Album Review Tuesday: MBLAQ Mirror

June 16, 2015 | 1673 Visits

Tracklist

Continuing with our MBLAQ theme for the week, Album Review Tuesday focuses on Mirror, the group’s eighth mini album and first as a trio. As the album unfolds, it’s clear MBLAQ stayed with the theme of mirrors as each song “mirrors” each other in some way either through similar tone and beat, borrowed instrumentals, or the fact each song has an intro so before it. Mirror is brilliant in this way as MBLAQ did take a theme and run with it. Throw in its feelings of nostalgia, hopefulness, and sadness, and you have a well-rounded album that was worth the wait.

“Resurrection” opens the album with a nice piano buildup. At the beginning, it sounds like there’s machinery in the background which is bookended with the sound of a heart-rate monitor at the end. MBLAQ is alive and ready to begin their new journey.

The title track “Mirror” comes next. The song has feelings of sadness and bitterness as MBLAQ longs for someone who betrayed them. In MV Monday, we touched on MBLAQ’s thoughts about the song and how it may pertain to Thunder and Lee Joon. That aside, “Mirror” does well highlighting Mir, G.O, and Seungho. High and low notes are in all the right places and help stir emotions. It’s nice the song is a ballad without feeling too much like a ballad, so it helps “Mirror” from becoming completely boring. While it’s a strong song, it doesn’t exactly feel like comeback material but more of a companion track to a stronger song that could have been released. Nevertheless, its strengths outweigh the negatives.

“Every Day” is a funky intermission-type track.It’s only a few seconds long, but it helps set the tone for “Hey You” since both rely on the instrumentals. It’s weird for “Every Day” to be its own track since it should have been just an extended introduction for “Hey You.” “Every Day” is just filler and nothing more.

“Hey You” is a bouncy, Funk-Pop song that covers loneliness, feeling like it’s okay to be alone, before admitting that love would be nice. “Hey You” is flirty and a nice reminder of some of MBLAQ’s past songs. The song is enjoyable and cute and worth listening to more than once. The harmonies, in particular, are delightful and smooth, easily making it a favorite on the album. Toward the end, it’s cute how the lyrics are sung with a bit of a nursery rhyme cadence, adding to the song’s delight-factor.

The R&B-feel of “Eyes on Me” serves as an intro to “I Know You Want Me.” The song is misleading because it’s easy to think it’s mislabeled on album and really should be “I Know You Want Me.” The R&B-styling makes “Eyes on Me” sensual with the “I Know You Want Me” chorus. However, this is just MBLAQ trolling as the lure you into thinking it’s time for sexy time only to burst forth with “I Know You Want Me” dance track.

“I Know You Want Me,” like “Hey You” has a Funk-Pop feel. The smooth tempo and vocals make the song fun and great listening. Like with “Mirror,” “I Know You Want Me” does a great job highlighting individual vocals. Upbeat MBLAQ has always been the most enjoyable, and this song is a reminder of that. Like “Hey You,” it is an easy favorite.

“Four Seasons, 24 Hours” is yet another intro track. The soft piano and what sounds like rain in the background just draw the listener into the music. It’s mellow, nostalgic, and romantic, but the only downfall is that it’s too short!

“Tree” wraps up the album and stems from “Four Seasons, 24 Hours.” The track continues with the nostalgic piano, so this is a definite plus. It’s beautiful how the instrumentals highlight MBLAQ over drowning them out, so everything is amazing at this point. The song sways and flows much like a tree in the breeze, and the lyrics, too, even surround trees. The song is simple and gorgeous, a nice way to wrap up an album.

Mirror does a lot of things well such as showcasing MBLAQ’s beautiful vocals and growth despite being down two members. While it is ballad-heavy and half intro songs, it’s a worthwhile mini-album. It would have been nice to have eight full songs, but we’ll take what we can get. Mirror earns a 4/5.

—-Joelle Halon

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