ASTRO – 'BLUE FLAME'
1. Blue Flame
3. All About You
4. When The Wind Blows
5. You’re My World
ASTRO is back with their newest mini-album 'Blue Flame.' The EP has 5 tracks, including the title track. This is their 6th mini-album to date. It's been 10 months since we've heard from them, so was it worth the wait?
"Blue Flame" has a reggae beat at its heart, but they do dress it up as a slickly-produced pop tune. They're on point here in this low-key dance tune. It's not bad, but I found it a little flat. "Go&Stop" starts with raps, and then develops into a pretty solid pop tune. I like the fact that the rapper has a larger role than just a soliloquy in the middle of the piece. They get to ad-lib through the whole thing. Really, this one's better than the title track. "All About You" is pretty straight R&B. The raps give this tune an edginess that I like. They're still able to take that roughness and smooth it out with top-flight vocals. It's not just smooth and edgy all at the same time, it's a decent dance tune to boot.
As you might guess, "When The Wind Blows" starts as more of a soft-pop offering. At least in the beginning. After the rapping comes in, it acquires a faster tempo, though. It actually sounds really good, and I liked some of vocals have a fierceness that I like. It's not a quite a ballad, but the last tune, "You're My World," fits nicely into the soft-pop category. It doesn't change into a different tune like the last track. Instead it stays put, and the vocals are emotional and sweet enough that you won't want this one to end.
ASTRO usually puts out quality content, and I don't see much to object to here. I wish their title track was a little more exciting, but that's a minor quibble. I've had issues with what the companies think are good title tracks for a while now. All the songs are just slickly produced, and the boys kill whatever they tackle. In 3 years time, ASTRO has positioned itself as one of the better K-pop bands out there, and it's about time they got some recognition for it. And yeah, for fans, this should be worth the wait.
The boys of ASTRO dance their way through their newest MV, "Blue Flame."
Interestingly enough, it's a two-toned video. In one half of the MV, everything's cast in a shade of blue and black. Blue lighting, blue special effects, you name it. And then in the other half, there are warmer colors, cream and brown. It kind of makes you wonder what effect they were going for unless the blue was considered too cold, and they needed something to balance it out.
Of course, this MV is mainly dancing, though there are more than a few individual shots. The choreo is sharp, purposeful, and direct. And the boys do more than just go through the motions. Every move is meant to dazzle you more.
Regardless, ASTRO looks super-cool in this one. They pulled out all the stops to make this MV rock. And it does. From the title track, to the special effects, to the steamy greenhouse, and whatever this is:
I don't care. It still looks cool. Edgy without being dangerous was key in this MV, and I think they pulled it off. Everything just looks awesome; and at the end of the day, isn't that the point?
MV SCORE: 8.6
ALBUM SCORE: 8.6