B2ST have just dropped their latest EP “Lights Go On Again” (Part 2) and I’ve already listened to it several times now (for reviewing purposes and to see how they’d do after Mastermind). Here is my little batch of thoughts I cooked up for guys.
“Lights Go On Again” opens with its namesake; A relaxed and toned down ballad focused more on the group’s vocals than on emphasizing their loud production that was heard throughout Part 1 (Mastermind).
Like most opening tracks, this song would have made a bigger impact if it was full length rather than just a 2 minute teaser. But then again, it’s meant to introduce the rest of the album, and for what it is, it does that job perfectly. Unlike “Mastermind”, which was rather dark through and through, “Lights Go On Again” (much like it’s title) is a lot brighter and you’ll hear that brightness throughout the rest of Part 2. Even the rap, surprisingly enough, is taken down to a comfortable whisper, which for me does wonders to the overall sound of B2ST. I’d kill (not really) to have that rapper waltz on out of this group, but to each his own, right?
And if the opening track didn’t do a good enough job of revealing the bright overtones for you, then “Beautiful” should make that very clear.
Before even hearing this mini-album or any of the teasers, I had a hunch that this one would most likely contrast Part 2 with a cheerful happy-go-lucky style, and damn me to hell – I was right on the money. Very predictable, if you ask me, since follow ups in Kpop always end up being total 180s from their predecessors. Or something to that effect.
“Beautiful” is an up tempo song full of major scale action. It’s one of those songs you can clap to, kind of like 2NE1’s “I Don’t Care“, because they went ahead and inserted those very ‘claps’ in the song. Go figure. They’re a nice touch, to be honest. Those always save a pop song from being too boring.
“Beautiful” is not my favorite track on the EP because it gets overly cheesy once the hook hits, but I will admit that the verses are pretty damn catchy. Makes me want to run in place while fist pumping for some reason.
The production of the following song, titled “니가 제일 좋아 (I like you best)”, is smashing. I really like the transitions and the reverb action going on. I might get heat for saying this, but I’ll go ahead and say this reminds me of Big Bang. Mainly based off of the way it’s so damn melodic and plays around with the instrumentation. Sometimes it’s loud, sometimes it’s not. Plus the beat is really nice, and not to mention the acoustic guitar they added in near the end. I’m impressed.
“Lightless” continues to showcase the wonders of what a good production can do to an otherwise average group: Bring them to life! This one’s not as engaging as the previous song, but I do appreciate the absence of heavy processing on their voices. Oh, and nice to hear Dongwoon getting some more lines. That’s always a plus.
The mini-album closes with “I’m Sorry“, the only song that would have fit better in Part 1. What I haven’t mentioned yet is the amount of English failures you’ll find through out this EP. No, really. They’re everywhere. And pardon my repeated drills at the rapper, but please! Stop opening every song with his Engrish! It’s distracting and doesn’t always work. You’ll know what I mean when you listen to this song. It would have been an epic opening (at least on Kpop standards) if they hadn’t soiled the mood with talker-McTalkrap.
Overall, not bad for a group who I still consider rookies. Out of all the newer boy bands in Kpop, these guys definitely work a little harder at coming up with decent material. Still not a complete fan of them, but I appreciate their growth and some of these guys are actually quite talented. They didn’t bring any awesome ballads into this EP, which last time I checked is part of the Kpop formula for making an album. Anyway, couldn’t have been more in line with their age, demographic, and style, plus a big thumbs up for not abusing any auto-tune! That’s obviously left for their sister group, 4minute, to devour. Nom nom nom.