2.5 out of 5 stars
Jeon Somi released her first solo studio album, “XOXO,” on Oct. 29, after years in the K-Pop industry.
To be completely upfront, the album was a big disappointment. It only had eight tracks, and four of the songs were songs that have been out for a while now.
Starting off the album is the track “DUMB DUMB,” which I listen to avidly. It starts with piano, which then builds up to the chorus, all backed by whistling. The song is unique and, if anything, is a little short for my liking.
“XOXO” has to be my favorite off of the album. I love how the flavor of the previous song is brought into this one. The whistling is still present, and there is a subtle beat, which gives the song a relaxing yet powerful energy.
The rap portion of “XOXO” has some of my favorite lyrics, with “plenty fish up in the sea/but they don’t swim like me, you know it,” further emphasizing the power of the song.
My least favorite song on the album, “Don’t Let Me Go,” follows. The whistling of the first two songs is still present, but the instrumentals are lacking, bringing no further depth to an already dull song.
The lyrics are bland and basic, with the chorus consisting of Somi repeating “don’t let me go.”
The featured rap of GIRIBOY caught me by an unpleasant surprise and does not mesh with the rest of the song.
The track “Anymore” could be a song that I would expect to hear on the radio. The guitar is mesmerizing, and nostalgic, like it is from the early 2000s.
Adding to the radio-friendly vibe, the lyrics are fully in English. “I wanna be your lover, don’t wanna be your friend” is a line that sticks out the most. While I love this song, it feels out of place compared to the rest of the songs on the album.
“Watermelon” is an okay song. Again, it feels out of place, but not as much as “Anymore” does. It is a simple song; nothing exciting or memorable happens in it. Will I listen again? Probably not.
The songs “Birthday,” “What You Waiting For,” and “Outta My Head” are all Somi songs from the year prior. I love all of these songs, but wish they were not on the album; perhaps they could have been better suited for an EP.
My main issue with this album is that it seems to go all over the place. Including old songs that do not fit the feel of Somi’s newer sound throws off the whole experience.
The album lacks flow and does not make any sense. Having a solid storyline with the first three songs only to ignore it completely with the other two songs is confusing.
This album is a disappointment, I wish that we got more with Somi’s first solo album. In the future, I am expecting a lot more, because this album feels like it’s simply a collection of songs, rather than an album.