After a series of sensational singles in the form of “Childhood” and “Sour,” Korean pop-rock band The Rose unleashed their comeback album, HEAL. A ten-track release that the group put together to help themselves and their black rose fanbase heal from the pains of the world and emotions gone haywire.
So, does The Rose manage to create a safe space for healing in the form of their new album? Or do these four talented musicians fail to hit their mark? Let’s find out.
“Tilde” is a beautiful soundscape filled with escapism and spa-treated vibrations that will send listeners’ senses on a magical trip of discovery and self-love. Almost like a band-aid for the soul.
“Tilde” manages to achieve a sense of inner peace within the span of one minute. Putting listeners on a path of a clear mind before diving into their traditional pop-rock sound was the perfect way to get emotions ready for the journey about to begin.
“Why am I so insecure?” “Definition of ugly is” attempts to answer the age-old question of our insecurities and why we feel the way we do. A beautifully sung track continues to put vocalist Woosung on the map as the young vocalist unleashes an array of vocal melodies across the spectrum, triggering emotion after emotion with no end in sight.
“Definition of ugly is” displays The Rose’s change in full force, their healing process that doesn’t promise an easy journey but an eye-opening experience that will hopefully stick to your senses like crazy glue.
A beautifully written and produced low-key masterpiece. Instrumentally, bassist Jaehyeong hits it out of the park, as each pluck of his strings sends vibrations up and down the spine, sparking a feeling of enlightenment among feelings of despair and personal hatred that comes to a breaking point as Hajoon’s hard-hitting drums come onto the scene to display the broken painting that is “Definition of ugly is” in full force. A beautifully broken masterpiece.
The perfectly strummed acoustics of “Childhood” continue to amaze the senses as listeners are brought to a familiar place within their lives. There’s not much more I can say about “Childhood” that I haven’t already said in my review back when the track was released as HEAL’s first single.
But “Childhood” continues to transport me back to a time when I was happier, achieving the themes put forward by The Rose. Continuing the trend of The Rose’s latest album being a beautifully broken masterpiece, “Childhood” is filled with smiles and falling tears as time moves by too fast.
The Rose’s initial lead single for HEAL is a beautiful look at life and the little things we may take for granted as we get older and lose touch with our inner childhood. But, the sweet melody changes between Woosung and vocalist Dojoon instantly bring those feelings back to the surface as they teach the meaning of taking risks and enjoying life’s little moments.
“Shift” continues The Rose’s lazy river adventure through subconscious space as listeners are introduced to the group’s Coldplay-esque instrumentals that help to paint a picture of stitching memories one by one. A love shaped across space and time, meeting in the middle of fact and fiction.
The bookend between the track’s first verse lyrics, “I think I need you,” and its second verse, “I know you need me,” is a beautiful take on the wants and needs that come with loving another.
But the track’s exploding chorus creates a beautiful array of stimulating melodies and perfect fusion between spoken word and intricate instrumentals that puts a song like “Shift” on a completely different level. There’s something so beautiful to be said about this set of lyrics, “whatever you say goes/I love you now.”
An underdog of sorts when it comes to the powerhouse tracks featured on HEAL, “Shift” is an amazing song that can only translate to overpowering tears in a live setting.
“Cure” puts things into perspective as The Rose turns up the tempo creating a beautiful rainbow of sound. My favorite track featured on HEAL, “Cure,” has a lot to say in its almost four-minute runtime.
Showcasing their pop-rock roots, The Rose creates a sense of knowing and personal healing that hasn’t been put to this scale in a long time. “Cure” takes off the baby gloves as The Rose introduces themes of personal shattered mirrors and faulted dreams to the forefront, forcing listeners to take a look at themselves before being able to continue their journey of healing.
“Cure,” in its catchy environment, manages to put the puzzle pieces of the human mind in order as vocalist Woosung yet again takes listeners on a ride as he screams, “’cause everybody fears the one/the one thing they can’t cure.”
The Rose proves with “Cure” that it’s okay to be broken and that you’re not any less beautiful for it. It’s the cracks you can’t fix that are truly beautiful. Overthinking is overrated; let’s live.
A haunting second verse in the form of “hello, it’s me/I’m here/And you’re okay/Don’t worry” puts “See-Saw” on a path all its own. The larger-than-life vocal performance by Dojoon sends “See-Saw” into the atmosphere while his bandmates encircle his stunning performance with supportive sounds, propping up his powerful performance.
“See-Saw” bridges the band’s South Korean roots with their emotional Los Angeles life outlook into a perfect pairing that’s enough to put a smile on listeners’ faces.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see “See-Saw” on many emotionally charged playlists as more discover the beautiful track and quickly become engulfed by the track’s orchestrated effort.
“Time” is for listeners more familiar with the brand of pop-rock The Rose has already released into the world while simultaneously building upon their strong foundation with a bright future.
“Time” is a radio-friendly pop-rock affair that doesn’t skimp on the emotional weight so far featured throughout HEAL. “Countless nights crying over mights” paints a touching scene of goodbyes and maybes, shots not taken, and friends lost to memory.
The Rose is straightforward with their intentions of healing through “Time,” but the composition of the album’s seventh track stands it on its own two feet. A powerful message for the things that make us who we are and the perfect soundtrack for a night drive alone with your thoughts.
Tapping the talents of Filipino-Australian singer-songwriter James Reid on “YES” was a fantastic choice as James Reid’s vocal quality slips perfectly between the vibrant and buzzing instrumentals provided by the talented members of The Rose. A perfect playground of imagination and positive vibes.
“Help me help you/open up your mind” the cure for many self-created mental pitfalls, at least in the case of my own self-driven battles. “Yes” is a positive light in the lonely darkness, a warm hug from a friend, and the words needed to keep going.
“Yes” in the confines of a live setting, the screaming of fans, and the smiles projected across the stage should be a beautiful sight as our pains are washed away with the power of music.
“Sour” is the second single The Rose unleashed onto the world. A pop-punk-inspired, Angels & Airwaves-styled creation that throws everything before it out the window as The Rose brings our healing to an emotional close.
The main ending number of HEAL is an out-of-body experience, as each note, vocal melody, and emotion is brought into a manifestation, breaking down walls that let the sweet embrace of sunlight touch upon our individual stories.
“Sour” takes the lessons taught through The Rose’s landmark album and reintroduces listeners to self-love that’s touching, eye-opening, and filled with life mistakes ready to be learned from.
Love; an emotion worth hurting for. Whether it be a love for another or trying to embrace loving yourself. “Sour” stings in a way musically that’s comforting and world-bending.
“My heart’s so sour without you,” a feeling everyone will know in one way or another.
“Dash” closes out HEAL, and just like its bookended better half, “Tilde” is a beautiful experience that takes the melodies of “Sour” and transforms them into an open field experience that’s both comforting and leaves listeners questioning the peaceful state of mind before them.
Close your eyes and lose yourself in The Rose’s final lesson.
The Rose takes a leap of faith with their latest studio album, HEAL, which translates into the band’s best work thus far. An experiment based on healing oneself is a vital task to tackle. Still, The Rose manages to handle the task with ease as the lessons taught through their music are strong enough to stand the test of time and should leave listeners with tears running down their faces as they rediscover who they are.
HEAL is a one-of-a-kind album that now cements The Rose as a top-tier pop-rock band ready to fully take over the world.
Are you interested in owning a physical copy of The Rose’s latest studio album? You can currently pick up two different versions via the band’s official website.
I look forward to The Rose bringing HEAL to life at the House of Blues Anaheim on November 16.