In the light of their upcoming comeback and my resurged desire to once again spend some time doing nothing but reviewing a large quantity of items as I have done once already with all musical output from Loona, I have decided to review all of fromis_9. I will go through all of their output in chronological order, say something about every song and rate it on a scale from 1~10.
In the post I linked about reviewing all of Loona, I have also explained what exactly I mean when I use a certain number to rate a song, so you can look it up if you are curious, but important is: Everything below 4 I wouldn’t want to listen to, 4~6 are passable but I wouldn’t actively seek them out, 7~9 are good to very good and I actively search for it, and 10 is, obviously, perfect. The opinions I express here are a momentary assessment and subject to change – I might not have these opinions in a few months time. With that stuff sorted and without further ado, I will begin the first part of this extensive reviewing exercise spanning their debut mini album and first two comebacks.
To. Heart, Mini Album
1. The Way To Me (나에게로 오는 길) (Intro.)
2. To Heart
3. Miracle (환상속의 그대)
5. Be With You
6. Glass Shoes (유리구두) (MAMA Ver.)
“To. Heart” is, at large, a rather boring release. Sure, the title track is amazing and there are two other rather nice songs on there, but it’s, in general, quite bland. It is a very “non-threatening” first release, just some mindless cute love songs, all made in the same style, some just better than others. As a mini album, I find it to be just kind of forgettable. “To Heart” is just a single for me, really, and that single is exceptional, but the whole release is not much to care about.
To. Day, Mini Album
1. Close To You (다가가고 싶어)
2. Think of You (너를 따라, 너에게)
3. DKDK (Pit-a-pat(두근두근))
4. 22Century Girl (22세기 소녀)
6. First Love
It’s really sad how unimpressive and just simply forgettable every B-side on To. Day is. Whereas there were some nice songs left to find on To. Heart outside if the title track, the single is really the only good part here. At least the single is, again, really good. Whenever I look through song recommendations on the streaming service app of my choice (YouTube Music, actually), and I see any of the B-sides off the first two mini albums (besides Pinocchio), I just don’t even know how they sound anymore. And when I let a randomly generated playlist run and one of these songs play, I fail to remember the name. They are boring, joyless, just exactly what I would imagine if someone says “B-side”. Kpop is one of the worst offenders when it comes to just stuffing uninteresting songs no one would ever want to listen to into albums that sell just off the success of the single. Sure, there are exceptions, but the first few releases from fromis_9 are certainly not that.
From.9, Special Single Album
1. Love Bomb
2. Dancing Queen
3. Coloring (물들이)
There are also CD exclusive “From.9 Versions” of “DKDK” and “22Century Girl” included, but they are no different from the originals. The only difference is that Gyuri, who did not participate in To. Day as she was busy with Produce 48, now also has a part in these songs. Thus, there’s no reason to bother with them. Just for your information.
Although fromis_9’s early releases include great singles, they lack consistently good B-sides to make the releases worthwhile as a whole. Even the better B-sides (Pinocchio and Dancing Queen) I don’t intently listen to. If they come up in a playlist or if they get recommended, I tend to give them a listen and enjoy them, but that’s it. The other stuff I wouldn’t ever actively seek out. To Heart and DKDK are amazing singles that sadly never received as much attention as I would’ve wanted them to, but at least they started to get some spotlight with Love Bomb, a song not much worse than their first outstanding singles.
This will be it for part 1. Part 2 will be released soon enough. Thank you for reading.