Posts Tagged ‘review’

Awooooooo!

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Two and a half weeks of close listening should be enough to write this, right?! I feel like I spent these two weeks half listening out of enjoyment and half listening in a mode of study and it’s time to put this post to bed so I can stop listening to the album altogether.

(JK, this album is really great, and you should listen to it now if you haven’t already.)

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R-r-r-r-reviews

Just some new-ish things that’ve I’ve been listening to lately,

Tohoshinki — Secret Code

I never thought I’d say this about DBSK, but this album is incredibly lowkey and mellow. The song starts off with Secret Game which is so fun to listen to until Yoochun started speaking in English and Yunho says “bingus” or something. I’ve really been liking the first songs off their last two Japanese albums, TRICK being the one from “T.” Secret Game is interesting and transitions perfectly into FORCE. I really, really enjoy the playful melody of all these sngs, especially because they have a marching band quality to them, which is refreshing to listen to. It doesn’t exactly have the same “pop” feel of their other songs. Of the new songs, I’m not really feeling anything for Taxi, but that’s it. I think 9095 and 9096 are pretty creative, and I for one would definitely not be listening to those songs at night by myself.

I’m pleased with the album and went in with no expectations because I barely keep up with these guys anymore, but my feeling is that in general, they put out better Japanese albums than they do Korean. They experiment more with their Japanese songs, whereas their Korean albums are a combo of the failsafe dance track + sixty five TRILLION ballads. In that sense, I never know what to expect from their Japanese albums, even if I have already heard more than half the album from previous single releases.

Anyhoo, have some songs:

Secret Game

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Force

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(On a sort of sidenote though, why is it that Yoochun just can’t seem to SING anymore? It really irritates me. At first, I thought he was having a bad time health-wise because he did seem to be bouncing back from a cold and he does have asthma, but he’s ALWAYS the shit stick of all DBSK’s performances now. He’s out of breath, he’s off-key like a mother, and he’s just not into it at all. DBSK has always been the one idol group I believe gives off the vibe that every single member is hardworking and capable even if their music doesn’t reflect that, but Yoochun is starting to be one of those artists who I’m growing wary of because their parts in lives just suck so bad. I had hoped it was a glitch that would be negligible soon, but it’s become a constant now. He used to be SO GOOD. Well, at least, I’ve always enjoyed listening to him sing. What happened? /end rant)

Ibadi — Songs for Ophelia

I had no idea Ibadi was coming out with something new but this was a nice surprise. The mini-album doesn’t pack as much punch as their first album did, but it’s very dreamy. The only thing is, I feel like Curtain Call is very not Ophelia-ish and sounds rather like a Clazziquai song than Ibadi. The other kind of non-Ophelia-ish song is Secret Waltz, which I think this is the song that reminds me most of their first album’s work. Horan’s voice goes perfectly with Yi Sung Yol’s.

Secret Waltz

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Some more music reviews

haihm – haihm

I was kind of anticipating this album because she worked with Dong Bang Shin Ki on a song from their third album called “The Story Has Just Begun” (listen here) and it’s my favorite off that album so I wanted to see what she had up her sleeves. The songs on the album are all very pretty and I think they fall in the range of house, dance, and indie genres. It’s reminiscent of FreeTEMPO’s songs, but I didn’t think anything was particularly stand out. I think I, in general, am not very impressed with a lot of K-indie/experimental pieces. I think it’s a combo of really boring beats with WAY too mellow vocals. Good examples would be Humming Urban Stereo and Oldfish.

Big Bang – Number 1

Big Bang comes out with some insanely catchy hits but I never really LOVE anything from them. This album on the whole is very “whatever” for me, but anytime they release songs that have a sweet tempo that invokes some kind of nostalgia in me, I’m all over the song. I think at heart, I still like music that reminds me of something I love but can’t exactly pinpoint, which is the reason why I like music from Ibadi, Wang Lee Hom, some of DBSK’s ballads, and Utada Hikaru’s pieces. The song that really did that for me off Big Bang’s Number 1 is “Everything.” I love this song and how sincere (also: semi-horny) the lyrics are. I block the rap out of my mind but I love this non-rap line: “Cuz every little thing you do turns me on, and every time you speak, you touch my soul.” (I also just love Tae Yang’s voice.) The way the song starts off is a plus point for me. It’s eccentric and oddly upbeat/hopeful, which is something I don’t ever remember with Big Bang’s other songs. Finally, I have a song I really love and connect with in Big Bang. Whoopee!

Everything:

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FreeTEMPO – Imagery

I’ve heard FreeTEMPO’s “Sound” album and I LOVE that album and hoped that it would translate to “Imagery,” but unfortunately, it didn’t. There’s something slightly chaotic about the dance genre that unsettles me. It’s not full of screams and shriek or anything like that, but a lot of songs have this discord and this funky experimental feel about them that I can’t connect to. I’m sure a lot of people love this style, but it’s just not for me.

JJ Lin – Sixology

Saving the best for last! I LOVE this album. I didn’t go into it with any expectations, but man, what a good album. I forget that JJ Lin is maybe like the only other CPop artist other than Wang Lee Hom who actually puts out substantial music. My favorite song is definitely, definitely “不潮不用花錢” which some people have translated to “High Fashion,” but I dunno why. It literally means “Without trends, no need to spend money.” So an explanation of it would be, if you’re not trendy or you don’t keep up with trends, then you don’t need to spend money. The song is more like a message from JJ. I dug around blogs to find what the lyrics were and found that this is what JJ said about the song,

”每個人都可以有自己对潮流的看法,不需要随波逐流,人云亦云。潮流不一定代表时尚的衣服,而是一個人的成就,除了创造的一切,还有对生命的态度的融合体。“

This translates to,

“Everybody has their own interpretation of what ‘trendy’ is, but they don’t need to mindlessly follow it, doing what everyone else does. Trend doesn’t necessarily mean the most up-to-date clothing, but rather a person’s accomplishments. Other than everything a person puts out [to show others], it is the combination of that with the attitude one has towards life.”

OMG. I love him.

不潮不用花錢:

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Moosic reviews

Epik High – Lovescream

This mini-album is really chill. There’s the same lonely-sounding music in this mini-album that has become Epik’s trademark. It makes me imagine that this is the kind of music you hear when you’re underwater. There’s a an eery sort of peace and tranquility.

Not to downplay Epik High’s creativity or sound, but as I am with all their other work, none of these songs are songs that I would listen to on repeat unless I’m in a certain mood.

1825 (Paper Cranes):

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Tohoshinki – 呪文 -MIROTIC-

The Japanese version of Mirotic is so hideous I don’t even know what to do with myself. It’s all choppy, has no flow, the rap EATS MY EARS, and it’s just…so hollow. The remix version of “Doushite” is really bland because it takes away the distinct quality that made the original so nice, which is the harp. Not sure if “Doushite” is the kind of song you can remix successfully, not because the original is just that good, but because there are elements in the song you shouldn’t tamper with, or else you throw the whole song out of whack.

So basically, this single is moot. The only thing I really enjoyed is the instrumental version of “呪文 -MIROTIC,” which is rare because I never listen to instrumentals or usually think they’re pointless. But this song’s instrumental sounds like it would be a good insert to some sort of action movie during a casino / scaling-down-the-walls-avoiding-lasers scene.

呪文 -MIROTIC- (Less Vocal):

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YMGA – Made in R.O.K.

My head is already doing all kinds of spins upon realization that “YMGA” stands for “Young Men Gangsta’s Association.” I was semi-coerced into listening to this because of somebody showed me the music video for “Tell It to My Heart.” The first two songs (“Get Up,” “Scandal”) sound really sleazy and I ended up not paying a lot of attention to them. “Tell It to My Heart” is such a guilty pleasure song. I wish Uhm Jung Hwa were a stronger vocalist because then the song could’ve been a lot better. But I enjoy it as is, despite it being a remake. “What” is the best off the EP, especially during CL’s lines, but like the rest of the mini-album, it doesn’t stand out and blends nicely into the background when I’m not paying attention.

Tell It to My Heart:

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