ASTRO is a boy band that debuted in 2016 under Fantagio Entertainment. Despite being just over a year old, the group already has five releases and has steadily gained popularity for their bright and youthful image. Hide & Seek and Cat’s Eye were both used as promo songs.
Starting off with OK! Ready, we are given a sparkling pop upbeat pop intro. I love the beat, but I especially love the cool synth refrain going on. I think it would have been cool if it was a full something, although it does have a sample of the next song.
Hide & Seek is pretty cool, too. It’s very fitting for the season with its cheerful and bright pop sound. I love the use of synths throughout the song. The verses are a nice fusion of vocals and rapping, but still retains the energy before it enters the soaring chorus. The chorus hook is really catchy and the more sung out lines is a nice contrast to the sing-talking and rap of the verses. Great debut promo song!
First Love is actually a ballad, which was an interesting switch. I would expect this to end the mini. However, this ballad is surprisingly good. I really love the verses as the melody is quite gentle, but does a good job building into that anthemic chorus. I really like how the first run through is quite gentle, but it gains more steam as the song progresses. It is a really powerful tune. I’m not a huge fan of the rap as I wish it was more gentle, but everything else works around it. One of the strongest idol group ballads recently.
Morning Call is something a little more lighthearted with its focus on the acoustic guitar. It actually reminds me of some of the pop songs of the early 00’s with its fusion of acoustic and synths. While it is quite catchy, it does sound a bit cheesy to me because it really brings me back to those days. It’s a solid tune and the boys sound great.
Cat’s Eye is the most upbeat tune since the first promo song. I do like it though because it has a bit of ska to it during the rap. It’s unfortunate that it doesn’t really continue much after and returns more into the pop territory. It’s a good tune and rather catchy, but it reminds me more of an older B1A4 song (not that it is bad, just a bit outdated). Still a solid finisher.
Overall: I was pleasantly surprised with this mini-album. Every song is really strong and it did feature a bit of variety with different tempos, although the generally sound is bright. I do think the raps need to be worked on a bit more as they come off the same in every song.