Month: June 2014

Park Jung Min- Save Us Tonight Mini Album Review

The mini album breaks Jung Min’s long hiatus which lasted for about 2 years. This album is the antithesis of his previous Midnight Theatre album released by his alternate persona ROMEO. Midnight Theatre was filled with filled with plenty of guitar riffs and was dominated by dance tracks tinged with a rock flavor along with a few ballads. The album also showcased strong production by Jeff Miyahara who composed all the songs in the album. This album explores the happy and cute concept in contrast to the dark concept of his previous album. Though the album may not be as mind blowing as his previous albums, the album caters to the majority as it is easy to listen to some extent. Although the album may not be his best work as of yet, the album has it’s defining moments. Jung Min’s voice is definitely a pleasure to listen to. Please remember that I am reviewing the japanese version of the album. Now on to the review:-

1. Save Us Tonight- To sum it up, it’s a happy song and in a way, it is kinda generic. The guitar dominates throughout this track giving a acoustic feeling to the track. But as we listen to it many times, it becomes very interesting as we notice that the melodic verses are very nice showcasing Jung Min’s vocals. There is an attraction factor to the song which makes it fit to be the title track. The happy-go-lucky and jazzy nature of the song gives it a wider scope. The song is a winner if listened carefully and I do not have the heart to criticize a happy song like this as it’s so pleasant to listen to the song. The song has a hidden dynamism which separates it from most of the happy type songs and i enjoy it very much. This feel good track is surely a winner for me.

2. I Feel You-This track has the most dark feeling out of all the songs for some reason. This R&B flavored number is truly a winner for me, albeit a little repetitive. The song has a nice R&B beat going in the background and the verses start in a melodic and soulful manner. The song’s main strength lies in the delivery of the vocals. The smooth delivery of the vocals by Jung Min gives the song a relaxed and crystalline nature. The song is driven by the vocals with only a R&B beat in the background. The repetitive nature is the only irking factor about this song as it feels dragged out, but it is a strong track despite this single weakness.

3. Now- The track has the longest title written in Kanji. To me, This number is probably the best track in this album and is an instant winner on the basis of first listen. The song is dominated by an acoustic guitar similar to that of Save Us Tonight. The real distinguishing factor of this song is the melody and the song is very much unpredictable as the pre chorus and the chorus, which are the main highlights of the song, give a contrasting feeling and various elements combine together to produce a well polished track. The track’s execution also makes it all the more enjoyable as the instrumental is not very unique, but the melody and the vocal delivery gives us a track different than the others and assured in it’s delivery.

4. Two Of Us- This ballad is a fine one, but it may feel like an ordinary ballad to others. The track begins with Jung Min singing with his deep and rich vocals. The chorus of the song gives a heart wrenching feeling to the song. The song mainly shows Jung Min’s emphasis on emotions and the versatile nature of his voice. The song isn’t great like the previous tracks, but to me, this is better than the next track which is going to be reviewed. The song’s sincerity shines and touches the heart of the listener.

5. Feel It- The song gives a playful feeling and the song is tinged with rockish and electronic elements. The song is quite different from most of the songs, but it is kinda messy in it’s arrangement. To be honest, this song needs some listens to get used to. The vocals are all around the place giving a confused feeling. The song only gains some tempo by the second half of the song and the song’s first half makes everything very much confusing. The song’s use of various elements makes it look like an experimental track. The song has good melodic parts, but it just feels like a mash up of various elements. But, this makes it an interesting track and it is certainly unpredictable.

That’s it for my review of the album and the album gives a new dimension to Jung Min’s versatility. The album is interesting and really nice to listen to .

Album Review- Tree By Tohoshinki

After a rocky ride with Tohoshinki’s Time, tohoshinki have released their next album in japan. It can definitely be considered as a step up from their previous album.Now to begin the review.

1. I LOVE YOU(FULL VERSION)- The song is simple yet quite sweet and touching. The song starts with a gentle piano and the strings arise as the song progresses. The melody is sweet and heartfelt. Yunho’s and Changmin’s sincere vocals are shown here. The recording was definitely done without any processing and auto tune giving us an acoustic feeling. It’s definitely an amazing acoustic driven ballad composed by Katsuhiko Yamamoto.

2. CHAMPION- After a sweet ballad, we get this catchy electronic banger. This electro pop song is not bad, but it does have it’s flaws. We see Yunho’s rap and Changmin’s rap in the song. The song’s main flaw is that it’s too repetitive in a way and the composition is quite messy and heavy. The song is likable, but as much as i like tohoshinki, this song is a little too heavy. The vocals have been processed too. It may be a jam for others, but for me , this is my least favorite song in the album.

3. BREEDING POISON- This song is my jam. This is one awesome number. The beat and the vocals are tight. The song is cool with a nice beat and is pretty much addictive forgetting the english placed in between the song. This song makes up for champion and is not messy unlike the former. The rap by Yunho is pretty much suave. Changmin’s vocals shine pretty much here. The lines leading to the chorus and the chorus are the highlights of this song. The song’s only flaw is that it’s a little disjointed and there is not much of a smooth transition to the lines after the chorus, but it’s definitely an awesome song.

4. AI WO MOTTO- We get a nice ballad after two electropop songs. This song was composed by Yamamoto too. This song, rather than being sweet, is emotive. The song is very soothing to the ears and gives us a spring like feeling. There is not much to say about this song, but the song is a little repetitive and maybe a little boring for some, but it definitely works for me as their emotions are well expressed.

5. CHEERING- This song has that upbeat mood lifting capacity. The song starts off with a subdued guitar and drums, then the song explodes into a cheerful and exciting chorus. The song shows clean production which is expected as the song was composed by Shinjiroh Inoue who is tohoshinki’s regular composer. The song is pleasant and not too jarring. The song gives an upbeat rockish feeling and after listening to the song, it leaves us with a pleasant aftertaste in our mouth. The vocals express the feeling in a very positive way too.

6. SOMETHING- This dance jazz hybrid is one pretty catchy song. The song hits in a subtle, but a strong way. The song may hit on the face,but it definitely rocks. The big band sound and the throwback element is clearly seen. The lead track ‘something’ of tohoshinki’s korean tense album is definitely strong. The song is little weaker than the korean version as the song has been translated from korean to japanese. The crux of the song is definitely present. The song’s only weak point is Yunho’s dance break which is different from rest of the song,but Changmin’s dance break sets the song back on track. The song does rock and is tohoshinki’s best korean comeback too vocally and musically.

7. GOOD DAYS- The song starts with an acoustic guitar and the song builds up to a pretty much subtle chorus. The song is a ballad which builds on acoustics composed by Inoue. The song is pretty nice and a little dramatic,but fails to distinguish itself from any run of the mill ballads. The song is still quite good as it is one song which highlights the duo’s vocals. The song also carries a positive message similar to cheering. The song just stays there, but it is still an enjoyable listen.

8. HIDE AND SEEK- This intense rock song is refreshing and isn’t jarring at the least. The song begins with intense rock instrumentals with low pitched vocals leading to the grand and powerful chorus. The song has been arranged and produced in an awesome manner. Kudos to Inoue. The song just wakes you up after the calm ballad ‘good days’ and is maybe the most intense song in the album except scream. The verses are pretty well done and the song has a strong and gritty melody. The rock song definitely rocks a lot.

9. SHINJIRU MAMA- This song is my jam after breeding poison. The song starts out simple with clap beats and progresses into a song with an addictive beat. The song is definitely catchy and awesome. The raps are spot on and the beat is hot. This is my favorite song in the entire album. The song has a carefree and addictive chorus and the verses are pretty much melodic. This song is definitely a winner.

10. SCREAM- After shinjiru mama, we get a song filled with gothic touches and a horror based theme. This song is actually kinda weird and may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Scream can give you a headache or make you scream in joy. It depends on your taste. This song is filled with guitar riffs and distorted synths. The chorus is definitely catchy and it pretty much rocks. The build up to the chorus is also well executed. The song’s flaws are clearly seen here too. The song basically lies on the jarring side and may not be enjoyable for everyone. The song does not have have a smooth transition and is too disjointed to fully appreciate the song. I enjoyed the song thoroughly, but it was a little jarring sometimes. The vocals definitely give a feeling of horror and power as they have been processed. I say that the mission is accomplished if they wanted the track to be like this.

11. CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY- This song spells playful. The song reminds me of ‘thank you my girl’ from their tone album. The song maintains a jazzy vibe giving a partying like feeling in the chorus. The song starts low and then bursts in the chorus. The finger snaps provide a nice feeling to the song. These type of songs augur well with the duo’s vocals and the song is dominated by synths. The song is happy go lucky and pretty refreshing to hear after the terror which was scream. The song is lighthearted at the same time and turns a little rockish at the end.

12. OCEAN- This song is similar to tohoshinki’s summer songs like sky and summer dream of the past.This song was also composed by Inoue. The chant at the beginning of the song is pretty much funny. The song gives us a summery feeling and leaves you with a smile on your face. The vocals are spot on in this song. The song is pretty much repetitive and a nice one to listen in the summer, but it does not have tremendous potential. The song is pretty much safe without straying much from it’s feel. It’s catchy and has good replay value, but that’s it.

13. TREE OF LIFE- After a series of up tempos, we get a nice and relaxing ballad. The song calms your heart and makes you feel happy. The song is better than In Our Time from the Time album which wanted to emphasize on it’s ‘la la la’ and turned out to be a bore. This song , on the other hand, explores the vocal maturity of the duo. The harmonies and the strings in the song give a nice feeling and leaves us happy. I must admit that the duo’s scream during the latter half of the song moved me the most. The song may be boring for some, but it definitely heals your heart and shows the growth of the tree signified as tohoshinki . They could not have chosen a better song to show their vocal growth. The serene and natural atmosphere makes one think he is in a place filled with nature. The verses strike a chord in your heart leaving a nice feeling at the end despite the long length of the song.

14. GOOD BYE FOR NOW- This song is the most happy go lucky song of the duo. The song has a nice melody and is dominated by acoustics. The song reminds me of the ballad ‘ one and only one’ for some reason. The vocals emphasize a laid back feeling and a playful feeling. The song shows the harmonious blending of the duo’s voices. These songs suit the duo very well and i can’t criticize the song in any way or else it will be a crime. The song is nice and lovely. This acoustic driven upbeat track is really pleasant to the ears.

BONUS TRACK-

15. VERY MERRY XMAS- The song pretty much spells christmas. The song has a nice and sweet melody even though it is a bit childish. The song was not actually on par with their last winter single ‘winter rose’. The build up to the chorus was pretty much nice, but the chorus was a bit bland to some extent. Yunho shined in the song more than changmin. Yunho’s lines were actually pretty good and melodic though changmin’s lines were good too. The message of christmas was clearly expressed and it was a peaceful song.