UP10TION – 'THE MOMENT OF ILLUSION'
1. Your Gravity
2. Sky Surfer
3. Look At Me
UP10TION is coming back, this time with the EP 'The Moment of Illusion'. The whole band isn't back together yet, though; Lee Jin Hyuk is resting and promoting after 'Produce X 101' and Kim Woo Seok is busy as a member of X1. UP10TION members Kuhn and Bitto co-wrote the lyrics for each of the tracks on the album, and Jinhoo lent his pen to help compose and write "Restore".
The title track "Your Gravity" blew me away. That's probably one of the best title tracks I've heard from this band. And I love how this club-banger comes together, from the husky-voiced raps to the smooth vocals, and the loud synths and echoes. I love this tune. "Sky Surfer" is a little lighter, and has some echoes of a tropical house beat. Thankfully, it pushes a lot of that to the background and they've crafted a pretty solid song. I like how the different voices mesh here, one after the other to deliver a pretty good dance tune. It's a slow burn, though, and it took a bit to find its footing.
For a change of pace, crank up "Look At Me." It still has some of the smooth vocals and those rather sick raps. But it gives the rappers a larger part and leaves the rest of the boys to sing the hooks. It's a tactic widely adopted by girl groups, but it's a good thing to hear here. "Skyway" is straight-up pop, but it really has an energy that next levels this tune. I like it. From the longer raps to the bass thrums, I like how we go from gliding to more staccato when they continue a line with a few bars. It works quite well in this tune.
"Restore" is more or less R&B. It's a change of pace from the other songs we've heard on here. It also does more to showcase the boys' vocals and each of them seems to have more of a chance to shine on this track. It's not bad, but I've heard a lot of similar tracks. And just to amp up the tempo, we get "Lover". Kudos to the band for leaving us with a club-banger. It's got just as much energy as "Your Gravity". And now that I've heard it, it's a toss-up as to which one I like better. This definitely has that bad-ass dance floor groove I crave.
This album is actually quite good. I haven't heard that much from UP10TION that grabbed me, but that changed with this one. Particularly the first and last tracks. I like the smooth vocals, and how the rappers interrupt the main verse to shake things up. You never quite know exactly how a song will end up, and that's part of what keeps me listening. This album had kind of a fly-away-with-me sci-fi groove that I liked a lot. Plus, nearly every song was a bop.
The boys of UP10TION dance in their new MV for "Your Gravity."
And that's largely what's going on. There are nods to something else (but I'm not sure exactly what) as they play on an Escher-like staircase and fall off of it. Not sure what's up with that. Maybe they're succumbing to gravity. There are also scenes that are meant to look like slices of life, but they end up looking contrived.
The dancing, though, is quite good. Bold, purposeful, and there are parts that look genuinely challenging. The choreo gets a bit weak when they hit the bridge, but then again it was so short you barely notice. Overall, I was impressed.
I would have liked this better if the sets didn't look so cheap. Everything looked like the facades they built in the days of second gen K-pop. Pastel colors; vague, featureless backgrounds -- it's like they had a checklist and ticked all the boxes.
I like the song a lot. This is another example of how the song is tons better than the MV.
MV SCORE: 7.6
ALBUM SCORE: 8.6