Block B - Re:MONTAGE

 
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Release Date: January 8th, 2018
Label: Seven Seasons
Genre: Dance/Pop/R&B/Ballad
Length: 8 Songs/27:54


 

01. 떠나지마요 (Don’t Leave) {8/10}
If you’re interested my fully detailed thoughts, be sure to check out my review here. In short, I thought it was a lovely ballad, though it drew some similarities to BIGBANG’s “LAST DANCE.”

02. 마지막 정류장 (At Last) (재효 Solo) {6.5/10} ♫ ▼
This track follows the slower, more melodramatic steps that “Don’t Leave” started us off with, playing on the emotional side with the soft piano rolls and even fluffier vocal delivery. This song sounds straight out of a Korean drama, incorporating an impassioned set of strings behind the scenes while the percussion is pretty much unnoticeable for the entirety of the track. I don’t dislike this song, really, but ballads mostly aren’t my thing. On top of that, I think that the one aspect that can really sell me on a ballad is the weight of the emotional pull from the vocals, and while I think that these were well done, they didn’t fully come through as passionately as I would have liked.

03. Everythin’ (U. KWON Solo) {7/10}
This track is the first big cutaway from the rather laborious, emotion-laden album thus far. We get quite a different set of instrumentals this time around with a big focus on humming synths and brighter tones all-around. The song sounds pretty okay as something to have on in the background, but honestly beyond that, I couldn’t really find myself getting into it. It felt like it never really progressed and amounted to much of anything, though the last twenty seconds or so came through for a nice finish. Still, the chorus itself just wasn’t all that impressive or interesting, and I don’t think I’ll find myself often revisiting this track intentionally.

04. My Zone {9/10} 
This is a track that is much more in line with the type of sound and energy that I would expect from a Block B song. Right off the bat you get blasted with these vibrant, funky guitar strums and they’re followed up on by that chunky bass riff and everything is commanded beneath Zico’s little introduction masterfully. The rest of the song definitely follows through on that general vibe and fun-natured styling, and damn this track is such a blast. Taeil’s high notes are impressive as ever and the almost hectic nature of some of the busier sections manage to stay coherent still. It’s just a great ride through and through, and this is definitely what I would consider to be Block B’s wheelhouse.

05. Shall We Dance {9.5/10} 
You want to know my biggest problem with this song? It feels so short clocking in at just three minutes! That fantastic bass rhythm, those playful horns? That insanely addictive falsetto pre-chorus that would sound ridiculous from any other group? Everything about this song is what I consider to be a pinnacle of Block B’s uniqueness. I really don’t think another group would have been able to pull off this really different style while still erring on the side of bizarre and somehow still making it sound badass. This is another amazing track for Block B and I don’t know what else I can say about it.

06. 일방적이야 (One-Sided) {8/10}
This track has “written by Park Kyung” all over it. Seriously, right off the bat you can tell that this had his creative mind behind it. I love the choice to incorporate a bit more of a reggae feel to this track without overloading it to the point where it seems like a simple gimmick. Instead, we just get a few of those elements mixed in with a lot more vocal presence than we’d heard on the album up until this point. Everything feels lively and energetic, and the combination of styles utilized in this track feel refreshingly different. Zico’s rap was a pretty big highlight for me in this track, and man it really left me wanting more of that in the end. Overall it’s a great track, though I think it’s a bit mismatched stylistically against the rest of this album.

07. 이렇게 (Like This) (Vocal Unit) {8/10} 
This track pulls us right back to the more ballady side of things that we started off with, getting us ready for the album to come to a final close. Similarly to the song prior, you can tell that this was written by Park Kyung, though this is a vastly different genre than “One-Sided.” It pulls on a similar set of instruments as “At Last” did, though this time around the combination of vocals from the various members really give this a different level of gravity that I thought was beautiful. Emotionally this was much heavier in delivery, and I think it really pulled this song to be a standout even though it was still within the same veins as a few of the tracks preceding it.

08. Give & Take (B. BOMB Solo) {8/10} 
This was an interesting note to end the album on, but I think I really like the decision. Whereas the previous track had me thinking that the final track would be something melodramatic and slow, we get a mid-tempo song with an interesting set of instrumentals. From the fluctuating background synths to the energetic and blaring ones, the nifty bass and clapping percussion, and everything in-between, this track is a neat experience. I do think that there might not have been enough variation to keep you invested for the entire duration, but the general idea was pretty solid and I do still enjoy it in total.

 
 

▲ = Favorite song on the album
▼ = Least fav. song on the album
 ♫ = New songs on repackage

 

Summary
Re:MONTAGE as a repackage album is a great collection of tracks with varying genres, energies, and emotions. I’m not sure that the three new tracks do much of anything for me personally, mostly because I think that the MONTAGE album was already a stable, complete package. Still, the new songs don’t hurt, and while they might have been some of my least favorites from this album, I have no doubt that they are the favorites of plenty of others. With this album, Block B continues to show that they are a talented group that’s got exclusive ideas, flairs, and charisma that simply cannot be replicated.

Overall Score: 8/10