[Album Review] HORN (Special Album) – APINK


 Still lagging behind with this album review. The focus of this post was released mid-February this year, and finally I just had time to write and post it! The album belongs to none other than APINK, who are back with a special full-length album (though, this is also their fourth studio album since their debut 11 years ago) HORN. Headlining HORN is Dilemma's title track and also features 10 other songs (including their 10th anniversary single Thank You). HORN is also the last album to officially feature Naeun as a member, as she left the group two months after HORN's release.

I chose APINK's album for review because I felt I had overlooked the girl group in the album review segment. Apart from that, I really enjoyed this album while checking if it's worth writing an album review. So it made sense for me to put this on the album review agenda. There are some gems among HORN's songs, so check out the album if you haven't already. Though, I presume you've listened to the album at least once in the last five months.

1. Dilemma (Title Track) – Click here to read the full Dilemma review. (8/10)

2. Holy Moly – There's a nice pop energy to Holy Moly once the song reaches the chorus, my pick for the highlight of the song. The bridge comes in seconds thanks to the melody. The etching effect right before the chorus is cool and adds an unexpected vibrancy to Holy Moly. The lyrics, while featuring excellent vocals, feel like slow burn and sluggish. Especially with the second verse, I hope the energy is retained from the chorus. I also didn't enjoy the autotuned ending, just because I felt it wasn't necessary. (7/10)

3. My Oh My – My Oh My is the group's secondary promotional song, featured in the first week of promotions with Dilemma for their comeback. And I totally understand why My Oh My was chosen. It's the kind of song that makes you want to smile when you hear it. It also stands out for its light, instrumental, and melodic atmosphere. There's also brightness to the song which I really enjoy. (9/10)

4. None – None of the first of the two unit songs, consisting of Namjoo, Chorong and Eunji. It separates itself from the light pop tracks that follow the title track. There is a loud beat and strong energy coming from this track. Vocals help make Nothing feel more explosive and supported. Ad-libs are also on a very different level. Neither one also features some catchy hooks, making this one of the album's standout tracks. (9/10)

5. Red Carpet – It seems that the common thread with unit tracks is that they stand out. Red Carpet was performed by Bomi, Naeun and Hayoung, who brought some attitude to the album. It continues the dramatic shifts in the album, but with much louder beats and stronger energy compared to its predecessors. Unlike its predecessors, Red Carpet uses instrumentals to make the song more powerful and explosive. Harmony also helps in this regard. This together with the unit's mature and captivating vocals creates a stronger atmosphere, making it even more memorable. Repetitive, memorable hooks and shrill synths give the Red Carpet plenty of character and profile. (10/10)

6. Single Rider – Single Rider has funky and rocking instrumentals, along with a subtle mature vibe. I love the upbeat tempo of Single Rider, which helps give this song so much charming energy. The vocals are great, especially when falsetto is used with ease. The dance break sequences we got in Single Rider were interesting and different, and I mean that in a good way. APINK and their producers on this album also seem to enjoy adding an 'end' to the end of their songs, with Single Rider closing with a funky piano line. For this song, this ending feels right and fits with the other Single Riders. (10/10)

7. Free & Love – Continuing the groovy and energetic aspect of the last song is Free & Love. I have to be honest, but Free & Love is a bit more distinctive and straight forward. But that doesn't mean it's not a good song. I enjoy the bright and vibrant energy that Free & Love emits. Brass plays a bigger role in the song, and it adds a golden vibe to the song. 

8. Just Like This (그날의 ) – Just Like This makes it softer, with a softer and more relaxed jazzy pop feel. The instrumental has a nice upbeat feel, but the instrumental feels a bit generic. However, I really enjoyed the vocals in this song, and the melody has a great tone. The repeating hook of 'Just Like This' is also quite interesting. (7.5/10)

9. Trip – The journey begins with the sound of pethe plane flies over us. It then began to enter ballad territory, before suddenly leaving with more powerful instrumentals in the chorus. From there, the instrumentals maintain a stronger atmosphere, but the vocals stay within the ballad's territory. These more powerful instruments help to make Trip more captivating than ballads with classical instruments. (8/10)

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