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K-Pop Korner: TO1 "RE:BORN" Album Review

TO1 pose for a group photo to promote their new album. (Image used under the Fair Use Provision of the U.S. Copyright Code)

By Zoe Nix--Eagle staff writer

When you think of personality, talent, and potential, who do you relate that to?

Personally, I think of K-pop rookies TO1.

TO1 is a ten member boy group under Wake One Entertainment.

Member J-You strikes a fresh pose. (Image used under the Fair Use Provision of the U.S. Copyright Code)

These boys were brought together by a reality idol formation show called "World Klass". The members, in final rank order from 1st to 10th, are J-You, Chan, Woonggi, Kyungho, Donggeon, Minsu, Chihoon, Jerome, Jisu, and Jaeyun.

They originally debuted as TOO on April 1st, 2020 with the title track "Magnolia" and had a second mini-album release titled "Count 1, 2" under the group name and their former company n.CH World Entertainment. During K-Con, a large convention for all things Korean, they announced their name change on March 28, 2021.

Seeing as the last comeback we Together, their fandom name, had was back on July 15, 2020, this comeback was long awaited and heavily anticipated.

Woonggi shows off his cute features and cool demeanor. (Image used under the Fair Use Provision of the U.S. Copyright Code)

The album starts out with an orchestral opening in their short intro song "Reborn". It gives you a little taste of what's to come and a craving for more.

The title track is "Son of Beast", a ridiculously catchy song with a refreshing beat and beautifully choreographed dance. My Dad laughs a lot whenever he hears this song because he finds the lyric "I'm a son of a beast" hilarious. J-You's smooth and quick paced rap is highlighted splendidly in this song followed by his fellow rappers Chan's and Chihoon's own lyrics. The chorus is gifted with vocals that I could listen to over and over again. Thank goodness Jaeyun placed in this group, otherwise we'd be cursed without his gorgeous high notes. This is a song I completely recommend and encourage you listen to.

Chan stands cooly by a car. (Image used under the Fair Use Provision of the U.S. Copyright Code)

"Hot Sauce" is a perfect song to follow up with after the title track. It's loud and energetic and really packs a punch. It makes me feel like a real boss and boosts my energy whenever I listen to it. This song is heavy with bass and a lot of spice, just like the name suggests. It's dripping just like hot sauce.

Jerome gives the camera his usual cute stare. (Image used under the Fair Use Provision of the U.S. Copyright Code)

TO1 wouldn't be known for their vocals if they didn't have any softer or slower songs on their albums. "Surf" is slow, but still loud. Definitely not as loud as "Hot Sauce", but it's still not as slow as a piano based ballad. The quick rap lyrics really help keep its fresh sound up and prevents it from being all too slow, all too soon.

"Hello Goodbye" has a similar pace as "Surf" and has another addictive chorus almost like "Son of Beast". The chorus starts slow and then finishes itself off with fast and easy catchy lyrics. Rap line and vocal line are definitely working over time as the vocals are beautiful and the rap is as smooth as ever.

Soft guitar strumming and a gorgeous voice welcome you into "With You". This is absolutely supposed to be the slow song of this album, which all albums must have, it seems. The lyrics are heartwarming and the beat is soft and nice for a song meant for your feels. I seriously can not get over the vocals and rapping in this group and especially this album. They are so strong and put together. It's amazing.

Minsu looking fresh and new after the concept change. (Image used under the Fair Use Provision of the U.S. Copyright Code)

For international fans, TO1 has put together the English version of "Son of Beast". For all those a little uncomfy with listening to a song entirely in a different language with little bits and pieces in English, the English version is for you. The song still sounds great, but the singing is a bit off due to the language barrier, but I still have to compliment them on giving this their all.

"Don't Fear Now (TO1 Ver.)" finishes the album off with a bit of a rock sound. "Don't Fear Now" is a remake of the song off of their debut album, and might I say that this one is louder and by far, stronger. You can recognize the song quite easily, but it's completely remixed and redone. It's quite cool to hear a throwback song from their debut on this new album, especially with a new sound and feel.

I recommend this album to all who are interested in listening to something new or out of their usual tastes. I do wish that there were more loud songs like "Hot Sauce" on the album, but even without, it's a well put together album with beautiful songs and fascinating lyrics. The guys themselves are wonderful and if you are into stanning groups or people, I totally recommend checking these guys out.

They have several YouTube series out currently like "TOO Mystery: Zombie War" and "Welcome 2 House". There are also a load of fan made compilations of them acting ridiculous or just helping you get to know them! You should definitely check some out.

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