South Korean pop-rockers FTISLAND returned today with what is expected to be their final in-depth project for the time being, Zapping. Fronted by the song “Quit,” the five-track EP precedes the group’s expected hiatus ahead of lead vocalist Lee Hongki’s upcoming enlistment in South Korea’s military to fulfill the country’s draft laws.
The single “Quit” is a fittingly melancholic rock ballad that soars with Lee’s powerful vocals while reflecting on the feelings associated with the point of ending, or quitting, a relationship, all the while looking back on the past. It was released through a poignant music video featuring a woman remembering happier times with a lover in Paris, as if it were possible to return to that past by turning back the dates on a clock.
The album’s name was inspired by the idea of zapping through television channels looking for something to watch, with each of the five tracks offering up a different feel, as if a different television program: “Quit” is followed by the upbeat optimism of “Hope Again,” which recalls the group’s 2009 single “I Hope,” while “Day By Day” features a bit more funky, playful vibe. “No Regret” offers a dramatic strings-driven track — fittingly for a song co-written by the group’s bassist Lee Jae-jin; Lee Hongki is credited on several other songs on the album — before the inspirational “Don’t Lose Yourself” closes the album out. Throughout Zapping, melodies and lyrics recall older tracks from FTISLAND’s decade-plus-long discography, a suiting homage to the act on the verge of a break.
According to the information shared on the YouTube page for “Quit,” the album reflects the “members’ thoughts when they wanted to turn away and quit from everything in the relationship. Still, they want to go forward little by little reflecting the good times in the past.”
FTISLAND last released What If? in South Korea last year, and landed at No. 14 on the World Albums chart. The group, considered the first K-pop rock band, also regularly releases in Japan and most recently put out their Everlasting album in March fronted by the single “God Bless You.”
Zapping is the first release from the band since the departure earlier this year of former band leader and guitarist-keyboardist Choi Jong-hoon, who is currently being investigated for sexual assault and rape allegations, allegations he has denied. His case is one of several stars that are part of an ongoing series of investigations into alleged crimes by several high profile South Korean celebrities, businessmen, and officials, ranging from corruption and embezzlement to sexual assault and physical harm.
Watch the music video for FTISLAND’s “Quit” below.