Release Date: August 12, 2014
- Color Ring
- I’m Him (Minho Solo)
- Love Is A Lie
- Confession (Taehyun Solo)
- Smile Again
Winner is a five-member South Korean male vocal group formed in 2014 by YG Entertainment. They were part of a reality survival program called Who Is Next: WIN, where teams competed to debut as YG’s next boy group. They were Team A and were renamed “Winner” after being publicly voted as the victors of the program.
2014 S/S is Winner’s debut album and features the singles Empty and Color Ring. The majority of this album is self-produced by the group with assistance from select producers within the world of K-Pop.
So that makes this a rather interesting listen. The spectrum of music is all over the place, going from R&B to Hip-Hop, to Electro Pop to pop ballads. It doesn’t make for the most cohesive experience, but despite that, the songs are still strong enough to warrant some attention.
Winner seems to be most comfortable with the mid to lower tempo Pop/R&B crossovers such as Empty, Different and Tonight. Those songs sound more natural than the dance tracks. Not to say that those are bad, but they are pretty much run-of-the-mill and not different from whatever other similar male K-Pop groups are doing.
The one track that did grab my attention was Don’t Flirt. Mainly because it sounds like it pulled some influence from Rixton’s Me And My Broken Heart. Or am I the only one who is thinking that?
As one who didn’t watch their trials on their reality show, I had no real expectations of this group. I just knew they were another part of the YG family. With that said, I believe this is a fairly decent debut album.
I can’t say it’s the most amazing work (because that would be a lie), and they aren’t even close to giving their seniors Big Bang a good scare. But this is a good start to what will hopefully be a fruitful career.