130 Mood : TRBL

Montze Mendoza, Staff Writer

130 Mood : TRBL is the debut album Korean R&B singer Dean was released on March 25, 2016 and is currently number 3 on the Billboard World Albums chart. The album has a total of 7 songs and includes collaborations with several R&B artists: Zico, Crush, Jeff Bernat, Dok2, and Gaeko of Dynamic Duo.


The album is shockingly perfect in so many ways. From the writing to the little added sound effects, 130 Mood : TRBL is nothing short of genius.


Dean is a singer, songwriter, and producer and says he first fell in love with music, specifically rap, after listening to American hip-hop and listening to the fourth album from hip-hop group Epik High , Remapping The Human Soul.


“When other kids were playing computer games, I wrote rap lyrics,” Dean told The Korea Herald. “It was like a form of play for me. And the music moved me. And it was an escape from studying.”
During a showcase for his album on March 23 in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Dean described himself as a storyteller and wanted to express that through his music.


130 Mood : TRBL is a story in itself and portrays the rise and fall of a relationship, but in reverse order. The album starts with the outro and works backwards.


“And You?” is the first song on the album and starts with the sound of harsh knuckles pounding against the door, and a police officer yelling at whoever is on the other side of it. All of that is overshadowed by a melancholy sounding piano and the contrast of a TV turning on and the flipping of channels.


“And You?” is followed by “Pour Up”, which is laced with alcohol, bad decisions, and loneliness and the collaboration with rapper Zico, not only adds to the climax but adds to the imagery and tone of the entire album.


The next song is “Bonnie & Clyde” which shows that the relationship in this story is disastrous and confusing, and possibly even one-sided. The sound effect of an operator saying that the call has failed is how the song starts, with Dean’s sorrowful and passionate crooning which follows after, fits the tragic tale of the couple. It is intense: not only audio-wise but lyric-wise.


“Step on the gas so our worries can’t follow / And to where no one can recognize you / We’ll go as fast as possible / Let the Rolling Stones song play on / But no song can drown out the cries of your heart.”


After that, the album takes a turn for the sweet, as “What2do” shadows the previous. It is a regretful part of the story but signifies the transition of the tale.


An even sweeter song, “D (Half Moon)” is more of a classic love song. The chorus and harmonies are angelic, and match Dean’s own celestial voice. The next song is preceded by another pound to the door.


“I Love It” is another love song, which illustrates the awkward but tender tensions between the couple of the story.


130 Mood : TRBL ends with a funk, 90s inspired track, “21”. The most upbeat song off the album, Dean’s musical influences are heavy throughout the entire song. “21” sketches the beginning of a strong and sweet crush.


“I imagined the whole process taking place inside one room. You can hear the sound of a TV being turned on or a knock on the door if you listen closely in between songs,” Dean explained to The Korea Herald. “I put in a lot of sound effects like that. I wanted listeners to feel, at the end of it, as if they had been watching a gloomy European movie.”


You can purchase 130 Mood : TRBL on iTunes, and stream it on Spotify and Apple Music. You can also find out more about Dean on his official website (officialdean.com). You can follow him on several social networking sites. His Twitter handle is @deantheofficial and his Instagram handle is @deantrbl.