NU'EST Romancticize Album Review

How do you add a special appeal to a seemingly usual thing? You do it with a hint of romance! NU’EST’s latest musical offering takes the accustomed concepts and finds an attractive appeal in them. Their second studio after seven years, ROMANTICIZE adds that feeling of romanticism with each of their tracks. The wait for a studio album was a long one, for the members and the fans alike, but NU’EST made sure that it was worth it.

From speaking about a love that was incomplete to finding solace in an everyday object like a set of earphones, NU’EST has taken the essence of what makes things truly romantic and served it on a golden platter, or should I say, a shiny disk of music and lyrics that reflect the feeling perfectly. If you’re the one who views life through the rose-tinted glass no matter how hard it gets, then NU’EST’s latest album is the one for you.

 

DRESS

When speaking of romance, the heady rush of feelings or the butterflies in your stomach are the first things that come to one’s mind. The group begins with this idea. I won’t call it a sneak peek into the album, because each track has its own flavour. DRESS serves as a good reminder of the relationship which took you on an exhilarating ride with its captivating lyrics, ‘Teach me more about these strange feelings/The boundaries become Blurred lines/ And we cross that line’. The track is fast-paced, and the intervals don’t feel out of place. After a high-octane chorus, the song descends into regulated, slow-paced beats, signifying the after-effects of a heady rush. The last few seconds are like that trance where you just reel in the feelings and let the music carry you until it finally fades out.

 

INSIDE OUT

What makes a title track? INSIDE OUT  is a good example of one! It clearly stands apart from the rest of the 9 tracks on the album. It has all the elements that would make a listener play the rest of the album on repeat! It has the beats, the music, the lyrics and not to forget the visuals that are needed for every eye-catching title track. NU’EST delivered their promise of a stunning comeback flawlessly. INSIDE OUT ‘s lyrics ‘I came home and closed the door/Then my guard rail broke down/My heart keeps running to you/It’s getting worse, lovesick’ capture the progression of a romance, that is slowly taking the form of an obsession.

From the beginning of the music video, Baekho is seen carving a marble statue, which is later revealed to be one of his past loves. The members are seen playing with the dominoes, which again tells about the vicious cycle of not letting go and the memories that are triggered after the slightest familiar provocation.

 

DON’T WANNA GO

A song that expresses the feeling of heartbreak and denial, DON’T WANNA GO is the last cry for love. The rising music supporting the member’s emotional vocals creates the desperate feeling of trying to mend things back to the way they were. The semi-electro and synth beats add to the idea of modern love. DON’T WANNA GO is a powerful ballad of loss and heartbreak, with lyrics like ‘I don’t wanna know what my life is like without you’. It plays on the idea that if love is lost, then everything will be lost.

 

BLACK

Black is one interesting colour. Why? Because when you mix all colours, you get black. But, when you add specks of colours on a black canvas, you get a vibrant spectacle! BLACK is all about discovering new places and going higher. The imagery of venturing out into the greater unknown is created vividly in the lyrics ‘We fall into a deep place BabyWe cross over the line/ Amidst a flood of emotions, you and I float past the clouds‘.  The music matches the mood, with fast-paced synth beats and a laid-back singing style. If you want to tell your partner that you want to explore new things, then BLACK is the track for you.

 

DRIVE

Who said that an analogy about driving cannot be used to explain the understanding in a relationship? DRIVE is here to prove you wrong! With the lyrics like ‘Driving to your highway/ Tune our emotions to now/I want to be at the same speed as you/Wherever we go’, the song takes the simple activity of driving and turns it into a love song. The music and the beats of the song fit aptly to the fast-paced nature of driving a vehicle.  DRIVE is about matching speed and tuning into the right spot on the radio. 😉

Now, who’s planning for a drive after listening to this song? Next time someone tells you that driving is not an alluring activity, make them listen to this song.

 

EARPHONE – MINHYUN Solo

As soon as I read the name, I was a fan of the song. Let me paint you a little picture – it is 5 PM and you are just about to board the train after a long day. There is a crowd of people waiting to reach their destinations, and whiling away their time till the carriage arrives. You want to filter out the noise and have a moment or two to yourself. What do you do? You plug in the thin wiry earphones and drown out the noise to the tunes of that latest song from your favourite singer. Soon, the train arrives and you are rushed into the crowd. But that moment, those few minutes of listening to your song drained out some of your exhaustion. Feels great, right? This is just one situation, but earphones have sure come in handy to drain out noise in many situations.

When Minhyun sang ‘Put on my earphones/Riding the lyrics of songs I like/I want to fly away now’, he put that feeling of comfort in his solo track. EARPHONE is a slow, melodic song with equally placed beats that create a sombre atmosphere. Isn’t it amazing how not only people, but inanimate objects can also bring us comfort?

 

NEED IT – BAEKHO Solo

Baekho’s Need It is a sultry track right from the start. With jazz-like music and lyrics that speak of a passion, a fascination, you will find yourself listening to this song over and over again. When Baekho said ‘There is nothing sweeter than a dangerous dream/As it leaves you drunk on perfection/Even if it weighs me down after I swallow it/I want to catch that scary pain’ he captured the ecstatic essence of a routine that borders on dangerous, but we carry on anyway because we just can’t help but need it.

 

DOOM DOOM – JR Solo

One thing that will make you relate to this song is its lyrics –‘To write out the next chapter/I open myself up and within me/I create a new sense’. A fast-paced song that talks about the monotonous life and a strong wish to escape it even if the journey injures you, DOOM DOOM is the track that quite reflects the lacklustre style of life these days. JR showcased his classic rap skills in this heavy synth-based song. If you’ve wanted to break the chain and escape a dull life, then this song will definitely speak to you.

 

ROCKET ROCKET – REN Solo

REN’s power-packed solo track ROCKET ROCKET is like an epilogue to JR’s DOOM DOOM, as if it is bringing a stunning new start after a tiresome journey. The feeling of being invincible and overcoming pains runs through the lyrics of ROCKET ROCKET. The song paints a surreal picture with simple yet meaningful lyrics like ‘Shot across the sky yeh/I’m ready to go higher/I feel like I could go crazy in this moment’. REN’s solo track from this album is a perfect ‘pick me up’ track after a rollercoaster of a day.

 

I’m NOT – ARON Solo

After an epic high, it is time to relax and reflect on yourself. Aron’s I’m Not is a soothing ballad that talks about facing a reality and finding your space while doing so. I’m Not’s lyrics ‘Don’t be tired/My heart, don’t change/If this can’t be eternal/At least let the memories be beautiful’ present the tale of making something better no matter how twisted the reality might seem. It is like a monologue with your heart where you try to bring yourself to peace that things will go well, and even if it takes longer, you’ll try your best to make the best out of it.

 

NU’EST’s Romanticize is a romantic ode to the happy, sad, ecstatic, and dangerous feelings that we harbour. The members pick up each feeling and present it in a melody that taps right where you feel the most – your heart. The album will speak to you whether you’re feeling high or low. It will make you dance, it will make you cry, but at the end of the day, it will soothe you into a state of mind that brings you in terms with your emotions. Life would be dull if this romance with our emotions didn’t exist, wouldn’t it?

 

Written by

Nandini Iyengar

An aspiring translator and a writer!