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Official Album/single Review Thread

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  • motoway065motoway065 the crave. Posts: 2,815Friend of Soompi

    IDOL

    edited March 2011
    TVXQ – Vol. 5 Keep Your Head Down

    [IMG]http://i55.Richard Simmons/2wfi9p3.jpg[/IMG]

    01 Keep Your Head Down [MV] [LIVE]
    02 How Can I [MV] [LIVE]
    03 MAXIMUM [LIVE]
    04 CRAZY
    05 Honey Funny Bunny
    06 RUMOR
    07 Confession
    08 Our Game
    09 SHE
    10 Athena [MV]

    Purchase This Album

    In the midst of lawsuits and conflicts, TVXQ makes a comeback to the Korean music scene after two years and three months as a two man show. The remaining members, Yunho and Changmin return more mature and fiercer than ever with their fifth studio album, “Keep Your Head Down.” The album consists of ten new tracks including a solo song from each member and a100 page photo book.

    The album starts off with the action-packed title track, “Keep Your Head Down” composed, penned, and arranged by one of SM’s top producers, Yoo Young Jin. Right from the start, you know that this is quality music filled with much energy. The dance number incorporates rock elements and the duo’s powerful vocals helps tell the tale about being filled with anger after an ex-lover leaves.

    The next song is “How Can I,” a ballad accompanied by beautiful piano and string arrangements. The melody isn’t anything too special, but Yunho and Changmin does a great job lending their emotional vocals here. All in all, the boys’ singing eventually won me over as I no longer skip this song when listening to the album.

    Track three,” MAXIMUM” is another dance piece by Yoo Young Jin. It incorporates Asian sounds which I got a kick out of. I also loved it when the boys shouted traditional Korean chants such as “ulsooh!” in the beginning of the song. Overall, a great fusion number tying Eastern and Western elements into one.

    “Honey Funny Bunny” is a Yunho solo created by E-TRIBE. Unlike the former tracks, this medium-tempo R&B dance song takes on a more mature route as it holds lyrics about wanting to sleep in a lover’s arms. The song was quite catchy except maybe the repetitious “honey funny bunny” phrases. Changmin’s solo on the other hand is called “Confession,” a ballad number showcasing the singer’s vocal skills and range. Yet, the song was on the boring side. Too bad it seems that Yunho got a solo catchier than Changmin’s.

    Apart from the title track, my second favorite song in the album would be “RUMOR,” a medium-tempo number with smooth sounds and vocals from the boys. The rap towards the end was also quite catchy. The song is about a man filled with anguish when his lover turns away from his love after hearing false rumors.

    Track 8 is “Our Game,” another favorite of mine. This dance number has some appealing beats accompanied by haunting vocals and aggressive rap. Pop lovers might especially like this song as well. The album then transitions to “SHE,” a medium-tempo R&B number. Again, another one of the better songs off the album.

    The album finishes off with “ATHENA,” one of the songs from the popular drama series of the same title. Because the show is of the action and thriller genre, it is no surprise that the song portrays them through intense strings and dramatic vocals.

    In conclusion, TVXQ has surpassed my expectations. Although the group is no longer five members, I felt that the remaining two did a great job holding it out and coming back successfully. The majority of the songs were catchy and worth listening to over and over again. And most importantly, this album has topped some of their past works on my list, so I am content.

    4/5

    5/5 - Even if you're not a fan of this artist/group this album is a must buy.
    4/5 - If you're a fan of this artist/group, you must buy this album.
    3/5 - If you're a fan of this artist/group, you might want to add this one to your collection.
    2/5 - I don't think a fan would even buy this.
    1/5 - You might as well just flush your money down the toilet
  • motoway065motoway065 the crave. Posts: 2,815Friend of Soompi

    IDOL

    edited March 2011
    GD&T.O.P – Vol. 1

    [IMG]http://i53.Richard Simmons/win7tl.jpg[/IMG]

    01 Intro [LIVE]
    02 High High [MV] [LIVE]
    03 Oh Yeah (feat. Park Bom) [LIVE]

    04 Don’t Go Home [LIVE]
    05 Baby Good Night [MV]
    06 Knock Out [MV] [LIVE]
    07 Oh Mom (T.O.P)
    08 Nightmare (G-Dragon)[LIVE]
    09 Today of All Days (T.O.P)
    10 What Do You Want Me To Do? (G-Dragon)
    Bonus Track:
    11 Turn It Up (T.O.P) [MV] [LIVE]

    Purchase This Album

    Two of Korea’s hottest artists, G-Dragon and T.O.P join hands to release their first collaboration album to pump up fans before their official Big Bang comeback. The album is packed with eleven tracks, all of which are expected to get the party started for many K-pop fans. It includes six collaboration numbers and five solo songs showcasing each respective member’s musical skills.

    Music lovers are in for a triple treat with three title tracks. The first one is “High High,” an electronica, dance number composed and penned by Teddy with the help of GD&T.O.P. When I first heard the song, I was not feeling it because I honestly thought the boys had so much more potential. However, after a couple more listens and viewings of the music video, I began to appreciate it more. Thank god, there were two more title tracks in store.

    I was particularly curious about “Knock Out,” a GD&T.O.P and Diplo production because the duo’s performance at the 2010 Mnet Asian Music Awards caught my attention. It reminded me of some of Big Bang’s older works that incorporated more rapping and less singing – something I took a liking towards. The repetitive lines “bbuk ee gayo” along with the catchy bubble wrap popping noises in the background were appealing, and the smooth, fun lyrics (referencing the T.O.P coffee for example) were also entertaining.

    The last title track is “Oh Yeah” a slightly slower dance track of the hip-hop genre. The strong house rhythms flowed well with GD&T.O.P’s fierce rap and Park Bom’s energetic vocals. Nevertheless, the song was kind of on the boring side for me. I guess if I were to rank the title tracks, “Knock Out” would come in first, followed by “High High” and “Oh Yeah.”

    GD&T.O.P also promotes “Don’t Go Home” and “Baby Good Night,” tracks four and five of the album. The former is an upbeat dance number with some jazz elements. There is a good mixture of G-Dragon’s falsettos and T.O.P’s solid rap. “Baby Good Night” on the other hand is much slower in tempo with heavy guitar accompaniment. The smooth style of the song as well as the French(?) narration in the beginning and the end of the song fits perfectly in this “sexy” number. Like in “Don’t Go Home,” G-Dragon takes care of the falsettos while T.O.P perfects his rap.

    The second half of the album consists of solo tracks from the duo. G-Dragon has two solos – “Nightmare” and “What Do You Want Me To Do?” “Nightmare” is a pop dance number that uses a lot of synthesizers. Listeners can definitely feel the yearning through G-Dragon’s rap and vocals as he sings about being obsessed over an unrequited love. The rock sounds further help bring out this mood. “What Do You Want Me To Do” on the other hand takes on a more old school route. This upbeat number which sounds like it came out of a musical however, is not my cup of tea - probably the least favorite track in the album.

    T.O.P on the other hand has three solo songs, including “Turn It Up” which had been previously released as a single. From the three, this is probably my favorite. This T.O.P and Teddy production really brings out what the singer is known for - his fierce rap and manliness. The beats and rap were catchy on first listen. Sadly, I wasn’t too impressed with the rock influenced “Oh Mom” or the dance number “Today of All Days.” Maybe I’m just not used to T.O.P’s “singing” or his “engrish” which I think he should stay away from.

    Wrapping it up, I must say the group tracks in the first half of the album stood out much more than the solo songs in the second half. Not only did the quality of the songs seem better but the synergy of the two artists made them enjoyable to listen. The solo songs seemed to lack the extra oomph, but who knows – turning these solo tracks into collaboration numbers might have made them a whole lot better!

    3.5/5

    5/5 - Even if you're not a fan of this artist/group this album is a must buy.
    4/5 - If you're a fan of this artist/group, you must buy this album.
    3/5 - If you're a fan of this artist/group, you might want to add this one to your collection.

    2/5 - I don't think a fan would even buy this.
    1/5 - You might as well just flush your money down the toilet
  • motoway065motoway065 the crave. Posts: 2,815Friend of Soompi

    IDOL

    U-KISS – Mini-Album 4: Break Time

    [IMG]http://i53.Richard Simmons/v3p1te.jpg[/IMG]

    01 Before Yesterday (Intro)
    02 Shut Up!! [MV] [LIVE]
    03 Light It Up
    04 Rock Ya Body
    05 Avatar
    06 Shut Up!!INST
    07 Light It Up INST

    Purchase This Album

    U-KISS, who has gained fans from all over the world with hit songs such as “Round and Round” and “Am I That Easy” makes a comeback with their fourth mini-album, “Break Time.” It’s been almost a year since their first album release, and the boys have returned more mature than ever with seven new tracks of various styles.

    Right from the start, I was entranced by “Before Yesterday,” a brief introduction to what the group has in store for listeners. The vocals, piano arrangements, and mixing were just hauntingly beautiful. If only they made a full-length song out of this – I could listen to it on repeat!

    The album continues on with the title track, “Shut Up,” composed by one of Korea’s top composers, Kim Tae Hyun, who has also written Ivy’s “Sonata of Temptation,” After School’s “Bang,” and “T-ara’s Crazy Because of You.” “Shut Up” is an upbeat electronica dance number that brings out the boys’ fierceness and toughness as they sing about telling a past lover to shut up and back off. Although the song asks the singers to sound angry, they still managed to showcase their beautiful vocals, especially in the chorus line. Although I think “Shut Up” follows the typical dance song formula, the use of unusual lyrics definitely helped this song stand out from the rest for me.

    Track three is “Light It Up,” a dance production co-composed by C-Luv and Stay Tuned. The strong house rhythms and steady bass are catchy on first listen. The boys’ vocals are smooth and pleasant to hear especially in the verses as they sing about a once “dead” love burning deep inside again.

    The next song is “Rock Ya Body,” an upbeat hip-hop number accompanied by groovy bass and synth sounds. The bouncy beats and repetitive lyrics seem perfect for clubbing – very Americanized (ie. Pitbull) in style.

    Another dance number, “Avatar,” ties up the album. The song incorporates both electronic and rock elements, making it catchy in sound. Too bad the lyrics and melody killed it for me. When I heard the hook, I immediately thought of Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz’ “Get Low” (refer to the “To the windows, to the wall” part) and was disappointed. No need to sound like an extremely popular song – it only brings up controversy.

    I have never been much of a U-KISS fan, but this album made me realize what great vocals some of the members have (as shown through “Before Yesterday.”) Compared to their first and second mini-albums, I have seen drastic improvement in this album, and I am happy for them. Although the songs in terms of catchiness seem to decline as the tracks went on, the majority of the songs were appealing. Lastly, unlike how the album description suggests, there wasn’t too much variety in musical style as I had hoped for, so maybe adding a slower R&B track in the mix might be better for the boys in the near future.

    3.5/5

    5/5 - Even if you're not a fan of this artist/group this album is a must buy.
    4/5 - If you're a fan of this artist/group, you must buy this album.
    3/5 - If you're a fan of this artist/group, you might want to add this one to your collection.

    2/5 - I don't think a fan would even buy this.
    1/5 - You might as well just flush your money down the toilet
  • motoway065motoway065 the crave. Posts: 2,815Friend of Soompi

    IDOL

    edited March 2011
    S.M. the Ballad – Vol. 1

    [IMG]http://i53.Richard Simmons/1zlfzah.jpg[/IMG]

    01 Miss You [MV] [LIVE]
    02 Hot Times [MV] [LIVE]

    03 Love Again
    04 Don’t Lie
    05 Another Day

    Purchase This Album

    SM Entertainment, home to some of Korea’s top artists - BoA, DBSG, SNSD, Super Junior, and SHINee, presents its second ballad project group, S.M. the Ballad. It succeeds the company’s first project group, S (which comprised of Kangta, Shinhwa’s Shin Hye Sung, and Lee Ji Hoon) that debuted in 2003. The new group, S.M. the Ballad consists of Trax’s Jay, Super Junior’s Kyuhyun, SHINee’s Jonghyun, and rookie singer, JINO.

    Even before the album release, I’ve already had high expectations from the group because three of the four members were the main vocals of their respective groups. Thus, I knew singing would definitely not be the problem. I also thoroughly enjoyed S’ work when it was released, and so I believed this album would likewise meet my expectations.

    01 Miss You
    The album begins with the title track, “Miss You” a very simple ballad number accompanied by beautiful string and piano arrangements. The boys were flawless in terms of their singing, but sadly to say, the song was on the boring side. When I realized that this was going to be the title track I was very much disappointed. I felt that the group had so much more potential that was not being shown through this song. “Miss You” in my eyes was not title track material.

    02 Hot Times
    Luckily, S.M. the Ballad was able to redeem itself with their follow-up song, “Hot Times,” a medium-tempo R&B number composed by Yoo Young Jin. Unlike the former track, “Hot Times” highlighted not only each of the member’s vocals and rap skills, but their harmonization skills as a whole. The jazzy elements heard throughout the song further livened up the mood to this “sexy” number. Possibly my favorite track in the album.

    03 Love Again
    Track three is “Love Again,” a gorgeous medium-tempo ballad sung by Super Junior member, Kyuhyun. Although listeners can definitely hear the singer’s emotions, the song is surprisingly very calming and soothing at the same time. Overall, beautiful melody, arrangements and vocals! Love it!

    04 Don’t Lie
    “Don’t Lie,” sung by SHINee’s Jonghyun and newcomer JINO is another favorite of mine. Unlike the previous three tracks, this song is much more upbeat – enough to get people moving. The beats are very funky and Jonghyun and JINO do a fantastic job showcasing their power vocals, emotions and style. Henry of Super Junior-M also lends a hand with his rap featuring, which in some ways can be positive or negative, depending on the listener. Luckily the English lyrics made sense since Henry is a native English speaker. Yet for some reason, the rap portion made me cringe. Great song nonetheless.

    05 Another Day
    Jay of Trax completes the album with his solo track titled, “Another Day.” This song once again is a beautiful, yet another typical Korean ballad that showcases the artist’s great vocal range and sad emotions the lyrics portray. Not my favorite, but better than the title song, “Miss You.”

    In conclusion, I was quite satisfied with the outcome of this album. Although Jay, Kyuhyun, and Jonghyun all have their distinct musical qualities within their respective groups; through S.M. the Ballad, each member (except maybe JINO) was able to show yet another side of themselves. We knew the boys were talented but through these five ballads/urban R&B tracks, fans were able to see much more from their favorite artists. I was quite delighted with this outcome, and I hope the project group continues with more collaborations in the near future!

    4.5/5

    5/5 - Even if you're not a fan of this artist/group this album is a must buy.
    4/5 - If you're a fan of this artist/group, you must buy this album.

    3/5 - If you're a fan of this artist/group, you might want to add this one to your collection.
    2/5 - I don't think a fan would even buy this.
    1/5 - You might as well just flush your money down the toilet
    Nutik
  • motoway065motoway065 the crave. Posts: 2,815Friend of Soompi

    IDOL

    Chae Dong Ha – D Day

    [IMG]http://i56.Richard Simmons/2rw45ea.jpg[/IMG]

    01 Vanilla Sky
    02 Day is Crazy [MV] [LIVE]
    03 My Side
    04 Goodbye Fool
    05 Vanilla Sky INST

    Purchase This Album

    Former SG Wannabe member, Chae Dong Ha returns with a new mini-album titled, “D Day” after almost a year since his second album release. This time around, the singer comes before fans with an upgraded image –he takes part in producing, composing, and penning his songs, showing yet another side of him. “D Day” consists of four new tracks plus an instrumental.

    01 Vanilla Sky
    The album begins with an upbeat pop rock number, “Vanilla Sky.” On first listen, fans might assume that the song holds happy-go-lucky lyrics due to what may seem to be a cheerful melody. However, with careful listening, they will realize that “Vanilla Sky” is actually a sad song about missing and thanking an ex-lover. In terms of song, I really enjoyed the lively string, piano, and drum arrangements. There seemed to be great harmony between them and Chae’s soft, yet strong vocals.

    02 Day is Crazy
    The next song is the title track, “Day Is Crazy,” composed and penned by the singer himself with the help of Kwon Sung Min. This emotional ballad is about missing a past lover so much to the extent of going crazy. I felt that the singer’s “whispering” vocals in the verses and his explosive singing in the chorus-line really helped the depressing lyrics get across.

    03 My Side
    The third song “My Side” is an upbeat ballad number with a SG Wannabe tinge to it. It is about being happy and thankful for a never-ending love relationship with a girl. The song isn’t bad, but I wish the singer experimented with different genres.

    04 Goodbye Fool
    It seems that my wish was heard through my favorite track of the album, “Goodbye Fool.” This song kind of reminded me of Kim Ah Joong’s “Maria” from her movie 200 Pound Beauty, which I had no problem with, since I loved the latter song as well. This pop rock number showed that Chae Dong Ha has the talents to go beyond his usual ballads. What’s even better – the singer took part in writing the lyrics for this track!

    Overall, I must admit that Chae Dong Ha has no problems with singing – I mean he was in SG Wannabe after all! I guess my main concern was whether the songs would all sound similar. With only four new tracks, I guess it wasn’t that difficult to add variety. With the help of “Vanilla Sky” and “Goodbye Fool,” Chae was able to show his “rock” sides, breaking from his usual R&B/ballad songs. I guess I would recommend this album to fans of Korean-style ballads with a twist!

    3.5/5

    5/5 - Even if you're not a fan of this artist/group this album is a must buy.
    4/5 - If you're a fan of this artist/group, you must buy this album.
    3/5 - If you're a fan of this artist/group, you might want to add this one to your collection.

    2/5 - I don't think a fan would even buy this.
    1/5 - You might as well just flush your money down the toilet
  • motoway065motoway065 the crave. Posts: 2,815Friend of Soompi

    IDOL

    Buzz – Special Album: Fuzz Buzz

    [IMG]http://i51.Richard Simmons/9kxjcg.jpg[/IMG]

    01 Don’t Like Women (feat. Venny)

    02 Don’t Know Men
    03 Buzzing Rock
    04 Time Love Stopped (song by Min Kyung Hoon)
    05 Short Film About Forgiveness
    06 Giant For You
    07 Farewell Collector (song by Min Kyung Hoon)
    08 Trip To You
    09 Coward
    10 Don’t Like Women (feat. Venny) (Radio Version)

    Purchase This Album

    Buzz, who revolutionized K-pop in 2003 with their heart wrenching rock-ballads returns this time around as a two-member band. Consisting of guitarist Yoon Woo Hyun and new vocalist Nayu, the band comes before fans with a ten-track special album with songs sung by both the former and current vocalist of Buzz.
    The album starts off with a heart wrenching, emotional title track, “Don’t Like Women.” This rock-ballad sounds a lot like their previous hit songs which is no surprise because the composer of this song, Ko Suk Young is responsible for many of Buzz’s past hits such as “Coward” and “Trip to Leave Me.” Sang Sang Band’s Venny who lends her unique vocals adds a nice finishing touch to the song.

    “Buzzing Rock” is another memorable rock number that showcases Nayu’s strong, husky vocals. This energetic number with electrifying guitar sounds will definitely take listeners on an emotional ride. The newly revamped Buzz also remakes three of the band’s hit songs: “Don’t Like Men,” “Coward,” and “Trip to Leave Me.” Nayu is able to show yet another side of these songs by adding his own color to them.

    Original Buzz fans are also in luck because former vocalist, Min Kyung Hoon takes part in this album with two new songs. “Time Love Stopped” is a rock ballad that starts off with peaceful beautiful piano arrangements, only to transition to emotional guitar sounds and vocals. “Farewell Collector” on the other hand is a rock number with country elements. The usage of both acoustic and electric guitars make this a noteworthy song.

    Fans of band and rock-ballads are definitely in for a treat with Buzz’s special album, “Fuzz Buzz.” The variety of songs (remakes, songs from both vocalists) makes this a must buy for both old and new Buzz fans.

    4/5

    5/5 - Even if you're not a fan of this artist/group this album is a must buy.
    4/5 - If you're a fan of this artist/group, you must buy this album.
    3/5 - If you're a fan of this artist/group, you might want to add this one to your collection.
    2/5 - I don't think a fan would even buy this.
    1/5 - You might as well just flush your money down the toilet
  • motoway065motoway065 the crave. Posts: 2,815Friend of Soompi

    IDOL

    edited April 2011
    Park Ji Man – Kim So Wol Project

    [IMG]http://i56.Richard Simmons/6f5z7a.jpg[/IMG]

    01Mountains With Flowers – Lee Yoong Jin (Casker)
    02 Road – Yoon Sang
    03 Person’s Song – An Shin Ae
    04 To The Person – Kim Jung Hwa
    05 Person In My Heart – Jung Jin Ha
    06 Tears Are Flowing – Jung Sun Yong (My Aunt Mary)
    07 Azalea – Kim Tae Hyung
    08 Song About the White Moon – Park Ji Man
    09 To That Person - Harim
    10 First Marriage – Lee Ji Young (Big Mama)
    11 Pick Grass – Jo Won Sun
    12 Bicycle – Lee Han Chul
    13 Person’s Words – Jung Jae Il
    14 Memory – Park Chang Hak
    15 To The Person (Bonus Track) - Harim

    Purchase This Album

    After being introduced to each other through Rollercoaster’s Lee Sang Sun, top composer Park Ji Man and lyricist Park Chang Hak finally get the chance to collaborate with the theme, “Kim So Wol.” For those unfamiliar with the name, Kim So Wol is one of Korea’s renowned poets from the 1920’s known for his delicate poetry. In this album, Park Ji Man is able to enhance the meaning of the poems by adding melody to it. Through this, listeners not only get to enjoy poetry through auditory means, but learn more about Korean history while listening to some good mellow music. Korea’s talented artists, Yoon Sang, My Aunt Mary, Harim, Lee Ji Young (Big Mama), and Casker to name a few, partake in this once in a lifetime experience.

    The title track is “Memory,” sung by lyricist Park Chang Hak. The song starts off with simple piano chords with soft, almost whispering vocals followed suit. Overall, the arrangements are very relaxing and easy to listen to - the perfect track to reminisce to.

    There were many songs I took a liking to, due to the laid-back feeling they gave off. An example would be “Mountains With Flowers” sung by Casker’s Lee Yoong Jin. The familiar piano arrangements heard in the title track would be the sole instrument in this song. An Shin Ae’s “Person’s Song” is another favorite of mine with its soft yet lively melody. In the second half, the song takes an abrupt turn changing from major to minor key. The increase in tempo also experienced in the latter half is unexpecting yet soothing to the ear. Another memorable track was “To The Person,” sung by Kim Jung Hwa. This ballad was a breath of fresh air from what may be a bore from all the soft vocals. Kim Jung Hwa’s strong, husky voice really livened up this emotional number.

    In conclusion, I took a liking to this unique album. Making music out of poetry was an interesting idea and Park Ji Man’s take on them turned out well in my opinion. The album jacket was also out of the ordinary, having incorporated oriental-style drawings into the pages. Overall, a different take on music, but a good one at that!


    4.5/5

    5/5 - Even if you're not a fan of this artist/group this album is a must buy.
    4/5 - If you're a fan of this artist/group, you must buy this album.

    3/5 - If you're a fan of this artist/group, you might want to add this one to your collection.
    2/5 - I don't think a fan would even buy this.
    1/5 - You might as well just flush your money down the toilet
  • tebbatebba Posts: 26Banned
    Here's a pretty awesome review of JYJ's "In Heaven" Album

    http://dramapop.com/2011/09/14/review-jyj-in-heaven/My link
  • tebbatebba Posts: 26Banned
    edited September 2011
  • tebbatebba Posts: 26Banned
  • tebbatebba Posts: 26Banned
  • tebbatebba Posts: 26Banned
    Check out a review of the Wonder Girls' new album on DramaPop!
    http://dramapop.com/2011/11/06/album-review-wonder-girls-wonder-world/
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