[Review] [Album] Dalmatian – “State Of Emergency”

written by: McRoth

It’s been over a year since we last heard anything official from boy band Dalmatian. Last February, they dropped their debut mini-album, and since then the group has seen a little bit of a change.

Member Day Day has bid farewell to idoldom (for personal reasons, they say), and in his place has entered new hunk, Simon. In addition to the swap, member and rapper Dari has enlisted into the military, leaving Dalmatian at a current five member line-up. That’s a lot of change even for a boy band in K-pop, but Dalmatian has pulled through and put together their comeback mini-album, “State Of Emergency,” released earlier this week.


Dalmatian’s first mini established a lot of things about them, or at least that was the case for me. One was that their production team knew how to find the balance between sugary boy band cuteness and clean, crisp sounds. “The Man Opposed” was the perfect example of this balance between style and quality, and lucky for them, the same could be said about the entirety of Dalmatian’s first mini-album. But above all else, what I found to be the clear takeaway was the group’s overwhelming vocal skill set. Not only did they prove that they could be your proper K-pop boy band (charming appeal and all), but your K-pop boy band with the raw talent to back it up. It worked really well last year, and I became a true fan of Dalmatian’s playful demeanor during their first mini-album promotions in the process.

This year, they’ve decided to harness their talent and approach their music from a very different angle. As some of you will remember, Dalmatian’s 2011 concept was something like a geode, in that they were very rough and sexed up on the outside, while completely glimmering with fun and pretty details on the inside. For “State Of Emergency”, they’ve decided to allow more continuity between image and content. The whole package is a dark and incredibly emotional deviation that isn’t particularly new for the group, but certainly not reminiscent of the happy-go-lucky Dalmatian that I remember.

Like most idols this year, the trend that is being passed around like a secret memo is to sound less gimmicky (2010, 2011) and way more serious, mature, and polished. It’s a musical transformation that can easily be documented by listening to the discography of some of the bigger boy bands, such as BEAST, and just like them, you hear all three aspects of today’s new standards throughout “State Of Emergency”.

There is no glaring auto-tune and there aren’t any cheesy styles, both things that were very present in Dalmatian’s 2011 mini-album. Everything is serious and moody now. But could stripping themselves (no pun intended) of that extra dose of carefree playfulness have possibly altered the Dalmatian magic that glowed as bright as their smiles did last year?

My answer: yes and no…


7 thoughts on “[Review] [Album] Dalmatian – “State Of Emergency”

  1. I was saying the same thing about this EP. There was something missing in the music that makes it connect with you and stick. In the end, while containing some solid tracks such as E.R. and Still By Ur Side, it just isn’t memorable. Visually, however, they have an edge that seems authentic and is much welcomes (by my hormones anyways).

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  3. i read one of their recent interviews & they (including Simon) said that they lean towards this type of music rather than their previews works…which is one of the reasons Day Day left (musical differences)
    Im still new to this group so i dont know what’s their musical preference like… but i do enjoy listening their voices.

    • That’s interesting to hear. I mean, I’m not against this style at all, I really like it, but I feel like it came at a time when this particular angle isn’t that outstanding to hear anymore.

      I really like how they sound, but I hope they invigorate their music with fresher ideas down the road.

  4. Funny, I never paid much attention to them. I thought their name and concept entirely ridiculous even for k pop. I listened to the album and it has a mature, sophisticated sound, but it lacks joy. I don’t hear it in their voices that they are feeling/digging the music, It is that lack of enthusiasm for the material that kills this album for me.

    “You Hurt Me” is a damn good r&b track that I love listening to. I hope they promote it and I get to see some energy from these guys because the talent is there already.

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