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In case you missed it, THE BOYZ announced that their 2nd studio album, which will be split into three parts throughout the second half of 2023. The second part of the album will actually be released this coming Tuesday. But before we get to hear PHANTASY Pt. 2: Sixth Sense and their new title track WATCH IT, here is my review of PHANTASY Pt. 1: Christmas in August, which was released in (you guessed it) August of this year. It features the title track LIP GLOSS and the unit track Passion Fruit (along with an additional 4 tracks).
1. LIP GLOSS (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for LIP GLOSS. (9/10)
2. Passion Fruit – Passion Fruit features a small subset of THE BOYZ – Younghoon, Hyunjae, Juyeon, Q, Sunwoo. I like how groovy this track ended up being, despite it also being very dance centric thanks to the heftiness of the synths. Passion Fruit is also very catchy, with its simple yet effectively repetitive hooks. The autotuned groan-like sample that features in the background is also quite catchy. The hip-hop motif that Passion Fruit turns to in the second verse was also pretty cool. (8.5/10)
3. Lighthouse – Lighthouse feels very quintessential THE BOYZ to me, which is appropriate for bringing the group back together. It has that similar vibe to many of their past side tracks, and also carries a familiarity to it. The percussive instrumental was pretty cool, but I felt like it was competing with the vocals and rapping a bit too much. It doesn’t help that the vocals and rapping are pretty standard and doesn’t offer anything to get them to stand out. The only part of Lighthouse that does offer something different is the higher pitched vocals in the chorus. But that is not enough to compensate for the rest of the typical the vocals and rapping brought Lighthouse). (7/10)
4. Fantasize (줄리의 법칙) – The strong presence of bass and grooviness in Fantasize serves as a solid background to the song. From there, Fantasize ends up developing into an upbeat and lively dance track. And there is a lot to like in the track, such as the low and breathy vocals throughout the song (with the vocal processing in the bridge adding some further well-appreciated texture), the cymbals in the pre-choruses (which adds so much punch to the song) and the catchy Oooh’s in the chorus. A definitely highlight on this mini-album. (10/10)
5. Fire Eyes – The electro pop in Fire Eyes carries a very retro vibe, which I do like. This is particularly felt the most during the choruses, via the bubbly synth work in the bridge and the additional synthesizer-like sequence towards the end of the song. The upbeat energy is also very continuous, and I like how straightforward and easy on the ears the hooks of Fire Eyes were. My biggest issue with the song is how blurry the members sound throughout the song, which is thanks to the overprocessing of vocals. (7/10)
6. Fairy Tale (나만 아는 이야기) – The final song on the mini-album is titled Fairy Tale. Despite expectations for a dreamier track due to the song’s title and placement on this mini-album, Fairy Tale ends up being another dance track, falling towards the pop genre more than anything else. Fairy Tale does feel much lighter, compared to the earlier tracks. This goes extremely well with the vocals, which do feel a tad dreamy and light, as well. The rapping adds texture and intensity to the song without disrupting the lightness/dreamy motif, but I felt the rapping could have been sharper. But overall, it is a neat song to end the album on. (8/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10
Author: kpopreviewed from kpopreviewed.com