For the past few days, we’ve been hard at work putting Beast’s new album, “Good Luck,” through the paces. Actually, truth be told, listening to Beast is how we’ve gotten through our work these past few days. It’s safe to say now that the six-member boy-band, once called Kpop’s “recycled material,” are major players in the Kpop scene. “Good Luck” is a brilliant album, strong all around, and indicative of Beast’s upward trajectory.
Title track, “Good Luck,” is a standout song, one of our favorites of the summer. We really dig Dong Woon’s scalar work during the “Hold you tight, Make you mine” section. But it’s the moment of rest in the refrain that really sells it, creating a tense void that Beast happily fills. The music video is mostly focused on the guys dancing within a box, but that’s okay, it’s more than okay, because Beast does it so well. The video certainly felt like it could have developed a story, especially in the opening frames. Maybe it’s possible we’ll see an alternate version in the next few weeks.
We should note that the balance between vocals and bass is extremely important in this song. More on this below, but our recommendation is to up the treble a bit when you listen. The bass is fun, but you don’t want it drowning out the all-important vocals.
Although “Good Luck” got most of the attention, Beast also released “No More” a week before the album dropped. A heartfelt ballad with an instagram-centric music video, it’s a great song, perfect for showing off Beast’s talented singers, but not the main attraction of the album.
Strangely, our biggest issue with “Good Luck” as an album is with the music production. The balance between bass, treble, and vocals constantly feels just a little bit off. We listened on headphones, computer speakers, studio-quality speakers, and even a TV, searching for the right balance. Ultimately, we weren’t totally happy until we broke out the equalizer. Which is fine, but not good enough for the casual listener. It’s a strange issue, and maybe it says something about the strength of the album if this is what we’re picking on.
Strong All Around
We’re absolutely spoiled for choices with this seven-song EP. Our biggest fear is that casual fans will only pick up the single, and miss out on everything Beast has to offer. Starting with the jazzy “We Up,” Beast kicks off the album with a great tempo. If the refrain on this song were more lyrically heavy, it probably would have been their single. In fact, they just sang it in tandem with "Good Luck" on M! Countdown. It’s that good.
Following “We Up” is the title track, then “Dance With U,” another pop song with an insistent beat. This one gets a bit high-pitched during the hook, but the rest of the refrain is spot on, especially the rap portions. Fifth is “History,” Beast’s foray into R&B, a surprising inclusion for this album. Although their voices lack a bit of that soulful tone, “History” keeps growing on us. Ultimately, we’d like to hear more like this from Beast.
“By Your Side Tonight” is the secondary ballad on the EP, but we actually might prefer it to “No More.” It has a strong refrain that is built up each time by a nice progression. There’s also a nostalgia bound within the music; it reminds us of Kpop from five years ago. That’s both a positive and a negative, though, as the song has an uphill battle to find a home in today’s scene. Finally, rounding out the album is “Sad Movie” with a beat begs you to get up and move. We were happiest listening to this one while on a run. It’s that kind of song, high-octane, high-energy, and the perfect way to round off an excellent album.
In what was nearly a perfect album, we had to dock Beast just a bit for the production issues, if only because it will affect everyone who picks up the album. Don’t let that color our review too much, though. “Good Luck” is still one of the strongest albums of the summer!