Posted in Music, Review

The Book of Us: this is our page

“Want you to come on out and have fun
Want us to have the time of our life”

Day6 is back with their fifth EP, The Book of Us: Gravity, prior to embarking on their second world tour starting next month. It arrives sort of a month late, since in the last two years, their summer records were released in June. So, i was waiting in anticipation for the album info in May and getting restless in the following month, until news was out in late June.

And the longer wait paid off well.
Because again, Day6 doesn’t disappoint.
Time of our life, the lead track, is the perfect summer bop to freshen up my current playlist.

Having lived in tropical countries, i have no clear idea as to what tune fits each of the four seasons. However, the images of i have of summer are vacation, pool/beach party, sunbathing… and hence think happy, cheery, bouncy tunes match the bright, warm, and festive mood well. For that reason, the band’s past couple mid-year releases felt a bit too angsty for the season, but not this time. Time of our life has all of the ‘summer song elements’ mentioned above, and then some.

The cymbals lead-in hints at heavier rock sound, but the subsequent rolling keyboard intro exudes a J-pop-ish (some say anime opening) number, before the zippy guitar kicks in and makes everything all sorts of exciting already. Driving chord progression and steady buildup toward the big chorus are my favorite parts of Day6’s songs, which we get here as well, replete with hints of playfulness and loads of exuberance. There is still rock element in it, not to mention little twists and turns, like high-notes spike and delayed chorus. The latter is shy of a bursting intensity i expected, although i love the pounding drum beats, and sure enough, they dial everything up in the second part of the chorus and cap it off with euphoric hook. Probably the band’s fastest song ever, Time of our life is a bop through and through.

The MV is also their most energetic, dynamic, and fun to watch. Particularly the freestyling/goofing around they did on the rotating life-size book set. Which we get more of in the Making Film version of the MV.

Our lyricist said this song is about the beginning of a relationship, but the lyrics seem to point to this comeback instead; the first verse talks about them waiting a long time, and believing we are too, looking at the calendar every day for this day to come. Or maybe for their first music show win — two consecutive wins (!!), to be exact — which finally happened four years since their debut… as ‘foretold’ in the second verse:

“I’ll be honest with you
It wasn’t that easy for this moment to come
I waited so much for this day to come

Honestly, I know you struggled way more than me
Thank you for enduring for this day”

For better or worse, none of the other five tracks comes close to Time‘s effervescence and BPM. Album opener For me may be the closest pick, although i’d classify it under midtempo. The instruments are simple, but the melody bears the band’s ‘classic’ sound, with gradual crescendo and high-notes-filled delivery. Jae’s falsetto comes off thin in the chorus, especially compared to Young K who barely switches to the head voice for the same part, yet somehow befits the delicate line.

Like the song’s position, the content precedes Time‘s: what comes before starting a relationship with someone else is knowing and loving oneself first — or the one in the mirror, according to the lyrics. Because it’s the relationship we’re in for the longest.

“The me stuck in the mirror about to cry
Now i want to know you
I wanna thank you for not giving into tiredness
From now on, i will start to love you
I mean, i will love me now”

How to love winds down the tension further while still carries the summer breeze in its laid-back, somewhat lazy atmosphere. Its trippy intro got me fixated; i can’t put my finger on the genre or the Arashi song it reminds me of. Because the rest of the song doesn’t sound like it. It has a dulcet melody, call-and-response parts, a woozy bridge followed by Young K’s adlibs to shake us up. Wanting to experience this thing called love, How to love is the EP’s most easy listening track, and i love the drawn out “oooh” and “aaah” (they’re so satisfying to the ears!), as well as Wonpil’s vocals.

That feeling of wanting to go back to our innocent and carefree childhood days is encapsulated nicely in Wanna go back, which shares similar vibe as How to love, with cheekier take in the verses and reggae-ish flavor in the chorus. It’s the song that sounds rather happy despite the wistful content. Fillers are peppered throughout the song, though the one i find most jarring is the Bambam-styled “brrr-ah!” mid-chorus. The highlight, however, goes to Dowoon’s short solo. The contrast his deep voice brings to the table is always a lovely surprise to hear.

The mood sours in Cover, the power ballad about wearing a mask in a relationship co-written by Sungjin that oddly ends up my least favorite track. I’m digging the instruments, the slow trills and guitar pickings, Jaepil’s plaintive croons, or Sungjin’s haunting bridge where the drum finally comes in. But the chorus is such a killer; the belting is overpowering they come off as strained and tiring to my ears.

Cover could’ve closed The Book of Us, ironic notwithstanding, but they put Best part last. Which could’ve been the opener, but save the best for the last, huh?

Jae mentioned that they’re recording this album with concert interactions in mind, and Best part fills the bill most closely after Time of our life. It’s definitely concert-oriented with the resounding dung-dung tak-tak beats, anthemic feel, singalong-able chorus, and banging instrumental break perfect for mob jump. I can already imagine how hyped it would be.

“Today’s me is living today to the fullest so tomorrow’s me can be happy
So that on the last day of my life, i’ll be filled with smiles
Every moment’s gonna be my best part”

Best part could also have been promoted as the lead track, but i’m glad they went with Time of our life. It was an instant fave while the rest took a while to grow on me. Despite Time‘s glee, Cover‘s angst, and Best part‘s catharsis, The Book of Us: Gravity is easily Day6’s most easy listening and relatable record.

p.s.
Anyone amused by how the physical copies are being packaged in literal book form? Well, i do. 🙂

p.p.s.
Wondering what Gravity has to do with The Book of Us which focuses on human relationships? It’s the force that pulls us toward one another. (source)

_
lyrics translation: pop!gasa, jaelavie

Author:

I blog sometimes, gush ofttimes, snark all the time.

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