VROMANCE – THE ACTION
1. Introduce (Feat. Basick)
2. Longtime Lovers
4. Bing (Feat. Big Tray)
5. Already Winter (pre-release single)
6. She (Inst.)
MAMAMOO'S brother group Vromance is getting into 'The Action' with their debut album. The boys are all talented vocalists, having acted as vocal trainers to idols. They've even recorded guide songs. Their name is a portmanteau of "bromance" and "vocals," which should give you a good idea of their concept. The group consists of Hyunkyu, Chandong, Hyunsuk, and Janghyun. Vromance has been working hard on their debut for four years, so let's take this for a spin.
"Introduce" has rapper Basick, back from hiatus and jumping into yet another collaboration. It's definitely plastic soul -- the raw sound of soul distilled down, replacing its earthiness with smooth harmonies. It's seductive and soulful at the same time, not to mention exceedingly slick. Basick has a small part in here; he's there and in a flash -- he's gone -- the song would have been the same without him.
The disco-inspired "She" continues the distinct R&B feel of the album. In my opinion, this is in part the role of a title track. As much as the intro, it should inform and give you the best of what the album has to offer. In this case, I'm not sure it's the best, but it's not bad. It takes elements from both disco and swing, giving it a fresh-yet-familiar feel. I like how Janghyun hits the high notes here, and I think without him, this song would sound like everybody else's.
A particular favorite of mine on the album is "Bing." It's got a funky feel, too, but a very different one from "She," allowing them to showcase their vocals in a unique way. They do everything from the nonsense "ya ya ya" hooks to vibrato and emotional climaxes. They really make this song pop more than their title track. It's funny, too, as they come upon some bullies stealing lunch money, and they threaten the bullies 'til they turn over their cash.
The rest of the album contains a ballad, the pre-release track "Already Winter," and the instrumental for "She." Their sound is largely retro-inspired, their concept a fun one. There's a heavy R&B influence to all of this. This is intentional. Pre-debut, they covered the likes of Michael Jackson and Jessie J. They do a pretty good job with the pop R&B similar to luminaries like those. Their chops are without reproach -- they have a buttery smooth sound that should carry them far.
The MV is a fun romp through the pink-suited madness with a bevvy of cameos. Most of the actors appear to be unknowns with one notable exception: label mate Hwa Sa of MAMAMOO! The boys sing while we're treated to a series of vignettes, featuring an elderly couple dancing, a little boy and girl -- and the little tyke can breakdance! Hwa Sa is put through her comedic paces, losing a drumstick, giving the stinkeye to a fellow shopper playing chicken with the carts, etc.
There's a fair amount going on here, so you don't get bored. It doesn't seem like they spent a lot, but they put some care into how it was spent, and it doesn't look slapped together. I like MVs like this. They're fairly simple, with no deeper meaning or symbolism other than to be cute.
I enjoyed watching this. Not only is the song fun, so is the video.