Rock band The Rose returns 6 months after their previous album, Void, with Dawn. While Void was musically explosive, The Rose goes for deep sentimentality this time. The 4 songs in this EP are unique in their own ways, but they are all undeniably perfect for the autumn. As a whole, the mixing of the tracks are on point, and the members all get a chance to shine with their instruments in the album.

The subtlety of the album stands out at first listen, with most of the tracks opening with simple instrument riffs. Title track, “She’s In The Rain,” for example, begins with a rhythmic guitar introduction, while “I Don’t Know You” opens with just a plain drum beat. This type of understated instrumentation allows for a greater impact later on as the songs build up, both lyrically and musically. The layering is also done well and consistent, allowing listeners to hear and appreciate each instrument that is used throughout the song.

In particular, The Rose manages to hit the right emotional notes in “She’s In The Rain” and “Insomnia”, more so than in the other tracks. The dynamics in both tracks are more pronounced, and closely aligned with the story arc of the lyrics. The title track, arguably the album’s strongest song, displays this in the shift from the refrain of “She’s In The Rain” to “We’re In The Rain” after the bridge. The beautiful lyrical change in the protagonist’s stance — from being a bystander of another’s suffering to shouldering the rain with them — is accompanied by a strong drum beat and a rich electric guitar riff that only appears in this last chorus. The instrumentation, along with Dojoon’s wonderful vocal ad-libs and Woosung‘s belting, really works to create an emotional climax for the song.

The teamwork of the vocalists elevates “Insomnia” as well, especially with their call and response interactions in the choruses. This works well with the confusion and helplessness depicted in the lyrics of the song, about a person who wants to get over his past lover but cannot. As he laments about his insomnia, these desires and regrets about the lost relationship keep surfacing, and the vocalists portray this raw anguish well. Woosung in particular, controls his voice so masterfully that each nuance evokes a different level of emotion. He proves time and again how well suited he is at handling the most delicate parts of each song.

I don’t know me, where am I standing in the shaking me?

It’s just that I already passed you

The sentimentality of the tracks definitely work for the season, but the album would have gotten a little flat if not for the diversity provided by “Take Me Down”. The upbeat track has an energetic vocal chorus opening which hypes up the rest of the song. This almost-a-banger feels restrained for The Rose, however, especially after they showed that they could really deliver in April’s “Baby”. The same could be said for “I Don’t Know You”, which has interesting chord progressions and a great instrumental breakdown, but ends abruptly without a climax. Both tracks are great on the ears but seem to lack a clear musical direction. With their lack of an effective build-up, they tell less of a story than the other 2 tracks do.

“Dawn” is a solid and cohesive album overall, with tracks that are emblematic of The Rose’s musical identity. While I did feel that The Rose could have displayed a lot more musically, they definitely did tug on my heartstrings with this comeback. Considering that this is only their second EP, I am looking forward to the growth they will continue to achieve as they mature as a band.

(Youtube, Images via Stone Music Entertainment)