ASTRO - All Night

 
 

 

ASTRO is a six-member boy group housed under Fantagio. They debuted all the way back in 2016, but I haven’t really had the opportunity to review them since I started this site. They did release a track last year, but it was more of a fan-dedicated song than anything, so I didn’t feel it was an appropriate one to do a full review on. That said, I’m not really the biggest fan of the group. They debuted and had a more cutesy concept for a long while, and that just isn’t much my thing when it comes to boy groups. More recently there’s certainly been a shift in their styling and musical identity, and while I didn’t check out any teasers before this, I went in with hopes that we’d see more of a mature angle from the group.

The Song

I think that this is one of the few times that I’ll have to reprimand the mixing on a K-pop song. The instrumentals in this track are louder than all of the vocals in this track and it’s just such a bizarre issue that I’m sure most people don’t realize, but for me it really stood out. It was actually hard to hear some of the vocals at certain parts for me because of just how loud the bass and percussion was. It was surprising to me, especially because it’s been such a long time since this has even happened.

That aside, I have to admit that I really like this song. It’s catchy without being overly poppy, and it has a feel-good vibe to it that I can’t resist. The slight variation during the rap of the second verse was cute and provided a nice change of pace while the rest of the track laid out a simple trail to follow. It’s easy on the ears without becoming something that sounds more like background music, and I think that’s a hard balance to find and maintain. The vocals are crisp and smooth throughout, and the high note towards the end is great The chorus is sticky and there’s even great tints of emotion spread throughout the vocal performances. The instrumentals themselves are clean, even if they are dialed up just a tad too loud.

In total I was pretty surprised by this track. I’m not a big fan of ASTRO simply because I didn’t like a majority of their music for so long, but this falls more into a style that I enjoy and can see myself following them for.

The Video

Alright, I don’t think I can start this off without praising the choreography that we got in this video. Right from the start you could sense that it was going to be some good stuff, and I don’t think that I was disappointed for even a second on that front. The entire video also has this dreamy feel to it. The colors go back and forth between dull, quiet tones and more colorful, filled tones, but it’s done in a way that feels cohesive and artistic. It’s impressive and delightful to say the least.

In terms of the metaphoric imagery here, I’m not sure where I land on it. On one hand I’m really glad that there wasn’t any nonsensical “depth” that didn’t actually have meaning, but on the other I feel like this was maybe a bit too forward. The roses are essentially representing them and their careers, both of which are growing and slowly blossoming. They’re kept in a tight space and confined to it, not fully letting them breathe until the very end of this video, which implies that ASTRO will be getting the same treatment. They’ve matured over the years and now we’ll be seeing a different side to them. It’s simple but I do like that it at least relates to the group in a meaningful way.

Overall, this video is an absolute feast for your eyes. The aesthetics are incredibly pleasing and I don’t know that anybody wouldn’t at least enjoy that aspect. Everything about this was on point and I think the director deserves a lot of praise for it.

Conclusion

“All Night” seems to represent a major shift from ASTRO, pulling away from the more cutesy and colorful concepts of their past and venturing into a more mature and sleek styling that fits them just as well. If you aren’t a fan of the group, I think that this song might actually be one to turn your opinion around on them, and even if not the song, the video is unbelievable in how aesthetically-pleasing it is. If you haven’t already, I’m actually going to recommend that everybody from all walks of K-pop check into this comeback.