▲ Primary and his cardboard box mask, PROVIDED BY AMOEBA CULTURE
Primary, the producer of hit collaborations, has teamed up with the rising producer 1of1 to create a six-track mini album, Pop (2017). His new album, which was released on August 30, is a mix of light pop songs as well as R&B and Soul. The hip-hop and R&B musician has once again treated our minds and ears to the most delightful tracks that were featured by six prominent idol vocalists.
The general atmosphere of the album is consistent throughout the sound, design, and visual elements. The cover, designed by typographer Kim Ki Jo, is a strong mix of primary colors such as red, yellow and blue. Those strong colors center around the theme of young love at the peak of one’s youth. The colors represent the sweetness, the despair and the bitterness that come from being in a relationship. The popping array of colors is an exact representation of the musically diverse and refreshing tunes.
Primary’s agency, Amoeba Culture, has released an official statement on social media before the album dropped, recommending that the audience listen for clues leading to a hidden message that connects the six tracks together. Each track accompanied by its own music video contains little hints. The given order of the tracks is misleading, but piecing the clues together to discover Primary’s little surprise adds a layer of intrigue to this already enjoyable album.
The fifth track of the album, “Majung,” featuring B1A4’s Sandeul, is one of the most relaxing and groovy songs of the album. Sandeul’s soothing voice is harmonized with the distinctive tune of the piano in the background, vividly depicting the desperate yet nervous emotional state of a young boy endlessly waiting for someone. The song is also where Primary’s hidden message begins with the theme of waiting.
The story then continues with the title track, “Right,” a song featured by Soyu, a member of the now disbanded Sistar. The sweetness of her renowned soprano vocals merges harmoniously with the funky electro-pop melody of the song. The resulting tune creates an unexpectedly poignant backdrop for the very relatable subject of one-sided love. The music video for the track centers around the girl in the music video of “Majung,” who feels conflicted as a new relationship unfolds. The message of the album ends when the girl finds a new man in the song, “Tuk,” and finally their relationship begins with the song, “Drama.”
This album will definitely serve the taste of those who like sugary rhythms and sweet storylines describing different phases of love—most suited for relaxing afternoons with a nice cup of coffee. It is most recommended for those undergoing a storm of turbulent emotions during and after relationships as Primary’s music provides a platform of comfort and solace. On the contrary, those not in favor of seeking emotional consolation and empathy through such sweet music will most likely not be impressed nor enthralled by the album. The truth is, it works for some and does not for others who view the album as a repetitive overlap of such a universal and, therefore, almost tiresome theme of love.
The very consistency that threads the album together has ironically snapped right back at it, resulting in a lack of diversity that was pointed out by the artist himself. However, after all, the way in which one chooses to find consolation is left entirely up to one’s taste in music. What can be said for sure is that there is no doubt that Primary has recreated a detailed interaction of six characters within his album, each song reflecting their intricate relationships to one another. The album takes the audience along a bumpy emotional ride that has successfully managed to intrigue many of his die-hard fans.