(MV screenshot by me.)
김재중. As a 7 year Cassiopeian I have a lot I could say about Kim Jaejoong. I’m really happy that he’s released a solo. It would be an understatement to say I was looking forward to it. Hearing his mini-album [I] would be rock based, I was ecstatic!!! I remember his solo song “Maze” from back when TVfXQ released TRICK… waaay back when I said: “He would do so well with rock songs. Especially J-rock!”. Years later, here we are! Let’s get on with the review then.
Pre-release single. I was speechless. Literally. It was more than amazing! I mean, it’s on replay for me. I’ve listened to it countless times. It’s rock, but softer, like alternative or acoustic, the way it builds… so full of emotion, it reminds me of groups like Dashboard Confessional, The Calling or Lifehouse. I knew his songs would be high quality but I was really blown away. His voice is emotive and soft but still powerful. It really catches your attention! (*inspiration/freedom)
The “title” song. Dynamic, meaningful, beautifully constructed, amazing. What else can I say? I’m not being biased (especially considering my favourite TVfXQ member has always been Changmin). I listened to “Mine” and I was pleasantly surprised that it was on the opposite end of the scale from “One Kiss”. It’s so strong, the guitar just amps up the energy perfectly! Jaejoong’s vocals are perfect for this style! He’s amazingly versatile!!! I’d compare it to 30 Seconds to Mars, Lostprophets, Three Days Grace, maybe some Taking Back Sunday and Evanescence (for the musical content, not the MV), even some Linkin Park! Much heavier stuff really. The meaning is intense and the only part that didn’t surprise me. The way he was chained up, restricted from speaking, lost in the forest, the mask, running alone in the opposite direction… the vampire scenes coupled with the lyrics about “blocking the sunlight”, spreading his wings to fly and the line… “my ocean”. It doesn’t take a genius to get the meaning from that! Awesome debut. (*truth/perseverance)
A lighter type of sad song here really, this displays yet another musical style for Jaejoong. The music in the verses has an almost funk like (?) more unique melody than standard rock, with a feel comparable to the likes of Maroon 5; whereas the choruses pull us back to soft almost ballad type korean songs. This merge of styles makes it really interesting to listen to, it blends so well! And although Jaejoong’s vocals remind me of the good old TVfXQ days, you can hear how much his voice has matured and improved since debut. (*love/hope)
We’re pulled into the acoustic part of rock here (a style I really admire). Jaejoong shows us yet another sub-genre of rock that he can pull off. I really love his voice here; it’s almost hesitant, as if he really is reflecting on the past, acting out the song… re-living the moments. I felt myself tearing up a little bit by this part of the album. I personally love stringed instruments, so this one almost calls out to me. It has elements that really make me think of the past myself. I know Jaejoong is amazing when it comes to ballads, but his voice really rang through to me here. (*reminiscence/melancholy)
Here we slip into the piano led, emotion dripping ballad area of rock. This song adds a new element at each stage, enhancing the overall sound; more instruments, vocal layers, tension, etc. I wanted to say so much about this song… but the words just won’t come to me. Every time I listen to this album I’m speechless. There really isn’t enough words for me to express how good I think it is. The powerful lyrics, the composition… I really wish I could hear these songs live in concert. (*loneliness/loss)
The [*] indicates the feelings and themes I get from the songs, I had to add it to show how intense they really are! But what I really love about this mini album is the absence of “a catchy pop-song to pull you in” because they’re all memorable and give such an impact! Jaejoong showcases his talent to what I would say is the fullest, for the fact that it’s completely on another level; but I still feel like he’s capable of more. Considering the “rock” element - he aced it, and more! He completely exceeded my expectations (which were high anyway), he dominated the charts and he surpassed the j-rock influence and k-pop image to release something that could (in my opinion) easily be integrated in the English-language market. But considering that was just 5 songs and one genre… Kim Jaejoong could quite possibly do any genre. His voice is versatile enough, he’s talented enough, and it would sell. But even with these 5 songs, I want to say: “Kim Jaejoong… thank you for the music. All 7 years of it. Thank you for being an inspiration to me. And Happy Birthday.”
I highly encourage, k-pop fans, TVfXQ fans, Jaejoong fans, rock fans - music fans in general… to listen to this mini-album. I definitely recommend it as a gem of Korean music and a great addition to anyone’s music collection! Support Jaejoong by buying the album, and check out the MV for “Mine” here:
Hey! I’m way behind on the songs I wanted to review, but expect a review of Kim Jaejoong’s “One Kiss”, Infinite H’s “Fly High” album and an overview of songs by Primary & Matsushita Yuya. *Coming Soon*
Feel free to suggest some songs/releases for me to review! ^^
I just want to say thank you to everyone who liked my latest post! Even a simple “like” makes me happy!!! Thank you to my new followers (and also those who still follow… thank you for being patient and waiting for my updates). Happy New Year everybody!!! Take care of yourselves and do your best! 8D
[L>R: Jucy, J-DA, Hayana, Say & Yull] So “EVOL” or Effective Voice Of Ladies… I really anticipated these girls’ music. I’m a Block.B fan, and I like BNS’ overall style. Cho PD really knows what he’s doing (don’t quite get how Lee-U fits in there, but I wish him well! ^^). So let’s check out EvoL’s “Let Me Explode” ne?
[TRACK 1: 폭파해줘 (Let Me Explode)]
Evol’s style is so strong. It’s rare to find a female group in k-pop with rapping as strong as a rap based male group. The lyrics are about claiming originality while copying. The girls talk about how they’ll break the trends and they can’t tell the difference between the others except their “packaging”. They’ve got a lot of confidence singing and rapping about this, and they don’t disappoint. They’re the most original female group (or group in general) I’ve seen in recent k-pop. They don’t try to be cute, or have a ‘sexy concept’ they sing lyrics that matter. There IS a lot of repetition in the song, but the verses and choruses have an interesting flow. It’s a really energetic and strong song!
[TRACK 2: I’m Sorry]
Considering the rap foundation that BNS was built on, you wouldn’t expect such a mellow ballad type song. But if you observe Block.B’s music you’ll see BNS has a lot of music genres to offer, and EvoL is no exception. I like that the rappers can rap with such a deep tone. It creates a nice contrast to the vocalists’ higher tones. It gives the group a little independence! They don’t NEED a male rapper/singer to feature, they can create the perfect balance within their own group. The rapping is soft enough to flow nicely between the vocal verses, and the singing has the perfect level of emotion and beautiful background vocals. Looking at the lyrics, it’s a really emotional love song about a girl being hurt by seeing that the guy she’s interested in likes another girl. EvoL may have a strong image, but it doesn’t mean they can’t excel at sad love ballads! It’s a relaxing song with amazing guitar riffs.
[TRACK 3: Magnet]
A personal favourite! So strong and powerful! The beats of the music are heavy and the rapping matches it well! This song could have easily been dominated by their talented rappers, but the vocalists are powerful and ace the chorus/bridge. You can hear the determination and confidence oozing out if this song!!! Every group should have a song to say “Here we are! We will make it! Keep your eyes on us!” a song to show everyone what they’re all about, and REALLY showcase their talents. And when a song is as good as Magnet is… I really respect the group. The layers of vocals work so well! It’s like an underground rap battle at some parts, then others are like: listen to these vocals and just TRY and beat that then! These girls really sound amazing together. The almost choir like background vocals really bring out the intensity of the song and surprisingly merge well.
[TRACK 4: 우린 좀 달라 (We’re a bit different)] *title song*
It’s a dance/party type song. Not my favourite but still a good song. I’m not crazy about the way the chorus was done, but I like how the rappers’ styles here were like an allusion to the Block.B boys. I really like the way that they didn’t just sing something like: “…boy come and dance with me” like most groups do. Most of them turn it into some flirty/begging song to call some dude. Evol’s song is like: “Girls, it’s okay to be different. Don’t think you have to be so stuck in a certain style, just let yourself go!” They only mention ‘boy’ once just to say “we got flow, be honest boy”. Evol ARE the type of group that should be a role model to girls.
[TRACK 5: 188.8.131.52.5]
This is a really sweet song with some great harmonizing! It’s surprisingly cute and the rapping is just perfect in between. Once again the vocals are strong and emotive and they almost sound like a completely different group! They really did well with this debut, showing that they can handle a range of songs.
So… who’s loving the EVOLution of K-pop girl groups?
So… Brave Girls? I heard they were pretty good. I was reluctant as usual because I don’t like most of the girl groups (for various reasons) but I think they’re becoming more varied these days.
[Mini Album 1: The Difference]
The intro is… interesting? It really kinda introduces the members (vaguely though ^^”).I don’t like “So Sexy”. It’s overly repetitive with not much lyrical content. But… a song I WOULD recommend is “아나요”. It’s a nice slow song, very nice vocals and soft rapping. It’s a nice easy listening song (which I love).
[Mini Album 2: Back To Da Future]
Positive music change in this release! “툭하면 (feat. Skul1)” has a mellow reggae beat throughout which goes well with the girls’ strong vocals. I don’t often hear such varied music styles in MAINSTREAM k-pop to be honest, so it’s a nice break. A personal favourite of mine: “비가 내리면”. It’s one of those really emotive songs that also have a nice dance beat. I love the composition and the lyrics it’s a great song! A nice ballad by Eun Young here “너무 아파 (feat. Maboos)”. I’m always intrigued by groups that release solos early. Sometimes it’s great to showcase their talents, and Eun Young’s voice really deserved the attention! I like how they added the acoustic of “아나요”, it gives the song a different feel!
[Mini Album 3: Re-Issue]
I think they keep improving as they go on! They completely changed their image here and show a strong image for females. Wearing suits doesn’t make them any less feminine and of course it won’t change their vocal or dance ability! The intro is pretty clever. The reference the the 1st release is saying like: “Do you remember us? We’re so different from that now!” The title song: “요즘 너” is epic!!! I was very happy to see the talented backing singers and band actually IN the video (give credit where it’s due ne? ^^) After such a powerful dance song, we need a break ne? And in comes “말 없이” (another favourite of mine). It’s a really nice song that you could relax with, but it’s such a sad song ne~ “I’ll be fine, even if it hurts.” TT^TT The remix of “요즘 너” showcases the lovely vocals in the song in an almost acapella setting (just light piano in the background).
My fave songs: “아나요” + “비가 내리면” + “말 없이”
And of course… here’s the MV for “요즘 너” enjoy!!! ^^
So… anyone feeling better about k-pop girl groups yet?
(First of all, sorry for the giveaway spams… I’m a student; I like free things XD)
So… I listened to APink when they debuted. My first thought: “They’re okay, ^^ I mean… they’re really not bad!” But I actually forgot to go back to their music after a week ._.” (that’s not a reflection on how memorable they were, just a comment on how forgetful I can be XD). So here’s my Apink overview! I’m skipping ‘Skinny Baby’ & ‘Hush’ (to make a long story short - I don’t like them) plus any collaborative songs cuz I don’t know them, and ‘Bubibu (remix)’ since I haven’t heard it yet.
[1st mini-album: Seven Springs Of Apink]
Apink had a really fairytale at the beginning. ‘몰라요’ (I don’t Know) was cute, but I wasn’t keen on the MV personally. ‘It Girl’ actually stood out to me. It was cute, but catchy. ‘Wishlist’ is a nice calm song that flows nicely; I was quite surprised at how vocally strong some of the members are here! ‘Boo’ was very sudden at the end. The intro reminded me of retro videogames. I actually liked all of the songs on this mini album! (That’s quite rare for me, when it comes to girl groups). Though I don’t like the intro.
#Recommending: It Girl
[It Girl Remix Version]
To be honest, ‘It Girl’ was probs my fave on the 1st mini album. I’m not too pleased about the sudden tempo changes at the chorus. The style of the remix is nice, but those tempo changes… kinda mess it up in my opinion. The transition was MUCH better at the last chorus ne.
[2nd mini-album: Snow Pink]
I won’t comment on that name! XDDD Anyway… I get a very SNSD style from this one. (@Pinkpandas - That is the fan name right? ^^” - I’m NOT saying Apink copied. I don’t consider my self a S♥ne, a casual fan at best ne. @S♥nes - I’m NOT comparing which group is better, just saying the MUSIC/VOCAL style is reminiscent of SNSD. And we all know it’s the company that picks the music! The groups RARELY get any input in most mainstream k-pop. It’s all about what sells.) Back to the songs. I really like ‘MY MY’!!! I blame F.CUZ for reminding me to check out this mini album! XDDD Vocals are great here (I’m not going to ask about the snow reference XD). I actually found the MV entertaining too! XD ‘Yeah’ has that stylish 8bit/retro-game sound again! I REALLY like this one! I mean I caught myself dancing to it the other day “oh! oh oh~ yeah-yeah-yeah~ yeah yeah!” ♥♥♥ ‘꿈결처럼’ (Dream-like) fits the title well. It’s a really nice dreamy type ballad. I was *again* pleasantly surprised at the vocal skills! I haven’t heard a lot about their reputation besides “cute style” to be honest, but it’s a great song. ‘Prince’ brings us back to the fairytale theme, but… “Eommaya~! Aniya~!” the lyrics of this song made me laugh SO MUCH!!! XD
[1st Album: Une Annee]
That ‘Une Annee’ intro… *cringes* I’m sorry but I don’t like these Apink intros. They make no sense to me! ^^” ‘고양이’ is so ace! The music sounds cat-like!!! It’s so perfect! The subtle rapping adds to the stylishness of the song~ ^^ Now… ‘April 19th’ is a very strong ballad (slightly reminiscent of the older girl groups of k-pop). I like the variety of tones in the members’ vocals. With a song like this, I think they’d really excel in Japan if they’re given the chance. ‘Bubibu’ brings us back to “cute style” I like it, but I wish they’d stop putting in that “Dear boy…” line! XD I can see why they chose this to promote. It’s cute, catchy, fun, memorable, even the lyrics are cutesy… it’s something you’d play when you’re having a bad day, to pick up your mood. ‘Step’ is quite different from every other song they ever did. It reminds me of an old, quite mellow song; somewhere waaaaay in the back of my mind. It’s a great “easy-listening” song ne. When I heard ‘I Got You’ I was surprised Apink were getting a dance song. It’s not bad really. The really high “I got you~!” part at the end of the chorus reminds me of someone… is it Banana Girl? O.o I’m not like a BIG fan of this song, but it’s okay. ‘Up To The Sky’ is another dance song, but it has more energy and feel to it! I like the rapping, it’s great how they use it sparingly, not just cram rap in just cuz they have a rapper! To be honest, I had been waiting to see a B2ST feature in an Apink SONG (not just MV). Junhyung to be specific. Junhyung was most likely. I was expecting more… words? XD He only did the intro!!! Another dance song, ‘Boy’ sounds really retro… like disco retro. It’s not bad, but it kinda pales in comparison to ‘Up To The Sky’ (as does ‘I Got You’)
#Recommending: ‘고양이’ + ‘Step’ + ‘Up To The Sky’
So… what are your thoughts on APink?
hello lovely followers♥
today is F.CUZ’s 1000th day since debut! (*^o^*) ㅊㅋㅊㅋ~♥
since today is a special day for us all, i’ve decided to do a giveaway for everyone! this will be my 4th F.CUZ giveaway~ this time, there will be 3 lucky winners!
- F.CUZ Official Penlight
- For Century Ultimate Zest Collector’s Edition - Korea (2)
Oh my gosh!!! O.O I really REALLY want that penlight! <3
I have the Korean ‘For Century Ultimate Zest’ ne. OTL
Waaah~ I would even pay for that penlight if I could get it TT^TT
chaekyon started following changminosaur
WELCOME TO THE CHANG FAMIRI <3 you are special 8D you get the first welcome post!
oh yah and the first 23 of you changmin bishes as well HAHA <33
it’s too late for you to leave so don’t even try
OMO!! Thank you~ I’m flattered! 8O
*been a TVfXQ(5) and MaxChangmin fan for almost 7 years now* ^o^
Pffffft~! That gif is genius!!! X’DDD
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Thanks for the support everyone!