Two years ago, Day6 began their ‘The Book Of Us’ series with ‘Gravity’, a blushing snapshot of five young men relishing their youth. That innocence was soon shattered in 2019’s ‘Entropy’ and 2020’s ‘The Demon’, two emotionally charged follow-ups bursting with fervour as the band tackled weighty topics like societal pressures and mental health. On ‘Negentropy – Chaos Swallowed Up In Love’, the final chapter in the band’s book on life, Day6 reemerge from the darkness to present an uplifting record that’s full of hope and soul.
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Maybe because the central theme of this new mini-album is about love, the songs on ‘Negentropy’ are more lightweight – lyrically as well as melodically – than previous releases. That’s not to say they are any less hard-hitting as the band continue to address their insecurities and fears through comforting pop rock. Lead single ‘You Make Me’, which member Young-K penned solo, is a heart-warming tribute to their fans that sets the tone for the rest of the album.
Then there’s the future Day6 classic ‘Healer’, which hears the band professing they’ve found the reason to live (“Looking at you / My heart feels comfortable”), while the endearing ‘Only’ finds them pouring their heart out to someone they cherish (“I got only one love / Not two, for you”). Each song on ‘Negentropy’ feels like you’re peeking into Day6’s private diary entries – intimate and personal.
Meanwhile, on the soothing guitar pop ‘Above The Clouds’, the band cope with loss by turning grief into a celebration of life. It opens with the sound of waves gently crashing onto the shore as member Jae recalls a fond memory with a loved one: “There were many days when we did it right away / At that time / It was really fun.”
“It’s a song I wrote thinking of a friend who passed away a long time ago after battling an illness,” the Day6 guitarist revealed in a statement, per Soompi. “I thought of the moment I decided to only remember the good memories instead of the sad ones as I wrote the song.”
The thing that makes Day6 so well-loved is that their songs always feel familiar yet fresh. The band don’t try to be something they aren’t, but that doesn’t mean they’re always sticking to the same formula or playing it safe. Even when they do stumble, however, they manage to gracefully pick themselves up again. Take the album’s penultimate track ‘One’ for instance, a throbbing synth-driven stadium pop anthem built around a steady programmed beat. Compared to what’s usually offered on a carefree Day6 standard, the song sounds almost mechanical at first, but once the soaring chorus kicks in (“’Cause we are one / Invincible that never breaks”), the band are in their element once again.
There is one point though on the closing track ‘So Let’s Love’ where the emotions pierce through like a knife. In particular Jae’s opening verse where he cries out, “In case you leave / I’m so afraid of that,” the emotional delivery of that line is so passionate and honest you can almost feel the heartbreak in his voice.
If 2020’s ‘The Demon’ was all about learning how to navigate life through troubling times, then ‘Negentropy’, released one year into a global pandemic, reflects on how the past 12 months have changed us for the better. This time, instead of putting life under the magnifying glass, Day6 step back and examine the bigger picture, taking the time to recognise and appreciate the little things we would’ve overlooked otherwise. “Being alive / Is scary and tough / But I can push through / So long as I have your love,” they reassure on the title track. With all that said, ‘Negentropy’ is the perfect ending to a well-told story about love, strength and, most importantly, growth.
- Release date: April 19
- Record label: JYP Entertainment