K-POP / KOREAN CULTURE / REVIEWS

[Review][Album] Monday Kiz – “Nostalgia Remake Album”

written by: drowningn00b

Vocal groups tread a fine line when it comes to music material. Their bread and butter are sweeping stringed and piano ballads, which are fine in soundtracks, but are overwhelming in album releases. Groups like Sweet Sorrow and Brown Eyed Soul do it well, and for their version of a remake album – “Nostalgia” – Monday Kiz play the balancing act, with varying degrees of success.

Unlike other vocal groups, Monday Kiz is not a harmony-centric group. In other words, Monday Kiz is three solo singers grouped together rather than a proper trio. “Nostalgia” has barely-there harmonies that are buried under the instrumentation and the individual vocals. “Maybe It Is” is a big sound piano ballad that hits all the right notes. It’s emotive, sweeping in its scope and the guys give it their all. “To The Next Person” takes this template and adds a guitar, a female back-up section, and a spoken word segment, giving it an experimental edge. And that’s what is largely missing from the ballads. “Letter” and “A Night like Tonight” don’t feel new, even if they’re different from the original tracks. In definition, a “remake” is a chance to do something different with what’s already there.

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Thankfully, the mid- and up-tempo numbers pick up the slack. “I Love You and I Remember You” has a hip-hop feel, while “Girl” flirts with an R&B/indie vibe. “The First Time I Met You”, since its release in October, still sounds as amazing now as when I wrote about it last year. “When This Night Passes” is a keyboard and synth-pop tune that fits right  in with mainstream K-pop, but sounds better in the hands of such talented singers. The “remake” label feels right at home with these four tracks.

The ballads in “Nostalgia” can feel heavy-handed at times, over doing the piano and strings to the point of melodrama and ultimately weigh down the album. The pop-centric tracks rescue the record from itself with a fresh and light feel that was necessary. “Girl” is still a ballad, but fits much better because of its much better because of its band arrangement, as opposed to the orchestral arrangement of other tracks.

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Monday Kiz’s “Nostalgia” is a remake album that can be heavy at times, but those moments are interspersed with more interesting and experimental touches, like “To the Next Person” and “When This Night Passes”. As their mainstay, “Maybe It Is” is the best here, with “To the Next Person” right behind it. The seesaw nature of “Nostalgia” prevents it from being great; luckily, there are more highs than lows.

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2 thoughts on “[Review][Album] Monday Kiz – “Nostalgia Remake Album”

  1. I really love listening to “to the next person”. I haven’t heard the full album yet, but I’m gonna go do that right now!

  2. Pingback: Month In KPOP – March « McRoth's Residence

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