ZICO – 'RANDOM BOX'
1. Summer Hate (Feat. Rain) *Title
3. Love & hate (Feat. BIBI)
4. No you can’t
6. Any Song
Zico has just dropped his newest album to cool down your summer, the EP 'Random Box.' It has six tracks, including the title track "Summer Hate." This is his third mini-album.
Something more than just a general overview would be a little difficult to do. Each song, with the exception of "No you can't," fits in exactly the same genre, with exactly the same vibes. Every song is pretty much laid-back tropical house beats and reggae. Which should come as no surprise to anybody who's followed his career. He likes to switch things up.
"Summer Hate" features Rain as a guest artist. On the face of it, it's not terribly complicated. He spends the time grousing about summer and how hot it is. He complains about this and that and the other thing, but the tone is only semi-serious. He doesn't lose that playfulness on "Cartoon," where he's comparing his date to an animated movie. Not sure exactly everything that's going on there.
"Love & hate" (Feat. BIBI) continues the cartoon references. He pulls out the similes as he says they're like Tom and Jerry, and even goes as far as Sid and Nancy. It's pretty obvious they fight like cats and dogs. "No You Can’t" is probably the song I like best. Not only is it clever, but it's also got that hip hop vibe I crave. In fact, it's entirely hip hop, which is good. I miss Zico the rapper.
We get a cute song in "Roommate." Here he waxes nostalgic and describes his relationship with a hypothetical roommate. Sometimes lovers, sometimes just friends. "Any Song" was a stand-alone single that got an all-kill. It's pretty much about listening to a song and doing whatever makes you happy. Though there are some fan theories that say that it's about chart manipulation.
It really isn't that much of a random box. It's got a signature sound that is reasonably consistent throughout. And all the songs are fairly upbeat, too. It's a nice collection of tunes, and the whole EP maintains the level of quality we expect from an artist like Zico.
And Zico released a pair of MVs for his comeback. And the two couldn't really be more different.
"Cartoon" doesn't have to do so much with animation as it is more of a video game or a virtual reality simulation. Zico makes his way through an overgrown and ruined Seoul. Buildings are either half-demolished, tilted at odd angles, or partially overwhelmed by greenery, probably ivy.
But to keep it from being a Debbie Downer of a video, there's someone stalking him. It's a girl, probably hungry, trying to scavenge what she can. The two hit it off -- probably not hard if you are the last two left alive. And they spend their time rebuilding and frolicking if you can believe that. Blue skies and cute scenes keep it from becoming depressing.
Overall, this is fun, and entirely not what I expected at all.
As I said, "Summer Hate" is 100% different than "Cartoon." For one thing, it's played for laughs. We see antics like oversized hands, cooking dinner on the pavement, the trailer melting into the asphalt, and flames in the background.
None of that is meant to be taken seriously. Even if we see them frowning we have to repress the urge to giggle. Everything is exaggerated, overplayed, and pure flights of fancy. It's definitely worth your while if you need a mood lifter.
They're both tons of fun.
MV SCORE: 8.6
ALBUM SCORE: 9.0