If it’s ‘up’, I’ll go to you, a moment’s ‘luck’ test.
Twinkling its way into our eyes is the introductory track, “Up And“, which is quite the treat!
The summer vibes already begin right off the hop, with its bubblegum, twinkly flavor taking the song over while the girls magically vocalize over it. It’s a fast electro-pop track that will have you jamming to its catchy melody. Its lyrics speak of the uplifting mood that comes with being with a significant other on a summer day, and its overall melody emphasizes this clearly.
It’s a fun track, written by member Jiheon, and a surprisingly fabulous introduction to what we’re hoping to hear in its following tracks. If I could describe the feeling I have listening to this song, it’s probably along the lines of my mood being up and up and up. ⬛
At our small beach, look at me, and stay this way…
The mini-album’s title track, “Stay This Way“, is perhaps a testament to the sort of sound that fromis_9 has made theirs: an elegant, disco-like sound that is reliant on its theme, and there’s never been a miss.
Gone is the bubblegum pop that fromis_9 first came out with; this is a mature summer track that will have you blasting it out through your open car windows to feel the breeze on you as you speed towards the beach. It almost feels like an extension of “DM”, which may be dethroned as my favorite track from the 9-member set. This is surely a disco song, and not in the typical ‘breakup-with-you’ sense; no, this is the disco song that will have you begging for love this summer.
The girls talk of staying with their partner in the summery moments of a beautiful day at the beach, almost like a cherished memory to keep. It matches wonderfully with its melody, making you want to stay in this moment with the girls as they deliver the song with their truly talented vocals. If this is the vibe and sound fromis_9 is sticking to, I will gladly stay this way. ⬛
You and I, drawn beyond the clear glass… I’m so curious.
“Blind Letter” follows the title track, but it significantly drops the disco tone for a more subdued and breezy power track that’s reminiscent of Demi Lovato in her Unbreakable days.
This is an absolutely beautiful track, with a story and melody that go hand-in-hand with each other that it almost makes you want to tear up. The song speaks on the protagonist receiving a letter, but from who is the main question, and to add to the mini-album’s themes, there’s sprinkles of sandcastles, glass bottles, and waves… all of which are important to discovering a ‘blind letter’. The beauty here is that the ‘who’ is left to interpretation – is it a potential love? Is it a friend? Is it you in another life or time?
It’s absolutely a treat to the ears; the girls sing the song so well, it’s hard not to just immerse yourself in the track during the wee hours of sunset, as the waves wash on the sand and a glass bottle with a blind letter finds its way to you. ⬛
Say cheese, as if every moment is special!
We pick back up onto disco territory with “Cheese“, and it’s not cheesy by any means… but it’s certainly as delicious as cheese!
The funky melody is amped up in comparison to the previous disco efforts on the mini-album, with its synth-y twists and turns, its twinkly overarching sound, and a heavy bass that finds its way in and out through the song. Its lyrics are just as playful as its instrumental, merging photo-taking lingo and the feelings of the moment you and your significant other are enjoying. It wants you to smile.
“Cheese” is a lot of fun wrapped in quite the sugary sweet funk sound; I can’t help but smile when I replay this song for the umpteenth time. Now… say cheese! ⬛
Rewind the time. Make a move.
We end the mini-album with perhaps one of the best tracks on the album, “Rewind“, and there’s likely no doubt that you will be doing just that once it ends.
This track takes on a louder sound, and it is more in line with the sorts of tracks that you’ve likely been hearing in Korean pop. However, it works so well here. The synth hits, the bass hits, everything hits so well that you can’t help but feel like you’re dancing alone in the club and you catch that other person looking at you with gazing eyes… which is exactly what this song’s about. This is fromis_9 at their most captivating, and this song only begs for your attention.
Rewind is filled to the brim with electronica elements, that it’s piano then synth breakdown throws you for a loop. There’s no need for a ballad at the end of the album when you’ve got a banger that Flovers can rewind to. ⬛
This is an absolute recommend.
“from our Memento Box” is an absolute charm, filled to the brim with summer jams that range from disco to electronica to almost power ballad. Each song is worth at least a listen, and each one has a flavor that is suited to different parts of summer.
Summer albums are always a favorite of mine, and I applaud K-pop acts for (almost) getting it right. fromis_9 hits it at the right spot, and its title track, “Stay This Way”, might just be on repeat for the next two months.
An aside note, but prior to the release of the mini-album, five members of the group did get involved in an accident, but luckily, no one was seriously hurt. My best wishes to the group in healing and recovery, and my best wishes that they return in the best conditions to really give this comeback the promotion and success it truly deserves.
MUST-LISTEN: the whole album!
For more fromis_9 reviews, visit the archive!