Maybe you know him for his “Yours” single with Chanyeol, Changmo, and Lee Hi, maybe for his bangin’ DJ set from SMTOWN LIVE “Culture Humanity” concert. Perhaps it’s his “Keep My Light On” hit with DubVision. Regardless, many can say they have heard of him. The multi-talented producer and DJ is back with more music.
On October 12, Raiden released his debut mini-album, Love Right Back, leading with a title track of the same name. Five songs in total, Raiden’s EP features vocals from various well-known Korean rappers and singers.
The Optimistic Title Track
The album opener is “Love Right Back,” featuring NCT TAEIL and lIlBOI. It is a bittersweet, upbeat pop song about overcoming a past relationship. Accepting that the past can’t change, the lyrics ask for the “Love Right Back.”
The track has a significant emphasis on the instruments, building from a steady piano rhythm to incorporate guitar and percussion. It is a smooth ride through and through, only building slightly at the climax of the song. This is the perfect song to listen to when thinking of the future as it has a hopeful, optimistic tone.
A Song on the “Side Effect” of Love
Next up is “Side Effect,” featuring G-IDLE’s MIYEON. It is a love song that compares love to a side effect. The track draws listeners in with its steady keyboard rhythm and MIYEON’s breathy vocals.
The rhythm is then disrupted after the chorus, with an infectious flute melody replacing all music. The flute almost feels like an extension of MIYEON’s singing since it is airy and beautiful, like her singing.
A “Golden” Track
The midpoint of the mini-album is marked by “Golden”— a pop song featuring WayV XIAOJUN and K-hip-hop artist pH-1. The track opens with a whistle tune accompanied by a funky guitar throughout the rest of the song.
“Golden” is a retro love song comparing a lover to gold, the chorus repeating, “Ain’t nobody shine like you, Golden, you shine, you shine.” Xiaojun’s smooth vocals coupled with pH-1’s chill raps help subtly convey the song’s overall affectionate tone.
Who Didn’t LIke this Song? “It Wasn’t Me”
“It Wasn’t Me” is next. The song starts with a fresh acoustic guitar rhythm paired with the expressive singing of Weki Meki’s Choi Yoojung. The track picks up as the song progresses, building more each chorus when Yoojung sings her apology.
“It Wasn’t Me” is about a misaligned relationship. Both parties were under the impression it would last, but it is not the best relationship. The bitter lyrics contrast with the music, which is slightly upbeat. The juxtaposition captures the bumpy relationship described by the music.
Love is “Karma”
Last on the album is “Karma” with Nino Lucarelli. Opening with a funky guitar, the song starts with husky vocals until the chorus. “Karma” flows like most pop songs— building up and slowing down just enough to keep the listener engaged. The lyrics compare love to karma. The love Nino Lucarelli sings about seems to be toxic and unavoidable.
The song ends on a powerful note as Nino Lucarelli sings one final emotional utterance of the chorus. He sings, “Tell me how you do it right before my eyes, dodging karma, dodging karma.”
Ridin’ With Raiden
Raiden has picked up his guitar and piano for his music show debut, performing “Love Right Back” alongside TAEIL and lIlBOI. Since the drop, he has been promoting his EP through exclusive behind-the-scenes images and videos.
Raiden’s first EP is strong–propelling more of his artistic capabilities and persona to the public. While each song has a unique atmosphere and meaning, they fit together in the mini-album so well. “Love Right Back” eases listeners in while the rest of the album picks up with pop songs and slows down with emotional tracks. It is a smooth yet engaging album that is sure to entice listeners to have the Love Right Back EP on repeat.
Want more music coverage? Check out our review of æspa’s Savage EP here.
Thumbnail courtesy of SM Entertainment