k-pop · reviews

TEEN TOP’s Niel Makes Exciting Return That Has Una Screaming A To Z

Making the impossible seem possible Niel returns with his third mini album A to Z and title songs A to Z and In your space under his new agency.

What an interesting day it is when it comes to comebacks. I just know Una lost her marbles once she saw Neil actually would have a comeback in the year 2022. We had to wait ages for this man to be able to release solo music again under a new agency at that. Just shows you how much Top Media is blocking their artists but I won’t get into that rant. Anyway, nothing else expected than us being way too excited for Niel to give us new alluring, smexy, and mature music and while I didn’t have anything besides concept photos to go by for this comeback I was still sure this would deliver. This is mostly true thankfully. I also had no clue that this would be a double title track album so let’s review.

A to Z and In your space couldn’t be more different from each other if they tried. It seems like A to Z is Niel trying to accommodate current trends and go and run with the kids while In your space is the Niel music we know and love. I think this already tells you which of the two title tracks is my favorite. Yes, A to Z has an interesting music video and has its moments but I kind of absolutely don’t like its chorus. I have to admit it does get better with a couple of listens and I can’t deny the music video is also helping greatly but the instrumental of the entire thing is just a bit annoying to me. I would have preferred a bit more melody even though Niel is singing his little heart out – especially during that bridge. Which brings us to In your space, which is the old Niel we know and love and which I am absolutely here for. This is the mellow and sexy Niel we all love and missed (even if the music video budget run out for it and it is a straight up car advertisment). He sounds amazing when he challenges more r&b sounding music and the alluring atmosphere is everything and I am here for it. I am glad he is testing the waters and giving us variety and I get wanting to release a more high energy sounding song like A to Z but In your space is definitely the song I’ll be listening to more.

Which brings me to the fantastic mini album that accompanies our title tracks. It makes A to Z stand out even more oddly as all of the other songs are the music I expected to hear from Niel. I am hardly able to pick a favorite as each of the songs gives me something to scream and love about but I think I narrowed down my favorites to Hypnotized and Forever Young, which I just loved immediately after I listened to them for the first time. This is the smexy music I have been missing on the scene! They are about to be overplayed! There is no one like Niel and I am so glad we got him back after all these years of nothingness!

First of all, Lina is hilarious for this title because I am, in fact, screaming because of this comeback. Lina is familiar with my obsession with Niel’s Love Affair which is probably one of my favourite k-pop songs ever (k-r&b?) and this comeback was truly long overdue. We’re not surprised Niel hasn’t been back for a while but we are so happy that Niel is now out of TOP Media and with a new agency. The company has really withheld his talents which deserved to shine more – hiding such a good r&b vocalist and dancer is a crime which TOP Media should pay for. Okay, were you really expecting us not to shade TOP Media in this post? Were you really? Let’s focus on Niel and the great music he blessed us with today – into my biased review we go!

First of all, Niel looks so good. I agree with Lina that the two title tracks are quite the opposite but they do both stray into the similar genre which is nice. In your space is that song, though. It’s everything I love about Niel’s music – a well thought out choreography, combination of r&b and pop as well as a good chorus and hook that will get stuck in my head, all tied together by Niel’s amazing performance and charisma. I really love this song and it checks out all the boxes I have when it comes to enjoying a good r&b release. It’s so pleasant, melodic and overall well-structured that it really directly highlights Niel’s soothing vocals and his charms. I’m on my third listen as we speak and that chorus is getting better and better – truly a great comeback for Niel with this song, right in the genre he does the best.

A to Z is definitely more angsty and on par with current k-pop trends but it’s still very much Niel and still very much between his pop and r&b sound. While In your space is definitely the superior track of the two, A to Z still has some enjoyable and nice moments, obviously the vocal ones. The song’s chorus is split into two parts with the second one being a lot stronger and catchier as it brings a lot more melody to the table. It’s interesting that Niel opted for rap verses in between because I think they somewhat directly break the melody’s momentum and it takes a bit before the song goes back to where it was. The bridge is the Niel sound we all love and the part I enjoy the most in the song. A to Z is not really for me but it’s nice that Niel gets to experiment a bit with his music.

I agree with Lina that the album is excellent as it provides us with more of the Niel style and sound we like. So much stunning r&b content on this album and it’s definitely worth checking out. There’s something about Niel’s voice that always speaks to me and makes me feel special type of way and these b-sides made sure that happens again. Hypnotized, Forever Young and Single Love are all great gems from the album that I’d recommend checking out if you enjoy Neil’s music. Single Love is currently my favourite track from the album besides In your space as it’s so alluring and appealing – his sounds so good here and I’m loving the back vocals as well.

Niel, thank you for finally coming back and giving us some great music to listen to.

Header Image Source: NEW ENTRY Entertainment

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