ASTRO – GATEWAY: Kpop Album Review

On May 4th, ASTRO came back with their 7th mini-album titled GATEWAY. It has six songs, including the title track “Knock”

This review marks my first time listening to anything from ASTRO. I wanted to review their previous album, but I was too busy during that period. I absolutely LOVE the teaser images for this comeback, so I’ll include my favourite picks at the end of this post.img_5414ASTRO is a South Korean boy group managed by Fantagio. There are six members – Cha Eun-woo, Moon Bin, Yoon Sanha, Rocky, MJ, and Jinjin. In 2016, they debuted with the digital single “Hide & Seek”. I am familiar with Cha Eun-woo from his roles in My ID is Gangnam Beauty and Rookie Historian Goo Hae-Ryung. I also recognize Moon Bin, but I’m not sure how I got to know him. I really want to enjoy this album, so I have my fingers crossed.🀞🏼🀞🏼🀞🏼

(Please note – this is a real-time review, meaning I am typing down my exacts thoughts while listening to each song.)

Reaction to Title Track/Official MV:

  • I love the melody and the R&B vocal entry.
  • This seems promising.
  • I love the soft finger snaps at the beginning of the instrumental.
  • Eun-woo is such a visual. WOW!!!
  • This is my first time hearing him sing, and I love his tone. It’s so soft and beautiful.
  • I’m really enjoying this song. It is smooth, and their choreography is very fitting.
  • Moon Bin’s first part is catchy. I love how he sings – “I still miss, miss, miss you.”
  • This group has an incredible set of vocalists. The other guy with black hair, I think his name is MJ. His voice just gave me goosebumps.
  • I love how the instrumental switched up during his part, and it felt like his voice was echoing. I think this is due to the vocal layering done in that section.
  • I REALLY LOVE MJ’s PART.
  • So Jinjin is the rapper… Okay.
  •  Things are beginning to build up now. I wonder what the drop will sound like.
  • The chorus is nice and catchy as well. I love the second part more that starts from – “Trust, trust me.”
  • I love the instrumental progression for the chorus a lot, and their choreography is clean.
  • I have noticed two rappers in this group, and they are equally good with their flow and delivery.
  • I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the melody for this line, πŸ‘‰πŸΌ “I still miss, miss, miss you.” 
  • Okay, that water dance scene with Moon Bin is gorgeous and iconic.
  • I prefer the melody and flow of the verse to that of the chorus, but the entire song is nice.
  • The bridge is also perfect.
  • The visual for the music video is okay. I see a lot of stars, planets and clock references, but since I have no idea what they represent to this group or their ongoing concept. I am staying focused on just music and dance.
  • The background vocals during the ending section are top-notch, and MJ’s voice is giving life.
  • Okay, ASTRO. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ I am genuinely impressed and happy that I checked them out finally.
  • “Knock” is a beautiful song. I will give my final thoughts on it while reviewing the full album.

Album Review: img_5435Here is the album sampler –

  1. Knock – This song is like an R&B ballad but with an electronic beat. The verses sound very melodic while the chorus is sharp and upbeat. The entire song is still SMOOTH, and that’s what I really love about it. So yeah, I can conclude that “Knock” is a tune. I LOVE IT.
  2. When You Call My Name – Oooh, I love how this starts. The piano note sounds cute at first, but then it switches to a more electronic vibe. The electronic version is so groovy.πŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸ’ƒπŸΌ I think I might enjoy this more than the title track. The rap entry is perfect for this kind of song. The boys were riding the beat for the first 0.43 seconds, and then suddenly slow things down. The vocal sections on this pure eargasm and the way the beat drops in the chorus section is iconic. It’s official, “When You Call My Name” is a BOP and a half. IT’S SO GROOVY AND SMOOTH LIKE BUTTER.πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ The drums on this song give me life. I am dancing right now because ASTRO definitely made this song just for me.
  3. SOMEBODY LIKE – Okay, a guitar entry and finger snaps… I LIKE. This song is giving me some disco vibes. Another beautiful melody – “Somebody like somebody like, somebody like, like, like.” The chorus drop and the instrumental is seriously giving me soft disco vibes mixed with pop. I am a strong disco head, so I am enjoying every second of  “SOMEBODY LIKE”. The background vocals on this one are excellent. The soft “ooo, ooo, ooo” is classic. The harmonies when they all sing together is lovely. The rappers of ASTRO are good at fitting their flow into different styles and rhythms for each song. I love how they ended this track on a soft note.
  4. We Still – Looks like we’re back to the ballad style instrumental. This album has a lot of finger-snapping, and this song also has claps. I love the instrumental progression. The vocal parts sound very full and powerful. “We Still” is like a ballad over a soft hip/pop beat. I love the little drum beat they used as an entry for the chorus. This song is slower compared to the previous two, and I am really enjoying it. Another track on this album with excellent drums. The vocalist killed their parts, and their runs are so beautiful. Oooh, they gave us some modulation. This track also ended on a very soft note. I LOVE IT.
  5. 12 Hours – This seems even slower, and yep, we still have the finger-snapping. I love the soft piano entry. This has a ballad sound, but the guitar is giving me pop-rock/slight jazz vibes. I genuinely appreciate the vocalists in this group. They have very soft and smooth tones, but at the same time, they are powerful enough. Nice harmonies going on in the background. It’s very soothing how they drag the notes at the end of each sentence. “12 Hours” is such a calming track, and ASTRO sounds so pure on this. The rappers came in with a more acapella style for this song. The vocal layering and runs are blessing my ears. Once again, with that perfect soft end. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ This is another favourite for me.
  6. Lights on – Quite interesting… this starts out with the sound of someone winding a clock. The beat seems a bit distorted to me, but it might just be my ears. I love how they keep saying – “tik tac tok” … CUTE. Oooh, I wasn’t expected the rappers to come in hard. It took me off guard, but I like it. I love the call and response technique between the rap and vocal sections. “Lights on” is like pop with an electronic beat. I love the build-up into the chorus. Again with the “tik tac tok.” It’s so adorable and catchy. The flow for the rap parts on this track is too good. This is a JAM and a perfect way to end the album.

Final Thoughts:

I am pleased with this album. I enjoyed every minute spent, and it’s definitely going to be on repeat for a while. I also plan to dive into the rest of ASTRO’s discography once I have enough time. This is my first time listening to their work, and I am impressed.

Therefore my rating for ASTRO’s 7th mini-album GATEWAY is 10/10.


Here are the teaser photos I mentioned earlier on – 

 

They also released a stunning set of lyrics wallpapers –

2 thoughts on “ASTRO – GATEWAY: Kpop Album Review

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