Around the year 2005, the most anticipated rookies that were testing the kpop market were Super Junior. Aside from them, another name was coming to the light, a name that brings the nostalgia of a reunification in the hearts of the fans. On theory, the band still exists. On paper, I mean in terms of a palpable contract, not really. The boys spread around each at his own luck and the fans started to enjoy the fun of anticipating one solo album after another.
Getting back to SS501, their direct competitors were SJ. Both bands released similar singles, so is normal to compare Existence and Don’t Don ( both released in 2006 ). Firstly, I have to say that for more coherence in a song, it is easier to compose it for 5 vocalists, rather for up to 13, the proven unlucky member number of SJ. It is hard to imagine any rock influence in today’s kpop, but back then the trend was something similar to nu-metal, of course, on a softer note. It is not a bad thing to make
songs that follow a certain pattern that is proven to be succesful as long as new good songs are being born this way. Keeping the sam
e standard of quality in the work involved is a must. All in all I have to say that Existence is a far better song than Don’t Don, not because I like SS guys more ( Heil! ), but because Don’t is a 5-songs-in-1 track (501, heil!#2). In the end, a thumbs up for the part starting from 2:15 in Existence. That’s how you do a serious track!
The rest of the S.T 01 Now album keeps on getting better. It abounds of songs with attitude, aside from Existence, there are Four Chance, Man and Unlock, from start 4 songs with powerful sounds, a courageous choice, I say. The guitar riff is something of an rara avis in kpop but they don’t seem to get enough if it on this album.
Coward and Bye Bye seem to predict the bubbly style they’ll embrace later on. Again and Hana are very good ballads. The remixes at the end of the album, for Existence and the “heavy and hidden” (?!?) version of Unlock don’t actually bring anything new to the listener. The rest of the tracks are easily forgettable.
Final rating : an honest 8/10 coming from a recently self-proclaimed big fan.