WINNER – 'WE'
1. AH YEAH
3. MOLA/DON'T KNOW
5. EVERYDAY (REMIX)
6. FIRST LOVE 2019)
WINNER is back with a timely seasonal release. We haven't heard from them since last winter, so a summer comeback was definitely in the cards. The title of the EP is 'WE,' and they have said in interviews that the album explores all the unique things about us. All tracks were written by Yoon, Mino, and Hoony, except for "ZOO," which involved just Mino and Hoony.
The title track "AH YEAH" fronts the album. It has some things in common with the tropical house beat, only it uses an acoustic guitar as a backing track. I really wasn't a fan until about 2 minutes in, and that's when we get the fierce chorus. It reminds me of "Millions." The lyrics are also clever, carefully put together to mask the fact it's about a breakup. But if you're looking for a bright, happy summer pop, this song is it. "ZOO" continues in the same vein, only more so. You still have some acoustic guitar, along with some drums, but the whole thing is turned down. The vocals come through loud and clear as a result, and it makes the song better. It's still got those catchy hooks and seems rather upbeat. And the low-key dance track "MOLA/DON'T KNOW" is actually quite well constructed. It's plenty energetic and will have you looking around for your dance shoes. I like the pounding beat that presages the chorus, and they keep the vocals rather subdued there, despite the noisy EDM.
"BOOM" is kind of a misnomer, as I didn't hear a boom of any kind, nor was I blown away. This is more in your face than "DON'T KNOW," but still feels plenty playful during the main verses. I think I would have given it a stronger chorus (like a fiercer "boom!") but I like the loud EDM in the background. "EVERYDAY (REMIX)" brings in the synths, and replaces the tropical house beat of the original with a more filled out melody. I kind of like this one better. They kept the best parts of the original, and just added more. As I said, this one's just a lot better as a song. The original "FIRST LOVE" was from about a year ago, and this is a remix. It largely sounds the same, and the 2019 version sounds a bit edgier. Gone is the rather blah drum machine and pounding beats take its place. There's a little more going on in the backing track, too. It sounds like the same vocal track, though.
Thankfully, they've managed to craft an EP that doesn't leave their talents underutilized. They've got fairly solid vocals, and on this EP you can kind of hear that more than usual. They're also underappreciated. They had a pretty good concept that they followed through with on this release (barring the remixes). I'm not gonna tell you who to like, but this is a band that more people need to stan.
For a breakup song, it sure looks like WINNER is having fun in their newest MV "AH YEAH."
And they do have fun, from pretending to play video games against a Tetris-y background, watching a movie in about the wildest theater setting I've ever seen (except for one of them playing the party pooper), dancing in a classroom while papers flutter around them, and riding on a train that looks more like a 2D sketch than a 3D physical object.
You can't say they didn't spend some money on this, because they obviously did. And it doesn't have to have eye-popping digital effects, just interesting scenes. And what they did have they used to great effect. I like the brightly colored environments they ended up in. It's summer, so we should see a lot more of that.
The boys do like they're having the time of their lives. Who knows? They might be. Obviously, if the zeroes on my paycheck were in the right place, I'd probably be laughing and carrying on like that as well. But it seems authentic, and it's just infectious enough to make you smile too.
So yeah, this video was fun. And it had me laughing in some parts, which is always a good thing. The fact that the song is catchy as all get out doesn't hurt either.
MV SCORE: 8.0
ALBUM SCORE: 8.0