ASTRO Says It’s “Always You”
A complete transformation from their refreshing youthful concept, ASTRO is back after eight months with a masculine aura. This evident difference displayed by the group through multiple teaser photos created a great amount of excitement among fans—I mean, who would want to miss such a significant moment? With the release of their special mini-album Rise Up, ASTRO revealed the group’s duality, further impressing the public with their various charms.
“너잖아 (Always You)”
Starting off with a series of soft electronic musical sounds that gently blend into the mellow rhythm, “너잖아” incorporates key guitar notes to complete the melody. The trendy flow embraces the vocalists’ tones extremely well as the rappers play with the beat along with the progression of the song. The beat dominating the track as a whole, it is noticeable that the underlying melody plays a significant role in conveying the theme. The addition of detailed sound sources such as snaps place an emphasis on the track’s rhythm; this provides a nice way for the listener to follow along with the successive changes in rhythm.
The music video reflects the saddened emotions of one who realizes that his heart always yearns for his lost love. Maintaining a simple and aesthetic essence in the setting from start to end, the film clearly portrays each member’s character in his realm, further highlighting the charms of the individuals. Eunwoo starts off with his serene voice followed by Moonbin’s smooth tone; both lead up to Sanha who continues on with his soft vocals only to shift to JinJin’s charismatic rapping. MJ proves himself as ASTRO’s main vocal with his refreshing tone along with the dance line (consisting of Moonbin, JinJin, and Rocky)’s appearance adding onto the emotional peak. Of all, Rocky’s vocal skills, not fully revealed due to his position as lead rapper, were unveiled through “너잖아,” and this couldn’t have been a better surprise. With his calm vocals conveying the sorrowful emotions, Rocky perfectly showed off his well-rounded ability as a rapper, vocalist, and dancer.
Not only do the group’s individual scenes bring attention, but the consistent use of camera rotation as well as the special slow motion and reverse effects build up dramatic tension and anticipation for the following scenes. Focusing on subtle shades rather than using vivid and bright colors, the music video gives off an overall sentimental mood, a perfect combination with “너잖아.” The contrast between light and dark using shadows and filters is successful in means of portraying woe, a major element in the track’s concept.
Special Mini-Album: Rise Up
Perhaps a message that ASTRO wishes to deliver to their loved ones, “너의 뒤에서 (By Your Side)” implements a pop ballad sound to express their everlasting love. A melodious climax with the group’s self-written lyrics “Even if you were to change after time has passed / I will always be here / Even if you were to go through a lot of pain / I will protect you from behind you,” it stresses the members’ harmonious voices as well as their true, unhidden feelings.
“외친다 (Call Out),” revolving around the idea of love, brightens up the atmosphere with its uplifting melody from the House genre. This track is an honest confession song as the group sings “I call out just for you,” not afraid of fully showing their love.
A track that seems to be a suitable match as a fan song, “내 곁에 있어줘 (Stay with me)” highlights the artists’ appreciation for an irreplaceable relationship. With vocals and raps solely controlling the song’s mood, variations in emotions are produced as the song progresses on. Sets of soft guitar strums providing a base for the track, each and every voice is able to distinctly show its own color.
Last but not least, “Real Love” wraps up the special mini-album Rise Up. A different vibe from previous tracks, the six boys describe their thankful emotion towards fans for bringing their fantasy into reality. The group portrays fans as the main characters in their lives, the very reason for ASTRO’s existence. Their truthful feelings are communicated through the melodious harmonies carried on until the song’s end.
This time around, ASTRO settled with a distinct manly concept that thoroughly represented their identity in contrast of their past youthful style. Emphasizing their capability of performing a variety of concepts, the group set a favorable impression on the public and created further anticipation for their future developments.