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Mino – 1st Album ‘XX’ Review

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I have been waiting for Mino to make a solo album even since I discovered him in MOBB, and this was exactly the G-DRAGON style, intense music I was hoping for from him! This is such a good album to listen to all the time. Let’s dive in!

Let’s start with Trigger. I think that this song is a really good intro for the album because it’s super weird and exciting. Mino’s rap is so rhythmic and cool with his weird voice in the beginning, and his really hyped rap in the second verse and it just really makes me excited to hear the rest of the album.

Now what we’ve all been waiting for…. Fiance! I just can’t stop listening to this song. From the beginning, with that addictive beat and his awesome rap with all the onomatopoeia, you’re hooked on to the song. The whole song is so fierce and original, and there really isn’t a part of the song where you get bored at all. It’s full of loads of really interesting references and jokes (my favourite being ‘you’re my hero, I’m your chewing gum’). The bridge is really interesting in particular (with such a strong build up), and the last chorus is just so energetic and fun that it ends the song perfectly.

Our next song, Hope is a very good song as well. I do think that it’s a great song, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t think that it would fit better elsewhere in the album. It’s just so calm after the mad Fiance that maybe it’s a little anticlimactic? His rap is still really catchy and melodious, and Yoo Byung Jae’s voice in the chorus creates a refreshing contrast to Mino’s. It’s a very relaxing song, and the way the beat changes in the outro is really nice.

Next up we have O2! I just love how it’s much sweeter of a song than you’d expect from Mino, but he still does it in a unique way with an unexpected rap to make this much-used concept his own. I must comment on the pre-chorus, because it’s just so low and beautiful!

Next up we have Rocket. This song is so energetic and refreshing and reminds me of Mino on Show me the money. It’s really addictive and his flow is impressive, especially when he steps it up in the second verse. The build up in the pre-chorus to the climax of the chorus is exciting!

The next song up is Um… – definitely one of my favourites. It’s so smooth and melodious, and is pretty much constantly stuck in my head. It’s a real contrast to Rocket, which makes it really effective. The pre-chorus has such a beautiful tune! Blue.D fits so perfectly with this song and is generally harmonious with Mino. Her high and soft voice matches his lower one, but her style is still cool so it works well.

After this, it’s Lonely. What an amazing song!!! The rhythms in it are just unforgettable, and the tune of the pre-chorus is so sweet. I would have expected the surprising anti-climax of the chorus to be bad, but in this song it works perfectly to keep the listener on the edge of their seat.

Next up we have Aurora. This is a lot like lonely, but has a much more serious and unique feeling to it. Personally, I found the chorus a little disappointing, but only because of how cool and original the rest of the song felt. The pre-chorus (as with most of these songs it’s seeming) is the highlight of the song for me, as it’s so memorable.

Now, her!!! This is a song I always want to listen to!!! It’s really old Winner style (something I love) and that makes it one of the most special tracks on this album. It’s very touching and emotional and I feel like that’s really important because that’s something this album could do with some more of. It’s just a really enjoyable listening experience overall.

The next song is Agree. This is the most lit and uplifting party song ever! His rap is so cool and hyped and the chorus is really excited. His rap rhythms are what set this song apart, and you are really reminded how good a rapper he is. It’s the kind of song that makes you want to spontaneously dance around.

Next up we have BOW-WOW. This is such an awesome and perfectly messed up song… Do I even have to mention the intense GD-style vibes all through this song? It’s that YG party song that makes you really excited, but with a bit of edge because of the unusual beat in the chorus and YDG’s special and unexpected rap style.

Finally….. Alarm! This soft almost-ballad surprised me from the start. It makes me feel sleepy (contrasting to the name). The rap is really nice because it’s fast-paced and calm at the same time. It’s a great end to a very enjoyable album.

Kpop Review Café’s Overall Album Ranking: 7/10

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Written by Krystal