SEOUL, April 29 (UPI) -- K-pop boy band NU'EST dropped its new EP, Happily Ever After, on Monday, its first record with its full five-member lineup in nearly three years.
The sixth EP opens up a new chapter for NU'EST, which has been working as the four-member NU'EST W after member Hwang Minhyun temporarily left to join project boy band Wanna One in 2017.
Wanna One, formed through the second season of Mnet's high-profile idol competition program Produce 101, ended its one-and-a-half-year journey in January, sending Minhyun back to his home band.
The seven-track NU'EST album is set to officially hit the shelves at 6 p.m. Released in four different physical disc versions and another four digital versions, it ranked high in online presale charts, including at online bookstore Yes24, where it ranked No. 1 as of Monday.
"Bet Bet," the main track, is a slow-tempo R&B number combined with future bass. Member Baekho participated in the composition of the song and jointly wrote the lyrics with member JR.
As the album title suggests, Happily Ever After is a fairy tale-inspired record whose seven tracks sound like part of a fairy story, according to the members.
"This album is the first record since we promised to come back as one. I have high expectations for my bandmates," Minhyun said in a media showcase for the new album.
"We plan to expand [our career] to various other sectors [beyond music] in order to pay back the love we received. And this album is the beginning of that, so it's very meaningful," Minhyun said.
Coming back to NU'EST, the 24-year-old found fresh "affection" for the other four members with whom he has spent nine years training and working since his mid-teens.
"As this album constitutes a new start for NU'EST, we put a lot of thought into figuring out [how to do] what our fans would like while retaining our original color," member Aron said.
"Rather than seeking drastic changes, we focused on ... the growth we have made in terms of music and dance performance," Baekho said.
Including the R&B dance single, the album has an assortment of different genres such as urban music in intro track "Segno" and a cappella in "Talk About Love."
"'Segno' is one of the signs in music notation, meaning 'going back to the start,'" Minhyun said. "Put on the first track, it signifies our new start and carries our determination to retain our first resolution and work hard."
"This album is full of fantasy and beautiful elements as if in a fairy tale. So I wish [fans] would listen to it with special attention to the story and the world it draws," member Ren said.