ASTRO – 'ALL LIGHT'
1. Starry Sky
2. All Night
5. Role Play
6. 1 In A Million
7. Love Wheel
8. Heart Brew Love
ASTRO has just dropped their first-ever full-length album 'All Light!' It's got 10 brand new tracks just waiting to fill your ears. British production team LDN Noise stepped in to produce their title track "All Night." Their pedigree consists of songs for f(x), Red Velvet, and EXO, so this might be ASTRO's year in the spotlight.
The first song, ''Starry Sky," has them embracing R&B. Impressive melody, with pounding beats and a dance-floor aesthetic. Their usually upbeat sound is showcased in this tune. "All Night" is the title track, and the production team has dialed back the EDM elements that fueled their other hits. Here it's got a more natural sound, and it has that repetitive hook in a song that makes you want to sing along.
"Moonwalk" is kind of a playful song, with autotuned ad-lib, and it sounds awesome and adorable all at once. I like how it works on several levels. I really like this tune -- one of the better ASTRO songs for my money. "Treasure" has that layered effect that I like. There's a hint of tropical house here, but they've done more with it, adding even more effects, like a whistle. It still remains solidly ASTRO, however. The smooth "Role Play" plays like an R&B primer. The boys sound cool as the vocals wind serpent-like through the song. It's a little darker sound for them, more fit for smoky venues rather than the bright and poppy ASTRO, but they make it work.
"1 In A Million" starts out soft and kind of stripped down, but then it gets to the rap parts and that kicks it in high gear. I like the progression from hard to soft, and it is definitely an awesome club-banger. "Love Wheel" has that epic, shout-it-from-the-mountaintops feel to it. The song brings all the feels of being born from hope and just has that uplifting aura around it. When we get to "Heart Brew Love" we're in more familiar territory. This is 100% classic ASTRO. If you're wondering where ASTRO went, well, they're back.
"Merry-Go-Round" has kind of a serious tone, and the heartbeat drum kinda gives you a clue. It progresses to a more cheerful tune as it develops, but I like the contrast.
"Bloom" is the lone ballad on the disc. It's more or less a traditional ballad, and not much different from other songs of the same type. It's not particularly good or bad, it's just there.
In some ways, this album is all ASTRO. In other ways, it crosses new territory. Either way, it's actually a fun album. And it's got the highs and lows that music should bring you when you listen to it. That's really all you need, right? I've thought for quite some time that ASTRO is criminally underrated. Maybe this album will prove me right.
The boys are botanists in the MV for "All Night."
Or something. Just kidding. They're flower boys, in case it wasn't obvious.
The boys appear to be really into flowers in this video. Nearly every scene has them interacting with flowers in some way. They can be seen among flowers, kissing flowers, taking in their scent, having flowers in a dome on the table, flowers apparently in growing tanks lit by neon, and sets that appear to be primarily made up of flowers. Poison Ivy would be proud.
When they're not hanging around flowers, they're dancing. Now here's where the MV excels (and diverges from the concept a bit). But just a bit. They are every bit as elegant as their floral charges, and sometimes look about as delicate, to boot. The last half of the MV is where they start to really shake things up, and the choreo becomes more forceful and dynamic.
The flower theme is well-done, and these guys really seem like flower boys. I don't know how the guys in the band felt about it, but I thought it was by turns weird and fascinating. I have no love for pretty boys, really, but they did a good job with the lighting, makeup, and wardrobe. Everything they did screamed flower boy.
I can't say I was bored watching it, which is probably a plus for the MV overall.
MV SCORE: 8.0
ALBUM SCORE: 8.0