Bobby from iKON has just dropped his first solo album ‘Love and Fall.’ It’s a full album, with 10 songs and dual title tracks. He also collaborates with a bevy of guest artists such as DK of Seventeen and Mino from WINNER, as well as Katie Kim. I’ll go through a few tracks to let you know what you’re in for.
“I LOVE YOU” has a lot of tropical house elements, which makes this a pretty awesome summer jam. It sounds different from his band, iKON, and in some ways I’m glad. Otherwise, why not stick with the band? His rapping here is interesting, his flow is like a guy who just sat down with you at the bar. I like the work he puts into this, and he manages to not sound like a cut-rate G-Dragon, which is a pigeonhole he could do without.
Bobby’s raps on “RUNAWAY” sound different than on “I LOVE YOU,” which is a testament to his skills. He handles the main verses okay, although the chorus is a bit weak. Not for lack of trying, though, I just like the raps better than the rest of the tune. He has a strong hip-hop vibe running through his songs so that only makes sense. Although I like the loneliness and isolation he expresses during the bridge.
“UP” starts out with a tortured synth sound and a dial tone, not to mention Mino’s raps. This is a tune that I can get into, being a purer rap tune. There are no nods to a pop tune here, no clean singing, nothing to really smooth out the rough parts. It’s a nice rap that feels raw and emotional, and the contrast between Bobby and Mino is absolute gold.
“SECRET” is a slower tune, starts out as an R&B bop that features Katie Kim. If anyone was wondering what she’s up to now, she’s with YG, and on this track. It also features DK from Seventeen, so there’s your second treat. As the tune progresses, you realize it’s more house than anything, with the synths coming in larger than life and really adding something to this song. Regardless, Katie keeps this tune from getting out of hand, adding her capable pipes to the mix.
Far from being about alien abduction, “ALIEN” expresses to a girl how she’s like an alien and he can’t understand her or approach her. I suspect this is a problem for most guys, but I digress…It’s kind of an odd tune, but it’s playful in its own way…he makes his voice sound pretty strange here, and that’s entirely deliberate.
“IN LOVE” is what I call a ballad done right. It’s stripped down, and it features some smurf-pitched vocals as a background accompaniment, along with the synths. It also lets Bobby just sing, and the music stays out of the way. This is where he shines, and shows off his vocal range nicely.
Giving him his own release away from iKON was probably a good move. He’s got the chops to make it as a solo artist, propped up by YG’s backing, of course. This is a strong solo release and shows just what Bobby is capable of. Obviously, we want to see more material from iKON, but I think this LP stands on its own as a fan-pleaser.
It’s a day on the beach for Bobby, as we see him rapping in various scenes around Jeju Island.
Well sort of. Really, there’s a whole bunch of random scenes, with the beach as a semi-constant backdrop. There’s a gal in here, too, but she doesn’t do too much. And I’m still trying to figure why in the world you’d have a Viewmaster.
It is nicely filmed, and they use the scenery well. The mostly blue sky, the sun shining through, and everything just being happy-go-lucky. Bobby doesn’t look like he has a care in the world. And why not? It’s a happy MV to go with a happy song.
It’s certainly not boring, I can give it that much. I wasn’t unimpressed so much as not terribly impressed. It’s a good party MV.
Runaway is the significantly darker MV.
Starting with a Bible verse at the beginning (which also shows up in the end), we see Bobby frustrated and trying to run away. From what? We’re not sure. We see him saying goodbye to his parents, and a little boy shows up a lot. I think what they’re saying is that he’s still a lost child and that no matter how far he goes, he can’t outrun himself.
There are some definite nods to danger here, and even when he’s out in the open, he’s still running for all he’s worth. It’s almost worth parodying, except he seems earnest enough. And I understand the message, to boot.
The sets alternate between interesting and blah. We’ve seen a lot of the under the bridge shots, though Bobby running through a tunnel, with the shots of the parents, heading into a church, etc being well done and halfway fresh. I heart shots like the broken glass (which keeps showing up) and the city skyline at sunset. He’s apparently in Buffalo, NY as there are freeway signs to Rochester and Jamestown. So he did, in a sense, run away.
I think I like this one better than “I LOVE YOU.” It has more things to keep me interested, and a deeper message than let’s have fun. The Bible verse also lends it some gravitas. So yeah, a pretty good song and MV.
Scores averaged across both MVs
SEE ALSO: iKON’s Bobby next drops visual clip for ‘Tendae’!