DAY6 Turns a New Page With The Book of Us: Gravity
For fans of DAY6, the wait for a new release has felt neverending. Since the band’s last comeback with December 2018’s Remember Us: Youth Part 2, it felt like each and every JYP artist was having a comeback, leaving My Days to wonder when that fateful announcement would come for DAY6. Finally, with the July 16 release of DAY6’s fifth mini-album The Book of Us: Gravity, the seemingly endless wait is over, proving that good things come to those who wait.
This is Our Page
A lot has happened for DAY6 since their last comeback, and with constant comments from the band members about the growth they’ve experienced—namely from their recent world tour—there was bound to be a shift in their music. Ever since 2017’s Every Day6 project wherein the band released two new songs each month, the majority of the group’s releases have always had just a tinge of sadness to them. The Book of Us: Gravity flips this idea on its head, with DAY6 emerging from their world tour with more passion than ever. This album is undoubtedly their most uplifting to date and the cornerstone of this is the album’s title track, “Time of Our Life.”
“Time of Our Life” is an upbeat rock track that compares life to the pages of a book; the song’s Korean title, “한 페이지가 될 수 있게,” loosely translates to “So That It Becomes One of the Pages” (courtesy of Young K himself in an interview with Billboard). Soundwise, the high-energy track is more similar to the band’s Japanese discography than any of their Korean releases, but it’s precisely this drive that sets the release apart from its Korean predecessors.
In an interview with KPop Herald, the band confessed to wanting to release tracks geared towards live performance and with this mindset, “Time of Our Life” was chosen as the album’s title track. The song opens with a stunning keyboard part on behalf of Wonpil that immediately sets the tone and pace for the journey ahead. This journey is not one taken alone, however, as the entirety of The Book of Us: Gravity focuses on human relationships. In “Time of Our Life,” the boys sing of starting anew with someone. Listening to the song, the band’s desire to experience it live with their fans is evident: amid the high-energy instrumentation and vocals, the track features ad-libs sure to make it a concert anthem. Jae’s part in particular pushes this even further:
Want you to
Come on out and have fun
Want us to
Have the time of our life
While I personally greatly enjoy the track and think it perfectly encapsulates its theme, I admit it is not yet in my top DAY6 favorites. I emphasize the “yet” in that last sentence because I know my opinion will change in a few months’ time for this reason: “Time of Our Life” was quite literally made to be performed live, to be experienced. I look forward to seeing where it ends up on the setlist for their world tour and for this very reason, I wouldn’t be surprised if “Time of Our Life” ends up being one of my favorite DAY6 songs of all time.
The Music Video
When I first watched the music video, I felt that even though it visually did the song justice, the actual track for “Time of Our Life” was better. Now that I’ve had a little time to ruminate over both the track and its visual counterpart, I must say I was sorely mistaken: “Time of Our Life” is a great song—but the video makes it infinitely better.
The video is rather simplistic in nature. It lacks a storyline unlike some of DAY6’s other releases in favor of setting the band against colorful backdrops and just letting them do what they do best: perform music. For a track injected with such enthusiasm, to have the band members portray characters would feel superficial and therein probably lies the video’s greatest strength: “Time of Our Life” shows DAY6 at their―well―most DAY6. Not only do all five members receive ample screen time, but we also see them smiling and just generally enjoying the music. On top of that, viewers also get to see the sillier side of the boys towards the end of the video when they dance around a giant book.
When one considers this song was crafted with the intent of a live performance in mind, DAY6 hit it out of the park with the video for “Time of Our Life.” Having been lucky enough to see the band several times in concert, I experienced the same feelings while watching the music video for “Time of Our Life” as I did while seeing DAY6 in the flesh.
Between the bright colors, visually stunning shots, and heartfelt silliness of the DAY6 members, the music video for “Time of Our Life” is a truly beautiful depiction of the song and its message.
The Rest of the Book
As a whole, The Book of Us: Gravity is DAY6’s most musically challenging album yet. Though the band has experimented with many styles in the past, this release pushes them even further, tapping into unexpected genres rarely seen in the Korean rock industry. Things start off strong with the first track on the album, “For Me,” a song about self-love evoking a glam-rock sound from the likes of Queen and even featuring a 6/8 time signature. Jae in particular shines on this track, with his clear voice in the chorus taking the song to the next level.
Following “Time of Our Life” is the third track, “How to Love,” another genre-pusher that mixes psychedelic vibes with a ‘70s sound a la The Jackson Five (like I said, unexpected). The track’s relaxed rhythms and percussion lend well to the introspective and intensely relatable theme of the song about wanting to find love but not knowing how to. “Wanna Go Back,” the nostalgic fourth track on the album, seems like the most forgettable at first. Perhaps this is due to the song’s simplicity in comparison to its high-energy and experimental predecessors, but this all changes around the 3:50 mark in the song when the band’s drummer Dowoon comes in with his lines. In a band filled with spectacular vocalists, Dowoon has been notably absent until last winter’s “Beautiful Feeling.” As any My Day knows, Dowoon has been training his voice in hopes of being able to contribute more as a singer for the group and surprisingly, his husky voice makes “Wanna Go Back.” What starts off as a somewhat hum-drum release compared to the rest of the album turns into a ‘90s alt-punk with Dowoon’s deeper timbre set against a single twangy, electric guitar.
The next song on the album, “Cover,” is undoubtedly the best on the album. In a record full of preaching about self-acceptance, “Cover” feels like the climax as the lyrics talk of the persona one puts up to be accepted by others. Tempo-wise, the song is the slowest on the album, and is also the least dense in terms of instrumentation, instead letting the voices of DAY6 take front and center as they should in a song such as this. While Young K is known as the primary lyricist of the band, it’s notable that guitarist Sungjin also partook in writing this track and, truth be told, these two members shine the brightest in what is one of DAY6’s most raw and vulnerable releases yet.
The album closes out with “Best Part,” which, in an album that pushes DAY6’s artistic boundaries, is most certainly the safest song; however, much like “Time of Our Life,” this is clearly a song meant for live performance. “Best Part” wraps up the carpe diem theme of the album quite nicely, and will probably do the same for the band’s world tour in their encore.
For a group known for their creative input in their music, “Time of Our Life” feels like the DAY6 album with the most equal contribution yet. All six tracks featured almost all the members in either lyrics or composition, leading each member to invoke a part of themselves into each song. After hearing time and again how the band found themselves through their Youth tour, it is evident they weren’t exaggerating. At the core of this heartfelt and personal album is just five musicians doing what they do best: music. If you love DAY6, you will love The Book of Us: Gravity.