Album Review: Wanna One’s “UNDIVIDED” Creatively Indulges With Its Interesting Mix
1÷x=1 (Undivided), Wanna One’s most recent EP, proves that thorough planning never disappoints.
Following massive successes from EP sales to advertisements and variety shows, it has been a busy year for Wanna One. And the release of 1÷x=1 (Undivided) just shows how much planning and effort their team puts in to yield the best results.
Concept and Promotions
Wanna One’s latest extended play is no different from the boys’ previous mini albums, 1×1=1 (To Be One) and 0+1=1 (I Promise You), in a sense that they feature mathematical aspects in the title. One of the rare moments where math becomes likeable.
However, things start to become more interesting with the albums’ concepts and promotions. The 11 members are split into different subunits: “Lean On Me” (Hwang Minhyun, Yoon Jisung, Ha Sungwoon), “Number 1” (Park Jihoon, Bae Jinyoung, Lai Guanlin), “The Heal” (Ong Seongwoo, Lee Daehwi), and “Triple Position” (Kang Daniel, Kim Jaehwan, Park Woojin).
Each subunit recorded one track aside from the group’s title track, “Light”. By recording subgroup tracks, it is then possible to highlight vocal talents that might have been previously shadowed, which makes really good use of the members’ musical ability.
The album production was also documented in the third season of their variety show, Wanna One Go: X-CON. This allows the audience to gain insight of the group’s EP production process, in ways that were not previously offered.
The subunits were not left to produce the tracks on their own, as they were guided by the hottest acts in Korea.
Nell, Dynamic Duo, soloist Heize, and rapper Zico produced tracks “Forever and a Day”, “11”, “Hourglass”, and “Kangaroo” respectively. By inviting renowned acts to produce the subunit tracks, the production of 1÷x=1 (Undivided) gave the subgroups unique learning experiences. And high quality becomes of no doubt.
Title track “Light” equates the singer’s crush to the light that propels him to move forward. If “Light” adopts a bubbly and EDM style, the subunit tracks do not adhere to the same standards. Subunit tracks generally take on the producer’s genre. For instance, “Forever And A Day” produced by Nell features a more mellow melody compared to Heize-produced “Hourglass”. The latter is a soothing track, but includes a more R&B vibe. Additionally, it features Heize herself!
Although Triple Position’s “Kangaroo” (prod. Zico) and “11” by Lean on Me (prod. Dynamic Duo) both fall into the hip-hop genre, they are both conveyed differently. “Kangaroo” leans more towards a summery and cheerful track, as “11” provides much faster rap lines.
That way, a great variety is then presented through the album.
Wanna One is the project debut group of Mnet survival show Produce 101 Season 2. 101 male trainees competed to secure a space in the 11-membered boy group. The boys debuted with EP 1×1=1 (To Be One), and has since released three EPs featuring arithmetical titles.
They have collected prestigious awards from different award ceremonies. Aside from group and individual activities, Wanna One members are preparing to greet fans around the world through their Wanna One World Tour <One: The World> concert series.
The best rookie group of 2017 will tour 14 cities in three months for their first world tour. ONE: THE WORLD is set to stop in San Jose, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Melbourne, Taipei, and Manila.