AWAKE is the first mini-album released by KNK. BACK AGAIN was used as the promotional song.
Released: June 2, 2016
2. BACK AGAIN
3. I Remember (요즘 넌 어때)
4. I’ll Try (노력해볼게)
5. DAY N NIGHT
6. Propose (고백)
7. BACK AGAIN (Inst.)
8. I Remember (Inst.)
GONE is a really interesting opener. Just shy of two minutes long, it utilizes a really interesting background vocal arrangement. The song has a cool arrangement to it that really helps highlight the vocals of each member. It’s a nice midtempo pop tune with a slight R&B twist. It’s a bit unfortunate it is just an opener.
I do love how the background vocals transition right into BACK AGAIN, which is like the more upbeat cousin of the last song. A song that brings back the sound of the more dramatic styles of 2009-2011, BACK AGAIN fuses the more ballad-like melody with a heavy dance beat. I love this style and it’s a nice return to this sound. I think the best part is how each section of the song brings a bit of a twist. The verses with its fusion of rap and singing, while the choruses bring a high-energy and passionate intertwining of a more melodic style and repetition. It’s great.
I Remember brings it down a notch again with something more midtempo. Unlike the last two songs, this one is definitely more lighthearted. I do wish the music a bit more organic though. There is an interesting synth-piano refrain, but it would be better if it was just a piano. With that said, the melody is quite nice. It’s sweet and reminds me of something done by a few other groups before. The melody could be more memorable, but it’s a decent tune.
I’ll Try is the first ballad and features a nice R&B beat. It kind of reminds me of the ballad version of the first two songs. However, I just find something is missing with this one. The melody just isn’t very memorable to me and it is quite unpredictable, but in a way that leaves it sounding a bit messy. I do enjoy the rap break that comes in, but the song is a bit forgettable as a whole and I don’t like how the vocals are sung.
DAY N NIGHT finally gives something a bit more fun. It’s an upbeat pop song with a stronger electronic feel, but it still ties itself into the rest of the mini-album. I quite like the electronic refrain that’s happening in the background and it works nicely with the rest of the music. However, I feel like the chorus could be a bit stronger in its delivery. Still, a decent tune.
Propose is a nice laidback midtempo pop song and is quite similar to I Remember, but with a fuller arrangement. I do feel like this one is one of the stronger songs on the mini and the guys sound great. The music is more interesting and the melody is definitely much catchier. It’s a nice ending.
Overall: For their first mini, this was a pretty decent delivery. The promotional song was definitely the highlight, but there were some pretty good listens throughout. I do wish there was a bit more surprises because while there was a nice cohesion, many of the other songs lacked strong hooks that would make me want to listen to them again.