Posted in Music, Review

Entropy: it’s a Sweet Chaos… but i like.

When it comes to music releases, Day6’s is hardly predictable. When i thought i’ve figured out a certain pattern, they veer off course. For example, i thought they’re slated for mid-year and year-end releases now, they dropped their second record of the year just three months after their first — a full-length album at that; i thought they’ve transitioned into making happier and livelier songs, The Book of Us: Entropy shatters everything and throws us back into the emo loop; and when i expected to hear familiar tunes, this album houses new and different sounds from what the band has produced so far.

The proximity between The Book of Us’ release dates and the musical direction of Entropy caught me by surprise because 1) i read a couple of interviews for the Gravity promo where the members talked about their experiencing a burnout circa Shoot Me, so i thought the next record might not be out this soon, and 2) the members pen and compose most if not all of their songs, and i thought there’s a certain style they’re sticking to. But i’m glad to be proven wrong, not to mention pleased with the variety they’re giving us. This album alone houses various genres such as punk rock, swing, metal, disco, latin pop, bossa nova, and reggae, making Entropy their most diverse record yet.

Another thing that made me think the happy vibe would continue here is because Sweet Chaos is said to be the fastest BPM of Day6’s title tracks, and in my mind, fast BPM = cheerful upbeat song. I certainly didn’t expect to hear grinding beats instead; it’s quite erratic chaotic it overwhelmed me on the first few listens.

In retrospect, it doesn’t seem as fast as the BPM suggests, although the drum is definitely one of the tightest i’ve heard Dowoon do yet. Its crescendoing chorus is explosive while giving off foot-tapping swing’s groove. I usually prefer the band’s hard-hitting rock pieces, but Sweet Chaos may end up on the same folder as Breaking Down, which i don’t loop much despite the gripping instrumentation.

I like Sweet Chaos‘ MV better, even if it only starts getting interesting near the two-minute mark, once the color bleeds to life. My favorite part about it is easily the special effects disintegrating the set’s borders and half of the members’ bodies. And i’m loving this M Countdown’s performance which is well shot, nicely staged, enhanced with fitting lighting and pyrotechnics, for which the boys are dressed to the nines with sleek and gracing us with sleek hair, peeking forehead, and live instruments. It looks and feels like a concert performance than a TV one.

Talking about hard-hitting sounds, Deep in love or Rescue Me offers even grungier, heavier metal, and more retro feel. Deep in love is the least complex yet the shrillest. It opens with resounding bass line, is decorated with trinkling synths, and has that stadium singalong hook. Rescue Me is the darkest, angstiest, and most impassioned; the kind of song i devoured and sang my heart out to during my adolescent years. I’m totally digging the gritty guitar and swirling siren-y keyboard that effectively build up the tension and momentum toward the fierce and heady chorus. Either the music is a tad too loud or my ears are tricking me, but Young K’s voice in the extended chorus resembles Jae’s.

The other track that comes close to these three’s intensity is Not Mine. The dramatic strings intro exudes a haunting atmosphere, but eventually it’s a powerful vocal-driven track. The beltings, high notes, falsettos, and vocal acrobatics are having a feast here. Day6 members surely have strong pipes and wide vocal range. But what’s better is that they’re not using them to hit the notes forcefully but with finesse (Young K in the bridge) — or shifting to head voice flawlessly (Wonpil in the first chorus). I usually find Jae’s voice too soft in this kind of song, but his ad-libs in the final chorus slays.

EMERGENCY sounds more EDM than disco to my ears. It in fact could pass off as a Red Velvet song; this is probably the kind of music they’d produce if they were a girl-group. LOL. It’s littered with fun lines, playful delivery, and heartbeat and ambulance sound effects as they’re repeatedly telling us to “breathe in and out” otherwise we’ll gasp for air upon reaching the chorus and flatline like how the song ends.

365247 is the revelation as to how perfect Dowoon’s tone matches Latin-flavored tunes. I initially thought there was a guest singer for the bridge! It is a proper, full-bridge part too, with full-on instruments at that! I’ll look forward to the fancams of his live singing. Similarly, i could barely recognize Young K’s timbre in the first verse of Ouch, my first reaction was, “our drummer gets to open a Day6’s song??” His super low register sounds different! Ouch is a rhythmic, chill number with croony vocals despite the pained content. And i totally misheard the hook as ayaya-ya-ya, you’re my banana-na-na when it’s actually “neomu apa na-na-na-na” LOL

Composition-wise, Stop Talking is similar to Ouch‘s. Both feature pinching guitar as the base rhythm, though it’s way more accented in this one. There’s also lots of texture and tonal changes, from the calm verses to the fiery chorus to urban rapping. It also projects message that i definitely resonate with:

Please be more careful about what you say
That’s not an honest opinion
Look, you’re being thoughtlessly rude
Why are you like this? saying such reckless words
Ah, i’m getting annoyed
Hey, that’s enough
You might think that i’m overreacting, but this is how i feel
What are you gonna do about it?

And then there’s About Now that oozes an indie, soporific quality which reminds me of Age of Youth OST.

After all of the new genres they’re venturing into, it’s nice to hear familiar melodies in Not Fine and Like a flowing wind, so much so that they’re my early favorites. Which is also where Sungjin’s gravelly tone truly shines. Not Fine is another vocal-driven track since the instruments are so sparse in the verses, but i’m digging the pop-rock chorus.

Like a flowing wind is the last but definitely not least track, because it remains one of my top picks after looping the album for over a week now. It feels like it’s been a while since the band works on a good rock ballad like this. It has straightforward yet effective progression, smooth buildup, and moderately intense yet stirringly powerful chorus. The melody is pleasing through and through, the high notes are hit effortlessly, and the harmony in the last chorus blends like a dream. If Young K blesses my ears with his sustained belting in Not Mine, Wonpil gave me goosebumps with his rendition here. I can’t get enough of either; both are really pretty and cathartic to listen to.

Day6 has stated on several occasions that they’re not (just) a rock band, that they aren’t restricted to certain genres, but despite their intention, sometimes their album tracks still sound somewhat similar — or fall under the broad rock umbrella. But with this record, it could be a testament to their range, versatility, and capabilities of tackling a motley of genres outside their comfort zone or signature sound they’re known for, with hardly disappointing outputs at that.

The variety may be enabled by the fact that Young K isn’t the sole lyricist in this album; the fact that Jae headed the songwriting of EMERGENCY and About Now while Wonpil did for Rescue Me, Not Mine, and Like a flowing wind probably infused more colors and flavors to the overall sound of the album. In spite of that, the band manages to compose an earworm refrain for every track that they never sound too foreign. They also never fail to divide the parts equally that each member has moments to shine within a song or across the record, not to mention adding textures and interesting points of every single track.

So, although Entropy’s diversity took me a while to warm up to, now i have around 6 to 7 out of 11 tracks on my playlist. Update: a month later, it’s creeping up to be one of my favorite records of the quintet.

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lyrics translation: jaelavie

Author:

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

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