VIXX had a jam-packed 2016 thanks to their Conception Trilogy. The special project, which contained three mini-albums, gave the boys a chance to try different things and experiment with their sound. Now they're back with their first release of 2017, Shangri-La.
The mini-album sees VIXX return to the heavily synthesized sound that's become their signature. Lead single “Shangri-La” is a future bass track with an oriental twist. The production, courtesy of Devine Channel, is so gorgeous that even the instrumental without VIXX’s vocals works as a song on its own. With that said, “Shangri-La” is a very atmospheric song, so it might not appeal to those looking for the bigger pop hooks of early VIXX hits like “Error” and “Voodoo Doll.”
Regardless of how you feel about the song, it’s hard not to be impressed by the music video. It’s artistic and beautiful, with the members dressed in traditional Asian clothing and performing choreography with fans for props. It’s definitely a reminder that VIXX are one of the strongest groups when it comes to concepts.
The rest of the Shangri-La mini-album really delivers with every song. “Into The Void” is the complete opposite of the romantic title track, with moody, orchestral production that builds slowly before crashing into a nihilistic chorus. “Killing me, killing me,” the boys sing. “I’m stuck in misery, misery.”
VIXX lighten the mood on “Black Out,” a SHINee-esque slice of synthesized funk. The song has a fantastic bridge and killer rap from Ravi, so make sure you don’t skip it halfway through!
For fans of the slower stuff, Shangri-La wraps up with two ballads. “1,2,3,4,5” is the more typical of the two with an R&B-ish beat and piano melodies, while “To Us” mixes things up a little more; it starts out PBR&B, and finishes as a radio-friendly mid-tempo.
Overall, this is a fantastic comeback that will please longtime fans and probably create some new ones too.
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