NU'EST – 'CANVAS'
1. Daybreak (Minhyun & JR)
2. R.L.T.L (Real Love True Love) (one morning)
3. Love Paint (every afternoon)
4. Thank You (evening by evening)
5. Look (a starlight night)
NU'EST continues the trend started on 'Q is' with another concept album, 'Canvas.' Pledis is finally treating them right, this being their second comeback this year. Their fifth mini-album features five songs written by the members.
The album starts with the pensive "Daybreak." This track is sort of a hybrid -- a pop tune with balladic elements. It works well, Minhyun's smooth vocals and JR's raps complementing each other perfectly. The boys did a great job here, giving us a slow tune that doesn't lose its way or drown itself in excess, yet is still tender and heartfelt. This is the first mention of paint and canvas.
"R.L.T.L (Real Love True Love) (one morning)" picks up the tempo. It's a nifty piece of neo-soul, a funky beat fused with more modern elements -- especially that chorus! The pre-chorus is where they shine, powerful vocals carrying the tune. Hooky and catchy, it's got that club-banger vibe while being different. They must be morning people. :) There are art references here too.
The title track is "Love Paint (every afternoon)." This is where most of the artistic metaphors come in. They created a solid danceable tune, and again those fierce vocals make the chorus really stand out. The boys take the excitement of the previous track and run with it. I love how expressive and detailed the lyrics are -- something usually reserved for ballads. This is one tune I enjoy listening to multiple times.
I was not as big a fan of "Thank You (evening by evening)" as I was of the other tracks. It seemed too slow, weighed down by the falsetto and production thrown at it, reveling in the very things that turn me off of ballads. It didn't seem as authentic as I wanted. It sounded like everyone else, and I wanted more originality.
"Look (a starlight night)" is a particular fun one. It hits all the right buttons, and I enjoyed this one. It's more properly a club banger, moving out of the comfortable R&B groove that most of the tracks on this disc are nestled in. There's a trendiness to this one, more so than the others. Extremely danceable and earwormy, with the tiniest hint of funk. A definite winner in my book, and my favorite track on the album.
It's kind of obvious what's going on from just the song titles. Not quite as inventive as 'Q is,' I think it's stronger musically. I like how NU'EST is getting more involved in the production, and indeed the whole process. It's a lot more emotional that way. They care about what they do, and it shows. There's some real artistry in this collection, and I'm excited to see where they can go from here.
The MV itself didn't make much sense to me and seemed to be a hodgepodge of scenes thrown together. There were dancing sequences, the smoky environments, various scenes of the boys sitting or standing, singing, and gathering at a gas station.
It's another MV that wasn't meant for me, which might be my problem. There were long, languorous scenes where they lingered on the boys, as they sing their way through the production. Then again, I didn't see any abs, so that may not be it.
The dancing was fun to watch, and we got an eyeful there. Good choreo is exciting, so this part, at least, was enjoyable to me. Points off for being a bit impenetrable. What was the point of the stones, anyway? Good album, iffy video.