EXO-CBX - Blooming Days

 
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Release Date: April 10th, 2018
Label: SM Entertainment
Genre: Dance/Pop/R&B
Length: 7 Songs/22:32


 

01. Monday Blues {8/10} 
"Monday Blues" starts the album off on a slower foot, but for most people that's exactly how a Monday feels. It's really cool how the song isn't necessarily slow, but it captures a grindy, sluggish sort of atmosphere that most people would attribute to that day. The boys sing in quieter voices, the bass synth is muffled and dragged out while the higher tones are softened, and it all just pulls together for a lethargic, stagnant vibe. Conceptually I love that, but as a song I kind of felt it was too tame for me to really find it great. The bits in the second verse and the last chorus of the song where the backup vocals pull a different vibe to it were fantastic, and I think this song could have used more things of note like that. 

02. 花요일 (Blooming Day) {9/10}
If you haven't checked out my full thoughts on "Blooming Day" already, you can see my review here. If you want the TL;DR of it, I thought that this was a great progression of EXO-CBX's previous titles and established style.

03. 내일 만나 (Sweet Dreams!) {8.5/10}
"Sweet Dreams!" wastes little time letting you know that it's going for a very upbeat and retro style. The introductory chords were a bit odd at first, but they make more sense as the song progresses. The quickly pulsing bass synth really feel like they drive the song, and I loved the faint bits of funky guitar behind them. The vocal melodies are just catchy enough to keep up with the instrumentals, though I do think that the verses presented a much more interesting and compelling tune. The vocals overall were restrained here again, though I think it might have been better for them to go all out here instead. Still, "Sweet Dreams!" is a great track that evokes a conservatively content feeling.

04. Thursday {8.5/10} 
"Thursday" pulls listeners back to the slower pacing that the opening of this album had, though this track has a lot more oomph to it vocally. There's a wonderful display of vocal capabilities on this track overall, really. The instrumental choices were solid. Even though they were quiet, they provided a smooth, clean surface as a base to build off of. The high notes were sensational and added a lot of soul and energy to the song, and while the instrumentals were simpler and less direct, I feel that's exactly what they wanted. They let the vocals take the spotlight and direct the song forward instead. 

05. Vroom Vroom {9.5/10} 
At this point, listeners might be feeling bipolar with how constant the switches in moods are on this album, because "Vroom Vroom" slaps you in the face with instant and constant dynamism. The one problem is that this consistency of energetic drive causes this song to fall short on time, as it's the shortest track on the album. The drum kicks, the synth grooves, the guitar rolls, and the vocals snap. It captures the idealistic essence of a Friday night in a quick and very enjoyable three-minute window. This song could have easily been an alternative title track in my opinion.

06. Playdate {8.5/10} 
"Playdate" immediately opens up on a very positive note, enclosing listeners into an optimistic atmosphere. This song manages to capture the feeling of hopefulness on a Saturday night. It really feels like you're getting ready to go out on a date and trying to relieve the stress from the rest of the week leading up to that. It's relaxing in a way and yet it makes you want to get up and dance at the same time. The catchiness and lovely progression of this song are honestly just bonuses to how masterful the ambience and climate of this song were. 

07. 휴일 (Lazy) {8/10} 
As one might, and probably should, expect from the title of the track, this last track is one that sounds like something you'd want to laze about while it's playing in the background. Once more there's a shift instrumentally to provide a more suppressed sound to them, and it dulls the mood to an almost passive pace. Once more, it's a great translation of the general feeling that one gets on a Sunday. "Lazy" is just catchy enough to keep you interested while maintaining that lethargic mood. It isn't the most intricate song on any front, but again, I feel like that just aligns well with the album concept, so it's a purposeful attribute.

 
 

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

 

Summary
"Blooming Days" is a solid album that also provides an interesting, musically artistic view. It's really cool how this album is set up like the days of the week, and it's actually quite impressive how each song explores how most people have various moods that are dependent on certain days. There's a good variety of slow songs and upbeat, poppy tunes here to please fans of both styles alike. I'd actually recommend this album to everybody just to see how well they can relate to the moods of each as a representative day of the week.

Overall Score: 8.5/10