ‘All Good’ is our personal favorite. Overall, it’s a feel-good love song about someone completing you. The production in this one is truly out of this world with the mixture of synths, that addictive whistling line, the influence of retro and modern pop, and an underlined bass line. To summarize it: ‘All Good’ is the perfect song to lift your mood. In the same type of feeling, though with a very different kind of track, we have ‘All Stars’ – a song that references one of their singles from the past year, ‘One&Only,’ in its lyrics.
Moving past the happier and feel-good songs: an album wouldn’t be complete with sad songs and ballads. ‘Our Spring’ is the only sad song in the proper sense of the term and lyrically one of the most immeasurable songs in the album for sure. It’s a soft pop tune that compares a relationship to the seasons, and while the seasons come back and the flowers blossom again, the relationship doesn’t. While the song holds what seems to be a bit of hope throughout the song, they do end up saying goodbye and letting go. Musically speaking, the great highlight of this song is the build-up before the chorus, which are spectacular raps by Jinjin and Rocky. By rapping in the pre-chorus, they create something special and unique that truly makes the song the heartbreak and full emotional ride.
The two closing tracks of the album are piano ballads. ‘Stardust’ uses the metaphor of someone being your star and guiding you. It’s a love song about being grateful for someone. The song starts with soft raps, making it so unique and different from other songs. And the last track, ‘gemini, is a heartfelt and sincere love song that seems to come full circle with the opening track, ‘Dear My Universe.’ However, ‘gemini’ feels way more vulnerable than any song in the album.
Something to be highlighted throughout the songs is the diversity of influence used on each piece and the extraordinary vocal abilities. The impressive self-written raps can carry all kinds of emotions in their voices, whether it’s singing or rapping. With every comeback, ASTRO shows more growth, so we shouldn’t be surprised, but this is indeed their best release yet.
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Featured image source: via @fantagiomusic_ on Twitter