Feature

Bite-Sized Album Review: Golden Child – Miracle

Golden Child - MiracleK-pop history is stuffed with great albums, and there’s only so many Buried Treasures and Battle of the B-sides features available to cover all these noteworthy tracks.

The album format has always been special to me. Whether it’s a full-length or mini, albums have the opportunity to tell stories and develop an act’s personal style. Occasionally, I dive in and offer in-depth track by track reviews, but sometimes a bite-sized overview is just as fun.

That’s what this feature is all about: sharing notable albums and offering some quick thoughts about what makes them tick.


Golden Child – Miracle

Golden ChildReleased January 29, 2018

(You knew Golden Child would pop up in this feature eventually! Why not start with my favorite album — the one that cemented my love for their music?)


1. Miracle (奇跡(기적))


As an intro to Golden Child’s poppiest, most synth-driven album, Miracle is expectedly bright and buoyant. The filtered vocal chants preview title track It’s U, while gentle electronics paint a soft texture.


2. It’s U (너라고)


It’s funny to look back at my initial review of this track. I wasn’t completely sold on it that first day. Of course, I’ve come around to the song big time and now consider it one of my favorite comebacks of the past few years. I love how it sounds like the younger brother to Infinite’s Man In Love. This bright synth sound fits Golden Child like a glove, and the track’s bounding energy is so addictive. The chorus is a total earworm – bubbly and infectious and sugary sweet. But, it’s never cute for cute’s sake. There’s a real melody here. You can thank Sweetune for that. Why, oh why is Miracle the only Golcha album with Sweetune-produced songs? What a missed opportunity!

 Hooks 10
 Production 10
 Longevity 10
 Bias 10
 RATING 10

3. Lady


Talk about a one-two punch! Lady slows the energy from It’s U but finds an even stronger melody. This is my kind of melancholic pop track. The songwriting is so perfect, with each segment distinct and memorable. Though Lady stakes its claim on a retro synth sound, it never comes off as a trend-chasing pastiche. Everything here feels distinguished and timeless. The vocals are gorgeous, the production is immaculate, and the hooks are outstanding. It’s the perfect marriage of Sweetune’s craft and the group’s talent.

 Hooks 10
 Production 10
 Longevity 10
 Bias 10
 RATING 10

4. Crush


Early in their career, Golden Child often veered down this punchy pop rock route. It’s a stellar fit for them, and Crush is one of the finest examples in their discography. This song is impossibly catchy, driven by youthful energy and an endless supply of finely tuned hooks supported by crunchy guitar and stomping percussion. My favorite Golden Child tracks find a way to naturally harness their colorful personalities. In my mind, a song like Crush most closely captures their charm. It just crackles with energy.

 Hooks 10
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 10
 RATING 9.5

5. All Day (모든 날)


I’m not much of a ballad person, but this style of song is a big exception. I grew up in the age of teen pop bands like Backstreet Boys and Nsync, so glossy, sentimental balladry feels very nostalgic. When it comes to the slower side of Golden Child’s discography, All Day is still the track to beat. I adore its melody – especially the chorus. But, the segment that elevates the song to a whole new level is that beautiful bridge. The vocal arrangement here is blissful, filtering out distractions to focus on some well-placed harmonies and a killer power note courtesy of main vocal Joochan.

 Hooks 10
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 9.25

6. I’m Falling


There are elements of I’m Falling that threaten to come off as generic (that familiar EDM drop), but the whole package is remarkable. The gentle verses pulse with an almost folk-inspired energy, supporting a brilliant melody. I know, I know: melody, melody, melody! I can’t seem to stop writing that word. But, this is the reason I love Miracle so much. The melodies are nothing short of fantastic on each and every song. The swell of the pre-chorus hits all the right spots. It’s also brilliantly performed, pulling the best from the group’s vocalists. That climactic bridge? Absolutely gorgeous. That last swoop of electric guitar? Pop nirvana. What a fantastic bow to tie on this gem of an album.

 Hooks 10
 Production 10
 Longevity 10
 Bias 10
 RATING 10

Album Rating: 9.8


http://open.spotify.com/album/7r3CRU0Qs7DIMk3SicBCOu?si=KGfRyJlITm6ay4uztMAy8A

9 thoughts on “Bite-Sized Album Review: Golden Child – Miracle

  1. Nick! you went full-on-out with this review! The Hooks had more 10’s than the BIAS. My gosh…this was awesome.
    I’d like to ask a question! Will there be a few mini-albums/full-albums you’d revisit? I am thinking of Golcha’s Reboot and Infinite’s Be back!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lady and I’m Falling are my two Golcha favorites so this mini review is everything! Also I’m feeling nostalgic listening to all of these.

    Like

  3. I LOVE this album so much!! It’s golcha’s best album by miles. It’s representative of golcha’s best era, the bright one. Lady is tied with Genie for my fave golcha song. All Day and I’m Falling are so solid as bsides. It really makes for an awesome mini album. Wish they would do something like this again

    Like

  4. Since this seems to be one of your all time favorite kpop albums, I’m curious what other albums you would consider all-time favorites.

    Like

  5. Although liking Golden Child I never listened to their albums until earlier this year, and Miracle (with yes and wish) being my most loved albums I’ve ever listened to in K-pop.I love every song on the album, and I can’t believe I didn’t listen to it earlier.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s only been a month since I started stanning GolCha and it feels so great to appreciate their earlier releases (which are still new to me) with Nick. Totally falling for I’m Falling, especially Joochan’s iconic lines in the end of the chorus, head over heels would be an understatement.

    Like

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