‘Self N Ego’: LUMINOUS make an illuminating comeback with second K-pop mini-album
LUMINOUS present their mature side with the new album and attempt to answer the question: 'Where am I'
(- Written by Nandini Iyengar)
Having debuted in September 2021, the K-pop boy group LUMINOUS finally made a comeback on January 20, 2022, with their second mini-album ‘Between Light and Darkness: Self N Ego’. The mini-album features five tracks from hip-hop, R&B and ballad genres. A few days before the comeback, a special media showcase was held, wherein selected journalists were invited to see the performance of the songs for the first time. LUMINOUS performed two songs - one was their title track ‘All Eyes Down’ and the other track was ‘Scintillation’.
The showcase was an enriching experience, with the group members answering questions on the concept and execution of the album. 'Self N Ego', which is the second in the K-pop group’s ‘LUMINOUS series’, attempts to answer the question “Where Am I” by comparing “The Real Me” (self) to “The Manufactured Self” (ego). Here’s an excerpt from LUMINOUS’ showcase.
When asked if the LUMINOUS members felt such a predicament in real life, the answer came that they do feel such a dilemma. When they are with or without makeup, they think which part of them is the real one. It is a ‘small piece’ of their daily lives, but the question does pop up sometimes. Next, when they were asked what kind of message does the group want to send through their album, the answer was ‘sympathy’. They wanted the listeners to feel that they are not alone in whatever they are going through, that there is someone with them to comfort them and to communicate with them.
LUMINOUS wants to encourage the listeners to not fear the future, and to walk down the path with confidence. Talking further about the differences between the two albums, the boys explained that while the first album was about registering their presence in the world, their second album is all about showcasing their musical capabilities to the world.
What is the album about?
The album 'Self N Ego' contains five tracks – 'MATRYOSHKA', 'Trouble', 'All Eyes Down (Advance)', 'Scintillation' and 'Want It More?'. 'MATROYSHKA' draws inspiration from the Matryoshka dolls which reveal their layers slowly. The song is a strong hip-hop number with a dash of powerful rap verse. It conveys a message to the youth who are trying to find their true selves and at the same time, fighting with the haters and naysayers. The next track, 'Trouble', is a groovy bass heavy track. The staccato strings cast a gothic and dangerous charm in the song.
The track is all about wanting to live one’s own dream, and how reality hinders that path. The third track from the album, 'All Eyes Down', is also the title track. The members showcase a powerful performance when it comes to the choreography as well. This hip hop song pays homage to 'The Joker’ and edges between hope and fear. 'Scintillation' is a shade apart from the previous track. While the other tracks were heavy on bass, synth and hip-hop beats, 'Scintillation' takes the R&B path. The song finds its roots in Asian inspired music and pop beats.
The last track, 'Want It More?', draws inspiration from Arabian music. It serves as a glimpse into LUMINOUS’s next endeavors.
The mood is confident and upbeat as the members journey from the darkness and into the light.
With this album, LUMINOUS members – Youngbin, Steven, Suil and Woobin – show a new side to themselves. With a more mature appearance and a stunning performance, the live showcase by LUMINOUS was a promising feat. Their album ‘Self N Ego’ is available on all major streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, MelOn and more.
Watch the music video for ‘All Eyes Down’ below.