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[Album Review] Rainbow takes another shot with 'Prism'

(Loen Entertainment)

Rainbow is one of those girl groups that everyone seems to like, but just can’t seem to get a break. On their fourth album “Prism,” titled with the hope of each member’s personality (“color”) shining through, the group demonstrates that its slow takeoff was certainly not for want of talent.

The first track establishes the members’ vocal skills, with each singer giving a solid performance on a classic K-pop ballad reminiscent of songs from the 2000s. Even without elaborate techniques or belting out high notes, the members’ voices are rich and textured.

The rest of the album is devoted to creating a fun, retro image for the group. Title track “Whoo” hints strongly of Rainbow’s most successful lead track “A,” bringing the girls’ flirty voices together with a drum-heavy band sound that puts the electric guitar front and center. 

“Black & White” turns on the electronic sound to give a futuristic vibe to Rainbow’s soaring vocals, while it kicks off with a groovy bass line “Click!” and moves into a quick retro pop twist tempo. For member Hyunyoung’s original song “Eye Contact,” the members show off a dreamy, sexy sound to match lyrics about making eye contact with a dangerous new flame other than one’s significant other.

Rainbow’s sound has always been hard to define, skirting the traditional girl group styles of sexy, cute or wide-eyed innocent. Perhaps that was why they’ve been struggling to make it, but “Prism” shows that they’re not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

By Won Ho-jung (