After a few months, CNBLUE to come back with their 8th mini album titled 7ºCN. I have to admit I was not hyped about this album because CNBLUE’s sound is constantly the same. By the end of their albums, they are as you predicted and nothing stands out. Going into this album I was expecting the same old from CNBLUE. Although my prediction was kind of right for this recent release, they also tried something different.
For their title track “Between Us” it is a hyped up song that incorporates their usual pop/rock sound with a touch of electronic tones to the chorus. It has weirdly become a trend in Korean pop music to start the song with the hook and thought it would not become a problem but it was definitely abrupt and out of place. The bridge was also very short.
Their next song “It’s You” can easily be compared to “You’re So Fine”. It is that cute, relationship song that you can always expect to hear in a CNBLUE album. As always a catchy chorus and repetitions throughout the song. One aspect of the track I was not expecting was the short rap given during the bridge. Never heard CNBLUE rap in a song before which does show that they are willing to try something out of their comfort zone.
“Calling You” is in a way like “It’s You”. It is also a song CNBLUE would compose, a mellow dance track. The organ keyboard effect with the rhythm guitar to start of the song was a great start as well as creatively soothing. The backing vocals were also very well performed.
The 4th track was the 2nd most interesting and intriguing song on the this mini album. The chord progression change was done beautifully and something I did not expect them to do. Even though they do repeat the chorus often, they change the structure of the song from beginning to end. The fact that part of their chorus was instrumental was refreshing. Weirdly the instrumental chorus sounded like elements generally used in trap songs (rattle sound) and CNBLUE accomplished this own unique sound to benefit the album.
The next song “Manito” is nothing special. A pretty ballad that can be featured in any Korean TV drama. A song created for a OST. It would not be surprising to find this song in a show. CNBLUE always did have a typical sound and “Manito” is a perfect example.
By far, the last track called “Royal Rumble” is the best song on this mini album. With elements such as pure and clear acoustics and a memorable melody it gives the song an extra groovy punch. The guitar can definitely be compared to the sound of a classic guitar and a Spanish guitar with an overall influence of Cuban music. I probably am wrong but it did feel that way. This song was uplifting and very soft at the same time which fits CNBLUE. They tried something different and new and it worked out beautifully. The guitar solo also added power and uniqueness to the track.
After this album, I am really looking forward to their next mini or full album. Although some tracks were the same old CNBLUE, they still had some surprising creative work that really stood out from the album. I would give CNBLUE’s 7ºCN a 7 out of 10. They really did show progress with this new album and hope to hear something completely different the next time.