WJSN ‘WJ Please?’ Album Review
WJSN, or Cosmic Girls, is a 13-member girl group whose music is well-defined by their name—a style heavily inspired by cosmic sounds.
Twinkling, space-esque, and wonderfully mystical, WJSN’s music style has been consistently maintained throughout their career, and it is particularly present in their mini-album WJ Please? (2018).
01. “Save Me, Save You”
Undoubtedly the best choice for a title track, the complex “Save Me, Save You” features whimsical synths and mood shifts throughout, yet it provides for the public’s ear.
A beautiful baroque-sounding piano intro sets the mood for the song and segways into a vocal solo. Descending fifths in the low-pitched bass-line serves as a tasteful contrast to the high synths.
The pre-chorus is especially an earworm, with constant bass thumping and melodic mid-range vocals. This transitions into a magical Harry Potter-esque chorus supplemented by vocal harmonies and a switch-up in meter, with Hermiola triplets and an engaged sixteenth-note section.
Overall, the track is a satisfying listen without being overpowering (despite the arrangement), and the rap is seamlessly blended into the instrumental.
02. “You, You, You”
Blaring synths carry “You, You, You” with a strong cosmic energy, and reverb on the synths gives them an ethereal, transcendental quality. The pre-chorus changes up the song with a future-bass-inspired beat and is one of the most fulfilling parts of “You, You, You.”
Despite a slightly jarring chorus, WJSN’s soft, high vocals contribute to the dreamy quality. The track features cellos in the bridge and toward the end, which is a tasteful addition.
“I-Yah” follows nearly the same song progression as the previous track, although it is darker and more epic-sounding. It also features less melodic changes, making it a catchier first-listen.
With its epic, fantastical atmosphere, “I-Yah” is fit for an anime opening. The track starts soft and gradually builds upon the piano melody, and WJSN’s voices soar sweetly above the exciting instrumental.
However, the track gets a little tiring in some parts, despite being perfectly well-produced.
The beginning of the track seems ‘Howl’s Moving Castle‘-inspired, with a “1, 2, 3” waltz time and the presence of a piano and oboe.
The song then blossoms into a full-on synthpop track, with a syncopated electric guitar that backs Exy’s rap verse. WJSN’s high, breathy vocals compliment the synths and instrumental throughout the track.
05. “Hurry Up”
From here on, the mini-album essentially loses the WJSN flavour.
“Hurry Up” is largely defined by a band-themed arrangement and accompanied by blaring horns. It is a bright, fun track with enough personality, but it does not really fit WJSN’s style and disrupts the cohesion of the album.
06. “You & I”
As with most closing tracks on K-pop albums, “You & I” is a ballad. Since ballads primarily rely on melody and emotion to please the listener, outstanding ones are difficult to come by.
“You & I” is a blasé track with the standard ballad chords, but WJSN’s vocals are certainly a redeeming factor, driving the song forward over an unobtrusive instrumental.
Overall, the album is a pleasing listen that carries on with WJSN’s signature sound. It was refreshing to see their concept presented musically, without seeming too repetitive.