We really didn’t expect to like this as nearly as much as we do.
When we saw that Bobby was going to drop a new album, we were a little skeptical. Sure, he has proven to be a solid writer since debuting with iKON, but the fact that nothing really seems to stick to the average listener for more than a few months (with the exception of his verse on Born Hater) and we have never really experienced him doing anything solo made us skeptical as to whether or not he could stand in the spotlight and captivate us on his own.
But it turns out that the singer/rapper has a lot of vocal charisma and, when given the opportunity to take the stage alone, he captivates just fine. Not only does he do almost all of the writing for this album (Mino and DK write their own verses and a few other parts on their perspective tracks), he also doesn’t have that many features, a total of two tracks that are not strictly his own on the whole thing.
The production for the tracks are solid and, if anything, slightly deceptive in comparison to the two lead singles. The flow of the album overall is a lot more hop&B-based with moments where it vacillates widely to the extreme of the two merged genres. There is also a lot more refinement than you have heard on some of his part work with iKON, a lot less chaotic and a lot more mature in places, making for something that has a lot of bops that aren’t all up-tempo.
One of the most surprising things about the set is that, when Bobby sings, his voice is surprisingly soulful. While the island production of the first of the lead singles, I Love You, doesn’t really suit him and sounds just a little too much like Really, Really (both tracks share a producer) for us to get behind, it still manages to show him capable of bring a solid singing performance. It’s not just that he manages to keep pitch and bring all the appropriate emotion that a track calls for, it’s that he doesn’t opt for the monotone delivery even if the style of the track that he’s on may typically call for it. He manages to give everything a hint of melody and keep things from becoming monotonous. It’s really easy to listen to this all the way through even though you will definitely want to skip straight to your favorites.
You can see what YG sees in him thanks to this project. Despite being a personally shy and somewhat goofy (sweet) man, he manages to exude confidence and really light up when he performs. Even when we can’t see him, he still manages to shine. We expect to see a lot more in the future.
Our favorite tracks are Alien, Up, Secret, and Firework. The most skippable tracks are I Love You and In Love.