[This review reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of allkpop.]
1. Intro : Walk The Line
3. Let Me In (20 CUBE)
4. 10 Months
6. Outro : Cross The Line
After the difficult, long journey that was I-LAND, ENHYPEN is finally here! I expected a lot out of their debut, and this album is a great indication of a powerful debut. Border: Day 1 showcases 5 songs, an intro, and an outro, and is a palatable first release for a rookie group. "Intro: Walk The Line" gives us a great artistic and chilling introduction to what we will expect on the album from members who have gone through a lot of adversity to get to this point. The intro feels as though it's a threshold the members are walking through into the mainstream industry. The feelings evoked from this song are emotional and anticipatory.
The album's title track is "Given-Taken," a dramatic and ethereal song that suits the group well. Intense, dark, and haunting, the song's bridge carries into the chorus in an extremely dynamic way that translates well into live performance. I wasn't sure what direction BigHit would push them for their title, and this was a magnificent choice. The song is catchy but experimental enough not to sound too run-of-the-mill.
"Let Me In (20 CUBE)" showcases a much more playful side, which is a little startling after the intensity of "Given-Taken." The song is a bit more juvenile and boyish than the other releases on this album but is fun nonetheless. The chorus is fun and playful and a gentle reminder of the youth of this group. The song is a bit chaotic for my taste, but I see the appeal. Personally, my favorite release from this album was the next song, "10 Months". The song is upbeat, bouncy, and so positive! If I were to recommend one track to check out-, it's "10 Months" for its universal palatability and easy-to-listen-to performance.
The next song, "Flicker," dates from their I-LAND days when they were faced with a performance challenge. "Flicker" was one of my favorite songs from the show, and I always felt as though it sounded like a "real K-Pop group" sound. I'm happy to see it on the tracklist here with a revamped recording and optimal vocals. Border: Day 1 finishes on "Outro: Cross The Line," a slightly eerie carnival music sound with artistic spoken word messaging overall. The album concludes on a haunting note that definitely leaves you wondering what ENHYPEN has in store next. For a debut, this was some clean and outstanding work.
ENHYPEN's "Given-Taken" MV is absolutely filled to the brim with classic BigHit cinematics. From dramatic shots to intricately woven choreography, I expected nothing less from ENHYPEN. It was particularly neat to watch small moves being incorporated into "Given-Taken," dating back to the group's time on I-LAND. The carefully crafted scenes are carefully stitched together with a horror movie like cut at the end that really pulls the vintage feel of the MV together well.
My one nit with this video is that I'm not crazy about the styling aside from the handsome vampire inspired ensembles. I wish that there was more risk taken on appearances, but it does seem that they want the performance (both singing/dancing and acting) to be the focal point of the MV, which I think is a fair tradeoff.
MV Score: 8.0
Album Score: 8.0