NOTES: The Sleep Talking MV was confusing as hell, I had to watch it like six times before I managed to figure out what scenes they were asleep in and what scenes that were sort of awake for... And I'm still not sure exactly how the girl plays into it all (though I'm leaning towards the idea that their whole psychosis thing is an experiment she's running on how to make boys fall madly in love with you...). Anyway, confusing or not, it was really fun to watch and the choreography was fabulous (especially how they were laying on each other as a magical circle of make-shift beds). It had some interesting visuals & also some cool concepts that I'd have liked to see get a bit more fleshed out. But still, I like it.
Top Track: Please Don't
Final Score: 7/10
Sleep Talking is catchy and clever. It's an interesting sound for them. I'm personally not a huge fan of it, but the song is well made and it moves nicely. It sticks pretty closely to the established median of what NU'EST can do, it literally pushes no boundaries at all for them, so I'm not really pleased with it. Aron's little 'rap' in the bridge is pretty superfluous, which is tragic because I love his voice there, but those lines are completely unnecessary and the space could have been utilized better.
I give it a 6/10: Good Job.
Beautiful Ghost is very cool. I like NU'EST and that sort of chill rock sound, it works really well for them. It stretches all of their voices nicely, really pushing them and proving what they can do. I'd LOVE to hear more of this sort of thing from them. The track evolves beautifully, building ever so slightly as the relaxed rock vibe kicks up beat by beat to make the chorus very high-drama and plaintively forceful. The tension drops back down for the first rap, it's keyed up in a nice post-rap vamp/guitar solo, an dropped back into that tight chorus.
Pretty takes a similarly unique stab at things; the synthy instrumentation is more like what I'd expect from NU'EST, but it's very ethereal and formless, letting the vocals give it a rhythmic base where the bassline has an untonal pattern to it that only takes over in the bridge-transitions. Ara's voice suits the style (and compliments the Boys' voices) perfectly.
Fine Girl feels like a good mix of the previous two, stylistically. The vocals are let to lie a little low in the mix, but it's a breathy sort of subdued sound, so it's passable. This one's spatialized pretty well, being that I actually noticed the efforts made to make it feel spatialized. NU'EST has always struggled with spatialization for some reason (which is odd considering their debut track was fabulous panned and situated in figurative space). Over all the playful track is a lovely listen, though it is just a titch bass heavy for the sound they seem to be going for.
Love You More has a very sweet sound. There's a very slight issue with sibilants and air-pops, but my headphones are designed to pick those up. Aside from that the various string elements give this track a very lovely and intimately earnest feel. The track evolves, moves, has a nice balance and a nice little bubble of space, over all it's quite nice.
Please Don't kicked off and within six beats it was my favorite song on the album, that sweet synth singing high above the rest, the strong rhythm and grounding warmth of the vocals, the pleading in the chorus . . . the tension inherent in every aspect. It's so subtle, the energy resting just behind the beat in the verses slides into the vocals of the chorus, and it lifted up over everything until it comes full circle to settle at the back of the listener's awareness. It's an almost playfully distraught sound, the humor coming from overdrawn angst, and some very real pain being a result of that awareness & futility. This on track has probably bumped their score up an entire point.
I give them an 8/10: Fabulous!
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