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A deeper look into our favorite albums


“Up No More” by Twice 

4 / 5 stars

The 9 member kpop girl group twice released a dazzling album: “Eyes Wide Open.” [PHOTO COURTESY OF JYP ENTERTAINMENT] 

K-pop girl group, Twice, released their second full album, “Eyes Wide Open,” on Oct. 26. Thise dazzling album features 13 songs, including lead single “I Can’t Stop Me.”

Debuting in 2015, the 9-member K-pop girl group has achieved phenomenal worldwide success with their bubbly, energetic songs such as “Heart Shaker,” “Likey,” and “Signal.” However, starting with their seventh single, “Fancy,” the group began to follow a more mature and luxurious concept, signifying their growth. This new album emerged as part of the group’s empowering, bold collection. 

Among the 13 new songs, the track that captivates me the most is “Up No More.” Written by the group’s leader, Park Jihyo, the song speaks about insomnia, specifically the experience of being bothered by troubling thoughts at night. 

The soundtrack does an amazing job of capturing the overwhelming feelings associated with insomnia. For me personally the song is also a remedy of sorts. With its soft melody and suave beats, the song creates an ambiance that mimics the feeling of flying up a magical purple sky during dusk, away from one’s troubles. If you close your eyes and listen to this song, you will know what I mean. By vividly portraying such beautiful scenery, it reminds me every time of all the possibilities for happiness in my life. 

“Positions” by Ariana Grande

5 / 5 stars

In her new album, “Positions,”  Queen Ari delivered vocals and sass. [PHOTO COURTESY OF REPUBLIC RECORDS] 

Without a doubt, Ariana Grande’s new album, “Positions,” is worth mentioning. Released on Oct. 30, her title track quickly landed number one on the Billboard Top 100 chart. 

A majority of the songs in this album (I would say 12 out of 14) have a pretty seductive, playful aesthetic to it. Let’s just leave it at that.   

The fourth track, “just like magic,” however, takes a little twist and introduces listeners to Ariana’s mindset in life. With the lyrics: “just like magic, I’m attractive/ I get everything I want ‘cause I attract it,” Ariana shares her determination in focusing on the good in her life and maintaining a positive attitude towards the future. 

As always, she fills the song with undeniable sass and a full range of  her iconic “ah yay”s, which strongly conveys the message that having confidence in yourself is really all it takes, as she says, “to manifest it.”

When I finished this song, I truly felt more confident and determined to do what makes my heart happy. The lingering lyrics not only gave me a little energy boost throughout my day but also became little reminders for me to stay positive.

If you are going through something rough, let Queen Ari help you out a little with her new song. 

“The END” by Alesso 

4 /5 stars

Swedish DJ Alesso collaborates with global singers to deliver three upbeat tracks this month. [PHOTO COURTESY OF SPINNING RECORDS]  

On Nov. 14, Swedish DJ Alesso came to Taiwan for the world’s first music festival since quarantine. There, he hyped up the crowd by dropping three new tracks, all of which are impressive. This marks his first release after the widely popular “Midnight,” a song made in collaboration with former One Direction member, Liam Payne. 

Among the three, however, I would highly recommend the track titled “The End,” where the DJ paired up with singer Charlotte Lawrence to deliver an upbeat song. 

The song begins with a soft hum that transitions into the chorus, where Charlotte sings the lines “Welcome to the end” in a soothing voice above a series of catchy, percussive rhythms. Together, they bring out a surreal, euphoric vibe. As with all of Alesso’s other songs, this track also has amazing beat drops. The sudden explosion of energy definitely added to the amazing listening experience. 

Interesting side note from me: if this song were a fictional character, it would be “Frozen’s” Elsa. It gives a similar feeling of freedom and confidence conveyed in her classical “Let It Go” and the ambiance created by the song calls to mind an image of an icy wilderness. 

If you’re looking for a dose of happy energy, this song will definitely serve you well. 

“Life Goes On” by BTS

5 / 5 stars

BTS returned to comfort struggling fans due to the global pandemic with their new album “BE.”  [PHOTO COURTESY OF BIGHIT ENTERTAINMENT] 

In mid-November, K-Pop group BTS released a full album, where they open up about the fear and anxiety they experienced with the intention of conveying a supporting message to fans that they are not alone. In particular, the track “Blue and Grey” communicated a deep sincerity that touched me.

The song tells a story of someone who is having a hard time finding happiness after losing someone whom they care about. In one section, member Taehyung sings the line: “I just wanna be happier, is this a big greed” with a deep and heartfelt tone that perfectly captures the feeling of helplessness that comes with a bitter departure. This is complemented   with the angelic harmonization between Jungkook and Jin as they proceed with a last message to the person: “I’ll tell you when I smile in a distant future.” 

In addition to the vocals, the song also consists of slow rap that adds extra dynamics. With its upbeat tones, the one minute rap at the end served as a good break from the mellow and emotional parts of the song. It also seemingly suggests that there’s hope in the midst of one’s struggles, which is a good reminder. 

From time to time, a good mellow song can help comfort us. If that’s something you need now, I would  recommend listening to this song, letting go of whatever’s inside of you, and taking a deep breath. 

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