‘Remember’ WINNER: reminiscing on the group’s third full album

Jacqueline Sumida

"Remember" comes at a time where life as we knew it now seems like a distant memory.

On Apr. 9, 2020, idol group WINNER released their third full studio album “Remember”, not to cries of joy, but rather tears of sadness. Maybe all the tears actually came from me, but there were tears nonetheless.

WINNER debuted back in 2014 with their first song “Empty,” originally with five members, Yoon, Jinu, Hoony, Mino and Taehyun as a result of the survival show “WIN: Who Is Next” that created two new YG Entertainment groups, WINNER and iKON. Taehyun left the group in Nov. 2016, leaving WINNER as four. Now with members starting to enlist in the military, the future of the group seems to be put on “Hold” for now.

The four-piece itself is known as an impressive vocal group able to transition between island trap in “Island,” “Ah Yeah” and “Millions” to a softer, more reminiscent sound in “Empty,” “Sentimental” and “SOSO.” “Remember” takes the best of both worlds and combines it into a touching masterpiece.

Throughout the release, an overarching theme of remembrance hangs in the air. It’s the title track “Remember” that is soft and flowing with a beautiful piano line holding the song together as each member’s vocals floating distantly across it. As members of WINNER head their separate ways, for the time being, the members plead with Inner Circle, their fandom, to keep them in their hearts and memory through a metaphorical breakup.

“Feet don’t fail me/ Turn back the time/ I don’t want to disappear/ Please don’t forget me/ Remember.”

Along the same theme, “My Bad” and “Well” are serenades and salutes to the fans and people who’ve supported them up to this moment. “Well” particularly hit very melancholy in my soul as the boys wished for fans to “Eat well/ Sleep well/ Stay well” over a heart-wrenching instrumental.

Even with a sad tone to this final release, WINNER didn’t shy away from their signature upbeat, ocean trap sound for one second. The album’s pre-release single “Hold” is WINNER at its finest.

The entire track is about figuring out if someone likes them, but it’s honestly the most realistic song to the aforementioned world’s most confusing problem. With verse interjections from Mino and Hoony to compliment the song’s flowing pre-chorus and fun energy.

Alongside that, other tracks like “Teaser” holds the fun, upbeat energy that gave WINNER it’s popularity in the first place. Speaking of starting from the beginning, near the end of the album, the boys gave a special treat to those who love WINNER’s entire discography.

The last four tracks of this release are redone tracks from WINNER’s debut album “2014 S/S,” including their debut song “Empty.” The songs themselves are an absolute treat to listen to, especially if you are familiar with the original pieces. As the songs flow on, WINNER’s maturity and evolution become obvious in their voices and seemingly different approaches to the older tracks.

With two members having enlisted into the military in the last two weeks, WINNER’s future is put on “Hold” for now, but hopefully, we will see them as four again in the near future. This album is a great keepsake to truly “Remember” the vocal four-piece by.