written by: McRoth
Aziatix isn’t exactly Kpop (nor do they consider themselves as such), but they’ve certainly found legions of fans among the Kpop community anyway. Their rise up the latter has been something of an overnight sensation, and for good reason. Aziatix is incredibly talented. They glowed like crazy all over their debut mini and brought that specialty R&B/pop sound back for seconds on their follow-up album, “Nocturnal“.
This year, Aziatix held their second US tour and found themselves at a midnight showcase in Austin, TX for SXSW 2012. In short, they’ve grown in popularity and they’ve grown even moreso as musicians. So how well has all this growth translated onto their recent comeback mini-album, “Awakening“?
Well, for starters, they sound good as ever. Across the album, you hear Flowsik‘s deep, resonant voice echoing from ear to ear, Eddie Shin smothering you with his sultry voice, and Nicky Lee serving something of a happy medium between the two. I’ve always admired them for their talent, because they have managed to work really well together and you definitely hear it in all of their work.
Content-wise, however, “Awakening” left me slightly underwhelmed. It was like, rather than being awakened, it put me in a really dizzy haze.
The album on the whole is so incredibly indulgent that the core message of optimism and prosperity is compromised. “Awakening” is drowned in big, broad synths from its first measures to its very last. Ideally, the approach is a good one, but when the entire package is overflowing with all of these cloudy elements on top of the fact that every track is paced equally, it comes across way more sluggish than it should.
In a way, I should have expected this musical angle from Aziatix, because even in their previous work they’ve been inclined to this slow kind of dramatization. But hearing it so frequently on a very small collective works against the listening experience. Aziatix is capable of blending their style in ways that relate their deep rooted messages in really awesome ways, but that doesn’t happen here.
“Awakening” is a pretty album with moments of inspiration and beauty, but it’s nothing that I haven’t heard before from both Aziatix and from other R&B/pop artists. Aziatix, while meaning well through their lyrics, find themselves stagnant and, for a lack of a better word, boring through and through. I know that they have what it takes to deliver amazing work, but the risks weren’t taken on this one.