Special Features, Original Features

[Album & MV Review] UP10TION - 'Spotlight'

By eric_r_wirsing   Thursday, April 28, 2016   8,394   2,108   2



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Track List:

1. Spotlight
2. Attention
3. Stay
4. Like Nothing Happened
5. Yes or No
6. I Wish A Miracle
7. Cherish

Following their debut on 'Masked Rookie Competition,' UP10TION has knocked out two mini-albums in under a year's time, 'Top Secret' and 'Bravo.' The 10-member boy band is back with the 7-track EP 'Spotlight.'

It starts out with an R&B groove, and then quickly transitions to a dance tune, while keeping the same bass line. It's a nice setup for "Attention."

Their high-octane title track. Definitely forceful with that belted chorus. I really like this; the boys sound completely jazzed here. Even the raps are delivered excitedly, and have a great, if all-too-brief, hook. The message is best delivered with this snippet:

"Don't look anywhere else
Pay attention only to me from now on"

Sort of a folked-up pop number. It starts with acoustic guitar and then picks up momentum with synths and a funky guitar.  It's got a good tempo, soft and danceable at the same time, akin to some tunes from the disco era. The message is simple: stay with them a little longer.

"Like Nothing Happened"
A tender piano driven ballad that turns to a more funky, upbeat R&B number. I like the buildup to the chorus, and how somewhat staccato singing overlays with the still balladic tune on the piano. The vocals in the main verses are pretty seductive. What is the title all about?

"And I'm scared that you'll find out, that you'll notice that I'm nervous
First I pretend like nothing's the matter."

"Yes or No"
Another club banger with some different percussion underneath, almost like they're clapping wooden blocks together. With all of them singing at once, this song has some definite punch and force behind it. I'd be scared not to answer. The chorus has some delicious hooks, and the lyrics are demanding:

Just say Yes or No no
Be clear this or that
I think it looks like Yes but No no
I'm about to go crazy
Just say yes

"I Wish A Miracle"
It starts out as a simple ballad with piano, but turns into a majestic synth driven production. The boys sing in needy, pleading tones here, particularly Kogyeol and Sunyoul. They add emotional oomph to the song midway through, barely letting up til the end. They wish for a miracle, the miracle that they can stop loving her.

A playful ditty by Sunyoul and Yuju of G-Friend. It's a mid-tempo tune, and I think Yuju largely steals it, as sometimes when they sing together, he's buried, and her vocals are out front. The lyrics are actually pretty heartfelt and earnest, belying the not-so-serious tone:

Actually it's my first time giving my number to someone
I've never been attracted before
Like I've been put under a spell

I like a lot of enthusiasm in my music, and these guys have an awesome energy that they haven't forgotten how to deliver, even with the synchronized dancing and harmonies. Another thing on this disc I really get a kick out of is the switch-ups, where you think it'll be one song and it turns out as another genre entirely. UP10TION has certainly gotten my 'attention' and has taken the 'spotlight.'


The boys look like they're ready for a date. One has a present, another has flowers, and still another is waiting at a laundromat. But no matter what, they can't seem to find her at home or anywhere else. So what do you do when your girl's a no-show? You find your friends, of course. So they do, they hang out, shoot hoops, etc.

The clothing here is fairly dapper, except for some of the individual shots. The pink shirt I can hang with, it doesn't look that bad. But the pink jacket? I'm not talking gender roles, I'm just describing how it looks -- to me, awkward. Brown, white, black, blue, how about any other color?  

The dancing is, frankly, amazing. I was missing some of the things I'd seen with boy bands like SHINee and Super Junior, and UP10TION went and brought it back. The synchronization here is on point, and the choreo is pretty intense. While not the best I've seen, it ranks up there.  

Overall, this is not the best MV, but hardly the worst. I think what saves it is the dancing. The subplot is too thin to actually support the whole thing, but as I said these boys' moves are exhilarating. I think this is the idea, given that most of the MV is dance sequences. If you're looking for a deep plot or attractive co-stars, forget it. If you're looking for a kickin' beat and awesome dance moves, this is your MV.


MV Relevance..........7
MV Production.........8
MV Concept.............7
Album Production...8
Album Concept........9


SEE ALSO: UP10TION's Kuhn and Kogyeol look fit in their 'Ceci' pictorial




    1. UP10TION
    2. spotlight

    Tainantiger Tuesday, July 12, 2016

    I wish the reviewers would include the songwriters in their review.....if they even know them

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    alyangel Friday, April 29, 2016

    Are you kidding me? Talk about underrated! All the songs slayed beyond compare. They've been bringing their intense and charming style since debut. They're always smooth with their dances, their concept is always presented perfectly, and the music production is just fantastic for rookies. And a slightly slippery subplot is pretty much all their MVs? So what are you even talking about? It's like their style. They appear as charming boyfriends who got stood up and told the girl they should be her priority, and to pay attention to only them. So only a 7 for two MV categories? That's just borderline rude. And what is so wrong with the tracklisting for just an 8? Should be a 9 because again, all those songs slayed. You really do injustice to the albums you review.

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    kpop and chill
    kpop and chill