WINNER – 'REMEMBER'
1. Remember *Title
2. Dduk (JINU SOLO)
4. Just Dance
5. My bad
8. Serenade (HOONY SOLO)
9. Empty (4 ver.)
10. Don’t Flirt (4 ver.)
11. Color Ring (4 ver.)
12. Different (4 ver.)
WINNER just released their third full album, 'Remember.' This is their final album for a while, as they're on hiatus until everyone has completed their tour of duty in the military. Kim Jinwoo was the first to enlist. The new album features 7 new tracks, their previously released single "Hold," and four re-recorded tracks from their debut EP.
"Remember" is soft pop. The song is deceptively simple. It's sung primarily to a strummed guitar, but the vocals are key here. They're using the boy's voices to carry the song. Jinu's solo tune is "Dduk." The concept behind the title is kind of hard to explain, but it has the sense of "stop crying." Jinu's repetition of the word seems to bear this out. The song itself is soft pop sung to a guitar. "Hold" is their pre-release single. You've probably heard it by now, so I won't belabor the obvious. It hit number one on multiple platforms. So if you were hoping for a copy of it, it's on this LP. They get a little livelier on "Just Dance," having dispensed with the more contemplative tunes. Not only is it more energetic, but it's also playful, and the rapping almost seems performed with a smile. I have to say I like this song better than the ones I've heard. Not only is there a danceable beat, but they sound a bit more masculine.
"My bad" takes us back to the more acoustic songs. This one seems more confessional in nature. And again they have the acoustic guitar as a backing track, along with falsetto backup singers and the like. Continuing the trend of ruminative songs, we have "Teaser." The tune is looking back at a breakup, trying to figure out why it happened, the singer beating himself up for not listening. It's not bad, but it kind of sounds the same as most of the songs on here. "Well" is another club banger, breaking up the collection of rather maudlin songs. This one's much more my speed, where they're energetic, upbeat, and out of their funk. Songs like this have a lot to recommend them. We're well into Spring and heading towards Summer. Let's have more of these kinds of songs.
Hoony gets romantic on "Serenade." Well, more apologetic then romantic. In the song, he's apologizing for being a jerk and trying to sing to her to get her back. The nice thing about this song is that it's not quiet or easy listening, either. It's another club banger, with a fair amount of rapping. And next, we have the OT4 versions of songs from their 2014 debut. "Empty," "Coloring," "Don't Flirt," and "Different." Regardless of how you feel about Taehyun, these songs are here. They re-recorded each of these tracks. They're not remixes, and aren't significantly different from the source material. In some ways, they feel more intimate, a little quieter.
This is a fairly mellow album. True, you have a few club bangers, but also more than a few softer cuts. It's not bad, especially if you like that sort of thing. I was hoping for more of a bang, but maybe a moment of quiet reflection is better. After all, they do have six years behind them. Maybe it's better to take some time to remember the past, so they can make the future even brighter.
In WINNER'S MV "Remember," the boys look back at their careers, staring at old photos and reminiscing. And then the scenes play out in full-motion video, showing clips of them on stage in front of a microphone, raising a fist in triumph amid geysers of sparks, fans holding signs, and staring out at a sea of lightsticks.
This is also interspersed with what look to be home movies or at least outtakes. They goof around in front of the camera. That, plus the boys picking up snapshots, and the prints dangling on, the band smiling as they look at them. It adds a human dimension and is rather powerful.
Particularly affecting is the end, where they vacate the stage and the lights go down, ending the first chapter of a six-year career.
This is a pretty good MV, showing a bit of the live experience to the viewer. And if you're a fan, I'm sure this time is particularly hard. But just think, they'll come back as soon as everyone's military service is over. And think of the comeback they'll have when they do. It's not the end. Just a pause. And the next chapter they write is something to look forward to.
MV SCORE: 8.6
ALBUM SCORE: 8.0