iKON – 'NEW KIDS : THE FINAL'
1. GOODBYE ROAD *Title
2. DON`T LET ME KNOW
3. ADORE YOU
iKON has just dropped their newest mini-album 'New Kids : The Final.' Apparently this was much-anticipated, as it's No. 1 on iTunes albums charts in 25 countries, including Japan. The single "Goodbye Road" came in first place on two Chinese charts: QQ Music's K-pop Music Video chart and KuGou's K-pop New Song chart. The EP itself hit No. 1 on five of Korea's major real-time charts: Melon, Genie, Bugs, Mnet, and Soribada, while it's at No. 4 on Naver. By the time you read this, it will likely rise even higher.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a song that oozes heartache more than "GOODBYE ROAD." Sung to a lonesome guitar riff, the boys do a lot to let you know they regret what they've done, and they wish their lover well. While it trods familiar ground, I like some elements, some of the rapid-fire raps (like at the 1:37 mark) were filled with aggression and helped me like the song a lot more. "DON'T LET ME KNOW" is playful, though it doesn't start out like that. It really starts out depressing, and I was hoping the whole EP wouldn't be like that. I really like the chorus in this one, and it has that raw feeling like they were really not taking it as seriously as they could. You can almost hear the smiles as they sing. It's a power ballad, but they could have done a lot worse by it. It's an awesome jam.
"ADORE YOU" is a ballad, for better or for worse. They do a decent job of it, and I think part of that is the vocals. This explores all the many facets of heartache (sonically, that is), from soul-rending vocals to tender heartfelt singing. It's a great song for all of that, testing and expanding their vocal range. "PERFECT" is a pensive tune. It really sounds for all the world like Jay's singing his heart out, sitting on a porch, talking to us like an old friend. When the rest of the boys join him, it's a regular tear fest. It loses little of its original qualities, too, as each boy gets a chance to shine.
My verdict? We have a pretty good album here, though I seriously found myself wishing for a club-banger. Each of these tunes has something I like about 'em, and I did my best to describe why each song was worthwhile. With 4 solid songs and no filler, the EP is worth checking out, even if it's just for a good cry.
The video to go along with the song is kind of standard, and what we've come to expect from a pop group. They're dancing around on what appears to be a loading dock -- sometimes. There are other scenes in the city, with traffic going by in the background, or an absolutely gorgeous sunset, and fantastic views of an urban landscape.
The dancing is okay, but not exactly what I'd call challenging. They are all in sync, but that should be the bare minimum for choreo these days. There are some nods to more complex moves, but those are quickly replaced by more standard gestures and footwork. However this is not really a dance song, so I'm not sure I can be too picky on this one.
Overall, though, there are some nice scenes of being alone with a girlfriend, or simply alone and frustrated. It's good because they didn't decide to drench this in tears, and gave us frustration and pain instead. There are worse ways to handle this, and they did an awesome job here. The shots are stellar, too, and kept my attention. They even surprised me here and there. Good job.
MV SCORE: 8.6
ALBUM SCORE: 8.3