The Return of iKON

The Return of iKON

With their second full album Return, iKON came back with a bang! It took 248 long days until their comeback, but finding their position on the top of the charts was an instant reaction. Bringing along an iconic boom, the group left a strong impression on the K-Pop music industry. 

Long Time No See

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So, what’s so good about iKON’s new release? Once you listen to it, it’s an automatic addition to your playlist (pretty sure it’s going to last for about a month or two). But first, how about finding out more about the album starting with the hit track “LOVE SCENARIO”?

Progressing on from the double-title album Begin, the group presented “LOVE SCENARIO” as the title of their full-length album. The complete switch of concept from “B-DAY” and “BLING BLING” to “LOVE SCENARIO” was quite a surprise. Expecting another energetic and playful concept like “DUMB & DUMBER” or “RHYTHM TA,” the new release reminded me of iKON’s slower songs like “오늘 모해 (#WYD)” and “취향저격” (although this song gives off a very different vibe).

The music video implements elements such as movie tapes as mentioned in the song itself. The appearance of the items in the lyrics symbolize the memories of the character’s past lover. The absence of his past lover is compared to the ending of a movie, which relates with the movie film and television screens shown throughout the video. The lighting also arouses a mood of loneliness with clear distinctions between light and darkness. Duplications are a commonly used feature in this specific video, and it establishes a sense of continuity and building up a story along with the color scheme and settings that mix in adequately to create a melancholy atmosphere.

“LOVE SCENARIO” has a catchy melody with the vocals bringing the song to life; B.I’s distinct rap strikes your ears as the bouncy beat leads the song onto Jay’s soothing voice to take over. Even before you can recover from Jay’s vocals, Bobby comes to ruin you with his rap (now, it’s even harder to recover). DK, followed by Ju-ne, continues on to give the mic over to B.I. Even the choreography emphasizes his rap verses as each member starts dancing when he passes by them. Throughout the song, Song and Chan’s voices add a pinch of sweetness, allowing the track to have an uplifting mood despite the heartbreaking meaning behind the lyrics.

Too Good To Be True

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As long as the group’s inactivity lasted, iKON attempted to broaden their musical ability by trying out different styles and genres of music. As a result, this album is filled with new songs—songs that are literally title-worthy. Given the option from one to twelve, which one would you choose?

iKON talks about the beauty of the loves of their lives in “BEAUTIFUL.” The fast beat creates a cheerful atmosphere in contrast to the melancholy mood of “LOVE SCENARIO.”

B.I’s solo is also listed in the album. “ONE AND ONLY” bases on trap music and grabs listeners’ attention with the interesting hook to the song.

The track “JERK” includes several points that can be considered relatable to many, such as feeling regret only after it is too late. The sorrow of not being able to appreciate a loved one is perfectly displayed through the clean voices of the vocals.

“BEST FRIEND” is an upbeat track unlike the sad story that it contains about friendzoning. The snapping sound effects mix in well into the background, allowing the members’ voices to smoothly integrate into the beat.

“EVERYTHING” consists of fast-paced house rhythm that hypes up the listener. The lyrics discuss the idea of love standing equal to their definition of everything. Known to be Epik High’s Tablo and B.I’s collaborating piece, the soft melody placed onto the strong hip-hop beat expresses an emotion of desperation that is held consistent throughout the whole track of “HUG ME.”

“DON’T FORGET” is closer to a ballad-style song. A large portion of the lyrics give a poetic feel, and the beginning whistles that end the song give a good closure to the track. iKON’s usual type of hype track is probably similar to “SINOSIJAK.” Best suited as a performance song, it’s pretty difficult to remain seated when listening to this song.

The track “LOVE ME” has a simple melody and an exciting rhythm that makes it the perfect song to listen to comfortably without any thoughts. The blues-tempo dominates the song “JUST GO,” making it unique from the other songs in this album. With B.I participating as the only lyricist, listeners can check out his ability to communicate the concept of despair and sorrow through his words.

“LONG TIME NO SEE” marks the end of Return. A mix of ballad and the pop genre, iKON directly appeals to their fans. Indicating they came back to their fans through the lyrics, the boys make a sweet promise that they will never leave their side.

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iKON is off to a great start in the new year, topping the charts immediately after their new release. Continuing to develop a music style unique to their own group, iKON has succeeded in  impressing the public. Return has indeed brought the group on the path to success; what do you think about this comeback?

“LOVE SCENARIO” Title Score: 10/10
Music Video Score: 9/10
Return Album Score: 9/10

Total Score: 9.3/10

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