written by: MystifiedBulb
Ah, rookies. After last year’s onslaught of debuts, one would think that management companies may have decided to slow down with creating new artists and focus on perfecting those that they already possess. But apparently not. This year promises to be full of many wide-eyed hopefuls eager to break into the already densely saturated K-Pop industry, and one such group is vocal trio PASCOL (a portmanteau of pastel and color) with their debut mini album entitled ‘Pastel Color’.
The first proper track on the album (excluding the unnecessary ‘Prologue’) is their oddly titled lead single ‘Let’s Eat Together Sometime’. If the group was aiming to make a statement with their first single, then it seems that they didn’t actually provide anything of note. This song is in no way distinctive, being a typical piano led mid-tempo ballad. Additionally, the tone of the song is ruined by awkwardly placed rap sections which just ruin the sense of momentum and delicacy of the first sections. Saying this, the song does have it’s strengths such as PASCOL’s voices, which sound confident, unforced and flecked with the right level of emotion.
After this comes J Sun‘s solo piece entitled ‘A Song For Myself 2″ which doesn’t serve as much of an improvement. If the awkward spoken word intro can be ignored, this R’n’B laced pop ballad actually has some lovely features. It’s hard to understand why so much of this song is delivered in either rap or sprechstimme styles when J Sun’s singing sections are luscious and blend much better with the latin style accompaniment. Much like their lead single, it seems that there has been a loss of potential songwriting-wise, as the group’s strengths aren’t being exploited.
‘Thinking Of You’ was perhaps, the most memorable track off the album. Group leader Moon Bin shines with a song that seems perfectly tailored to her vocal range. She provides an emotional delivery that ranges between subdued tenderness to heartfelt and passionate – it is this which really grabs the listener’s attention. For this reason it is a real shame that the production of the track is shoddy and feels rushed. There is no real interest in the backing, but it could easily be fixed, which is why this feels like yet another wasted opportunity.
Finally, we reach Yuna‘s ‘Roo’. A promising, synth led opening provides relief from the monotonous instrumentation of the rest of the mini-album, but this soon leads into a grotesquely auto-tuned mess. The sections of the song don’t flow, the production just feels dated as opposed to the retro inclination it was targeting, the arrangement is dull – ‘Roo’ is not the end (or the diamond in the rough) that was desperately needed.
Words don’t describe how frustrating this generic, ballad-led album was. PASCOL has three obviously fantastic vocalists but have not got the right materials to compliment them. Disappointing, but hopefully their second attempt will see them blossom into the stars that they could quite easily become.
|Let’s Eat Together Sometime||
|A Song For Myself 2||
| Points scale
0 – could do without
0.5 – mediocre/filler
0.75 – pretty good/grew on me
1 – liked immediately
|Thinking Of You||
Points to stars conversion: [(1.75/4) x 5] + 0.25*
*there is a 0.25 bonus for every album. The logic is that, if every song were “pretty good”, it’s a 4-star album.