[This review reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of allkpop.]
1. Then, Now and Forever
2. Till Then
3. In Time
4. Winter Again.
5. Blue Stars
CNBLUE has returned with their 8th mini-album, RE-CODE. It's hard to believe it's been this long and the group has matured so much, but if their single "Then, Now, and Forever" says anything- it's that CNBLUE has always been good with melodies and vocals and will continue to retain this skill as their careers go on. The group's title track is triumphant with an incredible build-up and chorus that washes over you when it finally drops. The vocal delivery is stable and showcases years in the industry that have paid off and improved them for the better. The song is alternative rock and serves as a dramatic and powerful ballad.
"Till Then" has a groove to it immediately thanks to the acoustic guitar riff. Upbeat and bouncy, the vocal delivery is phenomenal here. The song's switch up in the middle adds a brassy aspect that is well-placed and timed. Kudos to the production team on this song. Track 3, "In Time," switches gears quickly and offers a coffeeshop K-drama vibe. It has a feeling of melancholy and slight sadness, but also with an uncertain sweetness interlaced throughout. The breathy delivery is light and ethereal, giving this song a pretty feeling over.
RE-CODE continues with more acoustic songs and "Winter Again." fulfills the unplugged sound well. This track has a bit more of a folk sound than some of the other alternative songs on this album. Personally, I didn't find this song to be my cup of tea due to how stagnant it felt.
CNBLUE's 8th mini-album ends on "Blue Stars," an upbeat and peppy song that's a little bit corny in harmony but fun and reminiscent of a classic CNBLUE sound. The song is deeply nostalgic and feels a bit like a reassuring, warm blanket on a cold night.
CNBLUE's MV for "Then, Now, and Forever" is extremely minimalist and straightforward. The settings are simple and the outfits are monochromatic and sleek. Rather than focusing on trying to give an overstimulating MV with an intricate story, the group opts to focus on their performance. I think this choice paid off, as it puts a lot of your focus on the song and it serves as a refreshing change from the typical MV. CNBLUE has managed to make a great, straightforward MV for a song that's loaded with a lot of complexity and raw emotion.
MV Score: 8.33
Album Score: 7.67