Winner is showcasing growth both artistically and personally in its third EP “Cross.”
The album, released Wednesday, comes only five months after EP “WE,” as the group delivers on the promise to fans that they would release two records within this year.
As the title subtly suggests, the group sings together but also separately on the album packed with crossover tracks.
“The album mostly consists of crossover tracks with multiple meanings. We wanted to move away from our cheerful image and be more serious in tone,” leader Seungyoon told the press during the showcase event.
The leader explained the four have a different identity and the album shows they can work together as Winner but also individually with a different direction.
“Cross” is fronted by the lead single “Soso” -- a track which the group hopes could encourage people to be more true to their feelings, instead of suppressing them.
While “so-so” means “not very good but not very bad” by the dictionary definition, the bandmates wanted to tap into the common experience of acting okay when in fact people are not.
“When you are asked ‘if you are okay,’ I’m sure people have responded by just saying ‘so-so’ even though they aren’t actually doing well,” Seungyoon said.
“Though the lyrics sound cool, the multi-layered arrangement (of the song) tries to reflect changes in mood. The song has a twist,” he added.
“Despite how the lyrics sound, I want listeners to speak up and get things off their chest in their life,” Jinu echoed a similar sentiment during the event.
Drawing an analogy with seasons, Mino said, despite the fact that many people associate the group with the summer, Winner is actually better suited with the autumn.
Coinciding with the release date in late October, he hoped the four-piece act could help fans beat the autumn blues with the new album.
With some members soon to turn 30 and facing military enlistment in the coming years, the group worked on the latest album with a sense of seriousness.
“We might not be able to see fans as much and we could take a break as well going forward. With that in mind, and because I wanted to do my best until the very last, we worked on the album, the concerts and the lyrics with a genuine attitude and paid them so much thought,” Seunghoon said.
When asked about having to join the military next year, Jinu, who is the oldest among the group, said it won’t be the end of the group.
“We’ll continue to work individually. We plan to give fans more to look forward to,” he said.
Seunghoon also assured fans, expressing wishes to follow in the footsteps of Super Junior.
“Even after our time in the military, we’d love to continue to make great music and perform on stage as a group like Super Junior sunbaenim (senior colleagues).”
By Yim Hyun-su (email@example.com