4th June saw Wanna One’s anticipated comeback with the special mini album: 1÷x=1 (Undivided). The album is surprising in its pared-down simplicity. Leading track, Light, shows that exactly.
Undivided is a mini album that’s a complete departure from Wanna One’s usual comeback style. There are two full-group singles, and three subunit tracks. This time around too, they’ve swapped heavy-EDM for a lighter version of the genre.
Light, has a bright instrumental. The focus is squarely on the contrast between the layered, smooth vocals and the rough, deep texture of the rap breaks. But it’s generally quite one-dimensional too. In this song, there are no vocal colours that shine individually, rather it’s a seamless relay of parts from member to member, with no interruption and no climax either.
Kangaroo is certainly one of the most standout songs in the album. Produced by BlockB’s Zico, and performed by subunit Triple Voice, it has the same type of bright instrumentals as Light. But there’s a more pronounced sing-song quality in the melody and in the playful voice-layering.
Eternity + 1, is a piano-led, mid-tempo ballad performed by vocal unit Lean on Me. If you’re a fan of modern R&B, Zion-T-esque tracks, this will definitely be a song for your playlist. Whereas, Hourglass (performed by sub-unit The Heal and produced by Heize) and group song Number On are more upbeat songs that illustrate the style Wanna One is best known for.
The album showcases each aspect of the group’s style. But, for me, it’s a more mature album than some, particularly those not familiar with their B-sides, would guess. Undivided is not a complete departure from Wannaone’s dark and broody concept. It’s a change that’s subtle in tone, but still one that’s wholly familiar to the group.