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BTOB returns with first full album, musical maturity

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Updated : June 30 2015

Seven-member boy group BTOB dropped their first full-length Korean album, “Complete,” on Monday.

The title track, “It’s Okay,” is a heartfelt R&B ballad that seeks to comfort weary hearts, and topped musical charts upon its midnight release.

“It’s a song meant to heal us of the everyday trials that we face. The lyrics are sincere and uplifting,” said leader of the group and vocalist Eun-kwang at a showcase for the album’s release Monday.

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Seven-member boy group BTOB at the showcase for the launch of their first full-length album “Complete” in Sangam-dong on Monday. From left: Lim Hyun-sik, Seo Eun-kwang, Yook Sung-jae, Jung Il-hoon, Lee Chang-sub, Peniel and Lee Min-hyuk (Yonhap)
“It might not have the showy performances of dance songs, but we tried to create a more emotional performance, using stools and standing microphones,” said rapper Peniel.

The album comprises 13 songs, 11 of which were at least partly written by BTOB members.

“It’s a record made with our own sweat and effort, which makes it all the more meaningful,” said Eun-kwang.

Since their 2012 debut with “Secret (Insane),” BTOB has sought to position themselves among the more musically and vocally skilled K-pop boy bands.

The youngest of the group, Yook Sung-jae, in particular, garnered considerable attention for his strong vocal performances on MBC’s “Mystery Music Show Mask King.” Yook also made an acting appearance on the KBS school romance drama “Who are you: School 2015.”

The group’s past releases include the cheerful dance tune “You’re So Fly,” which achieved moderate success, and the Japanese single “Future (Tomorrow),” which ranked second on Japan’s Oricon music charts.

Rapper Jung Il-hoon explained the story behind songs that he helped make.

“‘Shake it’ is a song about partying hard and making the best of our youth,” said Il-hoon. “‘Everything’s good’ is a song that means a lot to me, because all the lyrics are based on real stories about people close to me. I tried to weave all their hardships, relationship stories and emotions into this one song.”

“I wrote a song called ‘Open,’” said vocalist Min-hyuk, who also made musical contributions to the album. “I recently started studying music again, and I really enjoy it,” he said.

The members, whose ages range from 20 to 25, also shared their ideas on pursuing their dreams and what it means to be in the prime of their youth.

“I think youth is a period of our lives we should not just let pass us by,” said Il-hoon. “My father always tells me that I should try everything I want to try when I’m young. He says it’s better to regret the things that you have done, than to regret things you haven’t done.”

“I think youth gives us, temporarily, a sense of absolute power,” he added.

“Youth is a time when you can jump at challenges and get back up even if you fail,” said Min-hyuk. “It’s an energetic time when you can reach for anything.”

By Rumy Doo (bigbird@heraldcorp.com)

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