KNK are a 5 member boy group under YNB Entertainment. The Korean name for the group is 크나큰 which literally means ‘to be great.’ The group only debuted in March, 2016 with their debut song ‘Knock‘ but this song definitely put them on the map due to the classic K-POP sound the song carried, whilst still being very original and managing to fuse a ballad sound with an upbeat boy-group dance track. KNK’s nontraditional ‘stomping’ style of choreography has also became something of a meme in the international fanbase and is definitely also something that is drawing in a lot of new fans.

The group’s debut song, ‘Knock‘ –

AWAKE’ is the group’s first mini-album and was released June, 2nd 2016. The mini-album has 6 different, original tracks. I’ll be breaking down and reviewing each song in the order in which they appear in the album.

The official album preview:

Now let’s check out the songs individually!

 1. Gone

Gone‘ is the album’s intro track, it is much shorter than the others and has the same underlying backing track used in ‘Back Again.’ It is in essence an opening song which acts as a perfect transition that builds up excitement for the title track but it also helps to flesh out the story that the mini-album tells which is that of a painful break-up.
♫♪”Love is gone.” ♬♩

They also performed the song live on the V App:

 2. Back Again

I can’t help myself from comparing ‘Back Again‘ to ‘Knock‘ especially in terms of the music video’s aesthetic. ‘Back Again’ is definitely trying to be more of a dance track and does have little hints of colour in the music video but the songs are really similar, as is the choreography (which was choreographed by the same person) but I love this style of choreography so I’m not really complaining (…just a bit)

I love the whole concept of hot boys dancing angrily to angsty music and staring in the distance so I loved the music video. The members of KNK are undeniably talented and there are times where their personalities and their uniqueness shine through in this song. However, I find myself watching their V App broadcasts and their youtube videos and the more I get to know their personalities the more I find that this style of music is limiting their self-expression and I ask myself ‘Is this the type of music these boys want to be making?

3. 요즘 넌 어때 (I Remember)

This song is really cute and probably my second favourite on the album. It’s more lighthearted and more acoustic. Look what happens when you remove the stereotypical harsh early 2000’s electronic boy band production™!!! You are able to hear the beauty in the boys voices clearly and hearing them in a new style of song was so so refreshing. THE RAP TOO! Amazing. More raps like that please and more of the boys writing their own raps too and I will be one happy fan.

4. 노력해볼게 (I’ll Try)

This is the slowest song on the album and probably my least favourite, this is probably just because the  electronic boy band production™ makes a reappearance only this time, it sounds like something straight out of the 1990’s. We are talking boyzone type sounds here. It doesn’t mean the song is bad, it isn’t, it’s just something I’ve heard a thousand times before and honestly, I’m a bit tired of it. The only reviving thing about this song is 1.26 – 1.53 for me, this part sounds a bit more modern and the vocals are perfect, I like it.

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5. DAY N NIGHT

This is definitely my favourite song on the album by MILES. I love it. It is a lot more modern that the other songs but still, it is unmistakably retro K-POP and unmistakably KNK. It is definitely the dance track of the album and it sounds the most different from the other songs. The song itself and the lyrics are great, the production on this song is probably one of the best out of the album too (although it still could be improved *cough*)

KNK’s funniness and lightheartedness comes through here as anyone who has watched their broadcasts knows what fun-loving boys they are.

6. 고백 (Propose)

I could really love this song, I love the piano and I love their amazing voices. The first few seconds are great, I had such high hopes and then.. THE 90’S BOYBAND PRODUCTION WHEN WILL IT END??? It’s so distracting from their voices and the simplistic beauty that the song could have had. However, It is a lovely song despite it when you focus on the members voices themselves, the high notes they reach are amazing and the rap parts are great as are the parts when all of the members start singing a little faster and then the song slows down again, they all have really impressive voices.

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Now this is where I start getting properly critical. The album is good, but it’s not great… and it could be. The one bad thing about KNK is how similar everything is. The whole album was written and produced by one person and so obviously a lot of the songs will end up having the same sound to it. For fans who love the early 1990’s to mid 2000’s K-POP and boyband sound, they will be sure to love this album but personally, I found that as I was listening, I was enjoying the album but I was yearning for more varying sounds, more of the boys personalities showing through in the music and more of the modern, high-production trap sounding songs that the more popular groups are releasing right now. Definitely the closest I got to all of that on this album was ‘DAY N NIGHT‘. I think that the reminiscent boyband sound will only get them so far and I hope that in their future releases, more of their own uniqueness will shine through and they will find their own sound as this is something that does take time. KNK are definitely a group with a lot of potential and they have only just debuted! I think the future will be bright for these tall, handsome and talented boys but I sincerely hope they do more experimentation in terms of their sound and mix-up their music videos too!

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I’m looking forward to seeing what KNK will do next ♥

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I love writing, cherry blossoms and Kim Namjoon