I’ve had a tough day and not in the same way as usual – today, it’s ASTROs fault. January has been an intense month (release wise) and the only thing I can do at this point is to sit back and enjoy it which would happen but I’m too invested. Cue the whirlwind of ASTROs new comeback.
It’s been over a year since we got an ASTRO comeback where they promoted their title track so I’ve missed them. “Crazy Sexy Cool” felt like it was meant for me because I continue to lose my mind every time I hear it so I’m excited to see if they’re going to continue down that same track with this new comeback. I have already seen and heard their new title “All Night” which I reacted to earlier today – I’ll leave a link at the end of this post – but I’ll touch on that more during the first listen/review.
ALBUM: All Light
ASTROs first full length album All Light was released 16 January 2019 with title track “All Night”. I’m fairly new to the world of ASTRO – I know a few of their songs as well as their members but nothing about their earlier work really grabbed me until “Crazy Sexy Cool” hence why I’m hoping this album gives me what I want. Selfish, I know. Because I’m not overly familiar with their earlier songs I feel like I’m walking in with zero expectations aside from what “All Night” has left me with. I don’t know if this is transferring properly but I am very excited for this.
First track “Starry Sky” is different than what I was expecting though it has some interesting moments in the background. There’s almost a continuous harmonising vocal happening as well as an underlying Latin-vibe which is done well. I really like the rap sections of the song and Jin Jin does a nice job at counteracting the higher-toned vocals. Its an electronic song but not too intense which makes it stand out to me when amongst the other like-sounding songs. It’s also not so exciting and out there to take away from the next track.
“All Night” is their title track and I am in love with it. I love everything about the song – from the slower moments to the way it builds into the more intense sections. I wasn’t expecting the song to sound like it did considering how soft and aesthetically up my street the MV was but it fits the concept of the album really well. I had a tough time with the MV because of how surprised I was by the whole thing and I think each member stands out in the best way – MJ in particular owned this song for me. It’s by far one of the best songs this month.
Third track “Moonwalk” starts off a little weird with a synthy stop-start kind of instrumentation but once the vocals come in I’m sold. I like how the song is surprisingly empty in comparison to the previous two tracks but it stands out more because of that. It has elements of funkiness yet builds well in the pre-chorus which is making this song quickly become my favourite so far. I just feel super good while listening to it.
“Treasure” feels a lot lighter than the previous tracks and does remind me of ASTROs earlier sound – how accurate that is, I’m not too sure. When it hits the chorus the song gets a lot more interesting at the introduction of more sounds which make me like it a lot more. The rap verses in this song gave me crazy goosebump. I feel like I need to research their voices more so I know who to complement – this song has some really nice moments in the bridge and in the background and I’m eager to find out who is responsible.
“Role Play” feels like its going to be a little acoustic which is a nice vibe and I’m a little surprised they do it so well. It doesn’t stay that way for long as a more electronic sound is introduced but the heavy bass guitar in the chorus is fantastic. I like this funky route they’ve gone in for a couple of these tracks, it’s a nice vibe for them which immediately elevates them to a more mature place. I feel like this song is a little suspicious lyrically because of the odd whispering and english lines throughout – I almost like it more because of how adult it is. I like the Spanish guitar brought in before the last chorus. Wait, was that the bridge? I’m not too sure but I like the all around feel of this song.
Sixth track “1 In A Million” sounds like what I thought their title would be like, the intro anyway. It’s an EDM song which immediately reminds me of summer and all those good things that are synonymous with that. The pre-chorus is so good and I was expecting a great chorus but felt a little let down – it almost takes me out of the song completely. There’s a really nice vocal I can hear and I have no idea who it is so I need to go and research it a bit. The break down and build in the bridge was nice but I’m still feeling a little meh about this song. I wouldn’t say I disliked this song I’m just left in the middle, purely based off personal preference.
“Love Wheel” made me feel like it was going to go in a different direction but I am in love with this song. It’s a little more percussive than the rest of the songs but it maintains its softness throughout. This song is a great vocal song and there are moments of greatness that make me a little whiplashed. It has a catchy and almost familiar melody which I like and I’m left feeling uplifted. I also feel like I want to learn the words so I can sing the whole thing with them.
Eighth track “Heart Brew Love” makes me genuinely petrified. Animal sounds out of it, the intro makes it sound like it’s going to be hard yet once the music and vocals start it’s not like that at all. Actually, this song is HEAVY EDM, which I actually really like. It’s not a secret that I’m not fond of the house/EDM style when there’s no variation of tempo or melody yet this song is giving me all the things I need to love an EDM song. And in spades! There’s a lot of breaks, beat changes, builds and drops which are all being accompanied by some really nice vocals. I feel like this song fast-tracked to one of the best off the album for me due to this variation of tempo and I love it!
Track “Merry-Go-Round” has a similar vibe to their other EDM-based songs – it’s light and almost summery as a whole. This song brings something different though – although super melody-filled there’s something almost British sounding about this song….I don’t know why I’m saying this but it’s literally the first thing that came to my head while listening. Anyway, the song is super light and I’m finding it a little too light until the bridge comes in and I’m back into liking it. Jin Jin’s verse is nice in the bridge as well and I would’ve liked the song to switch up for the remainder of the song for variation purposes but it went right back to the original sound. I’m feeling a little meh about this song, honestly.
Last track “Bloom” gave me goosebumps from the intro right up until the last note. Super orchestral and slow which is not at all what I was expecting. This is the definition of a ballad and it’s been a minute since I heard a pure ballad from a group. I like the piano and guitar moments after the chorus while the rest of it leans more towards the theatrical sound – I feel like I’m listening to the score of a movie. There are some REALLY nice vocal high notes at the end of the song which gave me goosebumps instantly. I loved it!
This album screamed a lot of things to me: I LOVE YOU, SUMMER, GROWTH and MATURITY. I may not have loved each and every song but as a whole, I loved it. “All Night” is a really strong comeback song and I understand why they used it though I wouldn’t have complained if “Moonwalk” was the title either. There were so many great vocal moments that I can’t pin point one specific thing, the rap line also did their thing well, too.
Overall, this album is fantastic. For new fans like me or fans who wear the AROHA title proudly, this album is so much more than expectated. I loved it. Such a great concept and an even greater sound.
ALBUM RATING: 9/10
Check out my reaction to ASTROs “All Night” MV:
How did you all like ASTROs new comeback? Were there any songs off the album that stood out to you? Has “All Night” made me want to stan them? Let me know down below or leave me a message on Twitter!