Seriously, this will probably be the shortest review I have ever written for a mini-album comprised of six tracks. Which is something I never anticipated, especially given how much I loved 2AM‘s last album, Saint O’ Clock, my 2010 K-pop album of the year and still one of the best Korean pop albums I have in my collection.
Why so little to say about this album? Well, because the entire album sounds… a little boring. The songs aren’t bad, but unlike Saint O’ Clock, the tempo doesn’t sway any higher or lower throughout Way of Love. The first track “You Were Mine” is the slightly uptempo and a good start to the album, but it all goes down low from here on. Starting with track two, the lead single:
“I Wonder If You Hurt Like Me” is what you would expect from a 2AM single. But that’s just my problem with it. It doesn’t sound any better than their last two ballads – “You Wouldn’t Answer My Calls” or “Like Crazy” – and I still listen to those two. This being a 2AM music video, it’s quite melodramatic, with sad faces and of course – crying. They stand still, occasionally sit, all in line, dressed all dapper and sing a sad song. Heck, even the MV is what you’d expect from 2AM!
Again, “I Wonder If You Hurt Like Me” isn’t a bad song. I just don’t think it sounds any better for me to keep listening to it beyond this review. A 3/5 for 2AM’s new single, that’s all it gets from me.
Track no. 3, “Erase All Our Memories” is a smooth R&B jam, no. 4 “One More Second” is a slow ballad, “How To Break Up Well” is an even sadder ballad, with a formulaic beat. The sixth and final track on the mini-album, “I Love You, I Love You” finally wakes you up thanks to its slightly more uptempo, 70s-inspired R&B. It’s one of the better tracks on the album. The reason I’m not individually rating each track is because if I were to, they would only score within the 2 – 3 range, which on my rating scale means the songs are average to good at best. And that’s exactly how I would rate ‘Way of Love‘ as a whole.
Maybe it’s because of the timing of 2AM’s comeback. I’m still in BIGBANG mode, who made an impressive comeback that’s just fantastic baby! So when an album contains rather unoriginal, somber music, I just don’t seem to feel it. I know Saint O’ Clock made me pay attention to 2AM, but I guess the reason why I liked that album was because it was a good collection of ballads and uptempo tracks that still shine. 2AM are in fine form as one of the best vocal groups in K-pop and the member’s vocals are just as good on Way of Love as they have ever been. That said, despite how every song on the mini-album is listenable, I just don’t think I’ll come back to it. I still felt bored listening to this album, despite admitting the songs weren’t that bad.
Before you 2AM worshippers go: “What you know la*! Every song is good okay!”, understand that while the review may sound harsh, that’s just how I felt about ‘Way of Love‘. It sucks, trust me, especially after having waited nearly one-and-half years since 2AM’s last release. The songs are not bad, just not memorable. And after Saint O’ Clock, my expectations were quite high. I could have made some reference to ‘The Great Gatsby‘ author (F. Scott Fitzgerald) to make this review sound interesting – but I don’t read books. So I have nothing more to say really.
*I’m not saying every hate comment I get will be from a Singaporean