[This review reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of allkpop.]
1. Love and a boy
2. Run away
3. Ok man ft. Bobby
4. Wa ft. Zion.T
5. I want to ft. meenoi
7. Hop in ft. DPR LIVE
9. Click / Han river view
10. Book store ft. BewhY
12. Lost in a crowd
TAKE marks MINO's second full-length album since his solo debut album, XX, and the album felt like a refreshing splash of water to the face after months of retro funk K-Pop centered comebacks. MINO suggests he is an innovator, unafraid of risks, or being perceived as overly experimental with TAKE. The album begins with "Love and a boy," a chill synth beat that seemingly starts as any other mellow introductory track would. The instrumental is so ethereal that it's haunting, and MINO's super clear delivery cuts in such an amazing way that it's chill-inducing. When the beat ramps up and MINO begins his yelling of "LOVE AND A BOY," you can picture him saying it with his whole chest. When I say MINO's raps are spitfire, I am not just saying that- his tongue is moving at an inhumane speed.
The title song, "Run away," is next—a softy, bouncy, and pleasant song that's poignant and chock full of lyricism. MINO is not playing around with having lots of fun with his songwriting and rap deliveries. "Run away" follows the tempo he's set thus far: fast. "Ok man" is a club song (there had to be at least one, it's MINO!), featuring none other than BOBBY. This song is filled with swagger, but I can't say that I feel that BOBBY is adding much to the song, as I prefer all of MINO's verses to BOBBY's minor additions.
"Wa" is his second collaboration this album, this time with Zion.T. The song is a little haunting and a little unhinged, but the biggest focal point is the fact that Zion.T's biggest contribution to the song is not his signature singing but his rap verse, which I felt was such an interesting choice on MINO's part. The next track, "I want to," features indie artist, meenoi, whose wispy vocals work great with MINO's rap over the 8bit sounding instrumental. The xylophone samples are hitting perfectly, and this playful song breaks up the seriousness of the songs up until this point well. I can tell the tracklisting and production were extremely deliberate on this release. "I want to" is so pleasant with the ethereal lilt of a female vocal, making the overall vibe hypnotizing.
"Daylight" was one of my two least favorite songs on this release- it felt like a cringe Drake cover in many ways. The other song was "Click / Han river view," as I felt the introduction's delivery prior to the drop went on just a few bars too long. The drop didn't stand up against the wait on the intro as a result. Luckily, DPR LIVE was here to "Hop In" on the next song and give MINO perfect 'viral tik tok song' energy on this hip hop number. There's a lot about "Hop In" that's appealing- from the easy-to-learn lyrics, to the beat and overall feeling, the song is an intoxicating track that leaves you wanting to replay.
Gasp! A l-....a l-... a love song? After all these mind-bending and genre-bending tracks, "Pow!" does exactly what the title suggests and smacks us across the face with something mellow and romantic. It's not my favorite in terms of originality in sound or concept. With how outlandish this album has been up until this point, I truly expected him to really go crazy on this song. "Book store" features rapper, Bewhy, a reminiscent and retro sound overall, where MINO shifts back into the haunting and mysterious sound he was going for at the beginning of the album. The instrumental seems to have the sound of when characters creep around in '90s cartoons- a nice touch in production. TAKE ME ends with two ballads - one being "Sunrise," which felt a little too heavy on the autotune, and "Lost in a crowd," a mellow finish to a chaotic musical journey. Overall, MINO's release was an eclectic musical journey that illustrates his growth and maturation as an artist. I can appreciate the risks he took on this album and believe they paid off for him as a whole.
The MV for "Run away" begins like a movie, MINO is seen taking off on the road in a remote mountainside, seemingly escaping from something before the title "Run away" flashes on screen. What's left is an insanely cinematic and enthralling MV. I will be the first to admit, I wasn't expecting a release this good from MINO, and I certainly wasn't expecting an MV this good either. The use of the storyline went so perfectly with the song, it made my jaw drop. "Run away" has just the right amount of artistic flair and direction, and everything is delicately placed to make you feel the overwhelm MINO is expressing from his obsession with this love he is speaking about. The inclusion of special effects paired with amazing animations made this video that much better- and actually drove me to enjoy the song more after consuming the visual illustration of the MV.
MV Score: 9
Album Score: 9