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After long break, Infinite revamps as six-piece with ‘Top Seed’

Jan. 9, 2018 - 15:30 By Hong Dam-young
Ever since K-pop superstar Infinite became a six-member act with the departure of Hoya last August, the group seems to have spent its time preparing for its comeback hoping to prove it is still intact from the blow. 

Infinite’s latest full-length album “Top Seed,” released Monday, is the group’s first release since its 2016 EP “Infinite Only,” also the first full-length album since 2014’s “Season 2.”

“We named the album ‘Top Seed’ as it refers to the highest ranking team in sports. We hope it becomes the best album,” said frontman Sungkyu during a media showcase for “Top Seed” in Seoul on Monday. 

Infinite performs during its media showcase for “Top Seed” in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)

The 12-track album is fronted by “Tell Me,” a sleek electro pop tune incorporating catchy hooks and an infectious melody, following the group’s previous sonic style etched in songs like “Be Mine” and “Man in Love.” Lyrically, the song centers on regrets for past relationships by belting out phrases like “Please come back to me.” The high-energy “Tell Me” features snapping beats and synchronized choreography, but the song is a bit toned down from the group’s previous hits.

“While we were all about being powerful in the past, in our new single we focused on going with the ‘flow’ in moderation,” Dongwoo explained.

The fully-packed album also includes tracks like “Synchronize” and orchestral “Pray (Maetal’s Sadness),” a song that was originally made in 2011, a year after the group’s debut. The album also features three solo tracks; “TGIF” by Dongwoo, the ballad “Reminisce” by L and the jazzy “Love Song” by Sungjong, where all three members participated in penning the songs. 

Infinite performs during its media showcase for “Top Seed” in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)

Infinite performs during its media showcase for “Top Seed” in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)

Taking a 16-month break -- a long hiatus for a K-pop idol group -- has been tough, the act confessed, also opening up about how they felt about Hoya’s departure. In June last year, Hoya, who served as the band’s lead dancer and rapper, left the group’s label Woolim Entertainment while other members renewed contracts.

“When I first heard the news that Hoya was leaving, I remember that I was at Sungkyu’s house and cried for an hour,” Dongwoo said.

“But life is a series of choices, and all of us respected his choice. It’s true that it has been painful, but we kept moving forward and regrouped ourselves. For my case, I learned floral arrangement.”

L also said the members made efforts to keep the bond through continuously communicating with each other and supporting the members’ individual ambitions.

Having debuted in 2010, Infinite is best known for its perfectly synchronized choreography and breathy electro pop such as “Be Mine” “The Chase” and “Back.” The group’s last album with all even members was its Japanese album “Air” released in May.