Kpop Album Review: Winner Proves a Distinction of YG's Idol Group


Winner released its debut album '2014 S/S' on August 12. Winner's debut has sparked people's curiosity because the group is YG's first boy group since Big Bang debuted in 2006, and the group has been preparing for its debut album for a long time since the members appeared on Mnet's survival program 'WIN: Who Is Next' in 2013.

Well, if you listen to the album, you can figure out how much efforts the Winner members and YG put into the album. It can be acclaimed for both its musical quality and popular appeal, and at the same time, the members show their own unique musical characteristics. As soon as the album was released, all the tracks of the album occupied the upper ranks of various online music charts.

As you can see in the case of Big Bang and 2NE1, YG has been trying to produce idols who have something different from the other idol groups. YG's artists has been catching people's hearts by performing songs of unique styles, through which the artists can show off their individuality. It's quite a wise strategy to differentiate themselves from other Kpop idols.

Winner also proved a distinction of YG's idol group through its debut album. The members took part in writing all the tracks of the album, while the tracks are individualistic and attractive.



The title track 'Empty' has a catchy chorus, and the atmosphere of the song is very lyrical. At this point, you can find out the difference between Winner's music and that of Big Bang. Just like Big Bang, Winner does a hip hop-based music, but its songs are more lyrical. Unlike Big Bang, who electrified fans by performing its cheerful tracks such as 'Lies' and 'Fantastic Baby', Winner inspires people's feeling with its emotional hip hop tracks.

It is also notable that YG's B.I and Bobby took part in writing 'Empty'. Through 'WIN: Who Is Next', the two have competed fiercely with Winner to get a chance to debut, but now they became big helpers of Winner's debut. Through their performance at Mnet's 'Show me the money 3' and the musical quality of 'Empty', they certainly proved their outstanding talents. Many of you may be looking forward to B.I and Bobby's official debut.


Kang Seungyoon took part in writing another title track 'Color Ring', while Song Minho and Lee Seunghoo also wrote lyrics of the mournful song. 

Actually, Kang Seungyoon's voice has been regarded as being suitable for rock music, and there has been a concern if his voice can't go with Winner's hip hop-based music. However, it proved to be unfounded. Through all the tracks of the album, Kang Seungyoon shows good sense of dynamics, and is in perfect harmony with Nam Taehyun and Kim Jinwoo.


And let's talk about Lee Seunghoon too. Lee Seunghoon, who has auditioned SBS' 'Kpop Star' aired in 2013, is considered as being really talented in designing a creative choreography. However, when he was a trainee, he showed weakness in rapping. He was not that competitive rapper, and there has been a concern if he can do his bit as Winner's rapper. Well, I think he practiced very hard because his raps in Winner's debut album sound quite competitive.

Oh, please don't miss fourth track's 'I'm him' too. The song is Song Minho's solo track, and it certainly satisfies hip hop listeners. Over the unique synth sound, Song Minho raps with his attractive low voice, which reminds people of Big Bang's TOP. Actually, Song Minho plays a pretty big role throughout Winner's album. By showing off his respectable rap skills, he adds hip hop swagger to Winner's lyrical music.

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