Zion.T ‘OO’ EP Album Review plus ‘The Song’ MV & Sketchbook Performances

It’s only February but after listening to Zion.T’s OO EP I can say with confidence that it’s one of the best albums that will be released this year. Zion.T released several singles back in 2015 but this is his first full album in almost 4 years as well as his first album released with The Black Label.

I LOVE this album and have listened to it a lot already. Here’s a quick review track-by-track with my thoughts from my first-listen:

1. 영화관 (Cinema)
Composed by Zion.T & Peejay
Lyrics by Zion.T
Arranged by Peejay

    Zion.T is just giving us greatness from the jump. I’m no music expert (like at all) but this is essentially bossa nova (a Brazilian music style that fuses samba and jazz). There’s an unexpected but pleasant little breakdown that starts around the 2:18 mark. Zion.T’s vocals match this style of music SO WELL. This is only the first track but it might be my favorite??

2. 노래 (The Song)
Composed by Zion.T & KUSH
Lyrics by Zion.T
Arranged by KUSH & 서원진

    This is an upbeat feel good song. I love the piano and the chorus really sticks with you. 

Just piano alone is too boring
So I put in some bass
I wrote this song by thinking of you all day
There’s not much to it
But it’s just how I feel
I hope you’ll listen with that in mind

   Also…um… rapper Zion.T rise? I see you boi. Contrary to Zion.T’s sentiments in the chorus, I think this song will be really popular. 

3. Comedian
Composed by Zion.T & 윤석철
Lyrics by Zion.T
Arranged by Peejay

    A short interlude that’s more down-tempo, providing a brief shift in mood…

4. 미안해 (Sorry) feat. Beenzino
Composed by Peejay & Zion.T & 서원진
Lyrics by Zion.T & Beenzino
Arranged by Peejay

I know you hate the words I’m sorry
But I’m sorry
You’ll probably ask, what are you sorry about?
But I’m sorry
I’m sorry uh!

    I love the lyrics of this song. The production of this one reminds me of Primary (Zion.T’s old Amoeba Culture label mate).

5. 나쁜 놈들 (Bad Guys)
Composed by Peejay & Zion.T
Lyrics by Zion.T
Arranged by Peejay

   An instrumental version of this track would be soooo good (that really goes for every song on the album). In the lyrics Zion.T wrestles with greed and a desire for his lover but also an inner conflict as he realizes he may be disappointing his lover and himself:

You’re shaking your head
I’m just resting my chin
I look in the mirror and I wanna hit him

6. COMPLEX feat. G-Dragon
Composed by Zion.T & Peejay & SLOM
Lyrics by Zion.T & G-DRAGON & DJ Dopsh
Arranged by Peejay & SLOM

   Another great song with lyrics that are frank and somewhat humorous. I really appreciate songs like this that allow artists to reveal a bit more of themselves. I love the way the song ends. 

7. 바람 (Wishes) (2015)
Composed by Zion.T & KUSH & 서원진
Lyrics by Zion.T
Arranged by 서원진

   A slower paced song with more introspective lyrics, the perfect way to conclude the album:

They expect me to sing
They expect me to say something
But I have nothing to say
They expect me to comfort them
They expect me to be something
But I’m just a nobody

8. Cinema (Instrumental)

   Overall, this album is so strong, musically and lyrically. It’s the same Zion.T but he gives us more depth this time around. This album has a sound that’s familiar but OO has more jazz elements compared to his previous releases. The two features from Beenzino and G-Dragon were perfect. I have high expectations for future music from Zion.T, Kush and The Black Label.

In conclusion, Zion.T is a genius and you’ll love each song more each time you listen. Check out the music video for ‘The Song’ and Zion.T’s performances from his Sketchbook appearance from February 11th below!

*Credit to PopGasa for the lyric translations!

One thought on “Zion.T ‘OO’ EP Album Review plus ‘The Song’ MV & Sketchbook Performances

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