Apink - PERCENT

 
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Release Date: January 7th, 2019
Label: Plan A Entertainment
Genre: Dance/Pop/R&B/Ballad
Length: 6 Songs/21:33


 

01. %%(응응) {9/10}
I have a full review of “%%” written up already that you can read here. While I don’t find the song nearly as sticky as "I’m so sick,” I still really enjoy the new direction the group is taking with their music and am looking forward to seeing it continue.

02. 안아줘요 (Hug Me) {7/10}
This song isn’t quite fully on the ballad side of things with its grooving synth tones, but it’s definitely a slower track. However, it’s more along the lines of being relaxing instead of overtly emotional. I really don’t have too much to say about this song, unfortunately. It’s fairly static and doesn’t present anything that’s too out of the ordinary, so I ended up not really feeling one way or another about it. The vocals are soothing and soft, and it definitely fits in with the concept of the song, so if that’s your jam, I think this will be a solid pick for you. It’s certainly not bad and I wouldn’t mind having it on in the background, but I personally don’t see this as something I’d go out of my way to put on. In terms of its placement on the album, it serves as a decent transition away from the pop-heavy atmosphere of “%%” and into more of what the rest of the album has a soundscape.

03. 느낌적인 느낌 (What Are You Doing?) {8/10}
Those snappy bass grooves from the previous track worm their way into this one, although we get a bit more energy out of the instrumentals in total. Similarly the smoother presentation of the vocals carry over as well, with the chorus standing out a bit more with its slightly bolder take on them. It’s not a massive contrast, but it’s certainly enough to keep you invested and interested in the song for the full duration. I found the instrumentals for this track to be a lot more interesting than the vocal melody unfortunately, with those electronic riffs in particular being of note, especially during the bridge. Overall the song is enjoyable but I don’t think it’s anything to write home about. (Sidenote: the vocal progression at the chorus kind of reminds me of WJSN.)

04. 줄다리기 (Push & Pull) {8.5/10} 
Once more we have a funky bass line underpinning the entirety of this track, though this time it’s accompanied by some brighter synths and fast-paced rhythmic claps and drum smacks. The progression of the song during the second half of the chorus is what stands out the most to me for this song, giving an interesting roller coaster of sounds that really grab and hold you. That isn’t to say that the progression of this song on the whole isn’t engaging, though, as I loved it as well, and when it builds up it certainly meets the expectations it sets. It’s one of those tracks that you really can’t find anywhere else besides in the realm of K-pop, and I think that’s probably my favorite aspect overall for this song. It’s a fun and upbeat romp that isn’t necessarily explosive, but it packs a punch in a sleek and measured manner.

05. Enough {9/10} 
There’s something about the simplistic use of piano in this song that just grabs you instantaneously, but by the time that the chorus hits, you’ll fall in love with the romantic and sensual styling of this track. The subtle guitar picks and sparse brass as supporting elements really reminded me of something that MAMAMOO might have done in their earlier days - something like “Piano Man,” albeit certainly less bombastic in nature. The vocals on this song are divine perfection, giving us tinges of power and sensuality while still remaining reserved for the most part, and the way that they overlay towards the last half of the track was great. This is my personal favorite track on the album, though with this genre it’s almost like cheating.

06. 기억 더하기 (Memories) {7.5/10} 
What would a K-pop album be without the fairly mandatory ballad track? Not that it’s a bad song, of course. The things that make ballads of interest at all to me are whether or not the vocals truly hit your heart, and I have to say that this song did a fair job of that. Between all of the members there were certainly parts that grasped at your emotions more than others, but overall I think this was a surprisingly good attempt at making a ballad that stands out. The instrumentals are fairly standard, so really this track relied entirely on the members’ voices, and by the end of this track I had goosebumps. It’s not my favorite ballad of all time by any means, but I think that Apink is one of the few groups that have multiple members that know how to convey emotion properly and it carries this track along fairly well.

 
 

▲ = Favorite song on the album
▼ = Least fav. song on the album
 

 

Summary
PERCENT is laid out as a fairly standard album in terms of its song cohesion, though the progression through the album was a nice gradation where one song felt like it oozed bits of itself into the next, and in general it feels like a very natural shift from one track to the next. It’s a solid set of six tracks, each with their own flavor, and I can’t imagine that at least one of them would appeal to just about every kind of musical fan out there. If you haven’t already given this album a listen, I’d say to give it a shot and see if you can manage to walk away without at least one new song in your playlist.

Overall Score: 8/10