If any Inner Circle felt that Winner would never be the same, we have some good new for you.

Winner has officially dropper their second album and, we have to say, it is better and more expansive than we thought it would be.  The group has managed to merge the sound they introduced themselves with and the more hip-pop sound that they have now for something that works in a way that it really shouldn’t.  You would think the switching between the more trap elements and the softer folk/rock elements would result in sonic whiplash, but it always comes off as a natural switch.  This probably because the hard stops at the end of each track seems to be subtly formulated to lead into the the new one, making the transition smoother.

One thing that we are grateful for is the lack of autotune on the majority of the tracks here.  The title track and Hello are probably the biggest outliers on this set, falling much more into that trap/pop range than tracks in the set.   The vocals for every other song are good and show off the maturity of their voices since their first album.  The harmonies, while not as full as we might have liked, match the songs well and there are some excellent overlays that serve to highlight the emotional and poignant sections.  The lead vocalists give solid performances throughout and show off their distinct styles of singing without losing the group aesthetic that is needed to make this project work.

We’ve only seen rudimentary translations, but the groups seems to have mostly kept their lyrical prowess coming into this.  While Everyday might be the worst in the set from that perspective, it still makes sense and tells a story.  It’s just the other songs seems to come across stronger in terms of writing.  There is a lot more emotional resonance (from what we’ve seen) in the later tracks as well, making for a good between fun and meaningful without things become morose at the end or overly silly at the beginning.

We suggest that all Winner fans, new and old, take a listen to this.  Those who aren’t familiar with the group except for their more recent singles should probably start here are well as it is a better bridge to those tracks than anything from EXIT.  We could easily see this being the project that makes this group gain appreciation from a wider audience and the managed to do it without compromising themselves too much.

Our favorite tracks are For, Special Night, and Air.  The most skippable track is Everyday because it don’t match the sound of the rest of the album.

Look below the player for timestamps of individual tracks.

0:00 – Everyday
3:26 – Air
7:10 – Hello (여보세요)
10:58 – Turn Off The Light (손만 잡고 자자) [Mino Solo]
14:14 – La La
17:51 – For (애 걔)
21:09 – We Were (예뻤더라)
25:04 – Luxury (사치)
28:27 – Movie Star
31:44 – Special Night
35:29 – Raining
39:11 – Have A Good Day