T-Max – Born To The MAX ( album review )

Among my oh, so many weaknesses, one of the biggest is for T-Max, the band that, from my point of view, remains one of the most underrated on the market. Why ? What’s wrong with them ? Well, aside from obvious handicaps given by the major changes inside the band ( 3, 4 or 5 members ?? ), not so potent label and some unhappy choices of songs, nothing. Oh, I almost forgot about the main one : Paradise !
To remain in people’s mind as the band that sings the main OST from Boys Before Flowers, hmm, not so helpful in order to be taken seriously. Actually, the question is this : how serious are the boys from T-Max ? Enough, enough for me to dare say that Paradise,

All this sweetness make Heechul a very sick boy

with all the jelly wrapping, is a good song.
The boys have great vocals, including the one I could swear is a girl. Mea culpa, but I haven’t heard so crystal clear femininity in a male’s voice since Boy George circa ’85 and an ocult vocalist from a jrock band that I like more than I should. Even the flower boy turned mafioso wannabe has an interesting vocal timbre ( the script said mafioso, he was flower-boy from head to toe ).
If the  chorus had a different theme ( Paradise is such an overrated concept ), the jelly wrap would have melted instantly and it would have been the easiest thing ever to hum the song inside the subway. (example : “Almooooooost oveeeeraaaaage!!!!”)
Born to the MAX is their last album. Firstly, in my opinion, Don’t Be Rude doesn’t belong to this album. I understand it is the year 2010 and your direct competitor is U-Kiss, but is not always a healthy thing to sneak inside such a strong electronic track on an album with a so soft and sophisticated at the same time sound. Don’t Be Rude belongs on a different EP along with its sister, Let’s Go. Instead, the EP on the market promotes the song Words That I Can Say. I would have chosen as main track All Along, it does remind me of something 2AM would sing, but it’s good enough to present T-Max as a ballad band. Which is one step closer to looking like a serious artist. Not just a kpop artist, but an artist that it’s expected to deliver good quality material at any hour of the day.

Without those two tracks the greatness of the album increases. The songs create a concert-like atmosphere ( Oh, I would love an unplugged version of the album..). It’s hard for me to pick my favourites, but I like Before 10 Heartbeats because it is a perfect dance track, I like Bad You for being so well sung, I love Romantic Blues because it’s hard to find perfectionism and piano so well presented in a kpop song and I like Want because it reminds me of Paradise and it has that funky jazz sound that’s so catchy. Seriously now, all the songs are worth a good listen, it is an excelent album.

P.S. I bet the guy chose to get dreads done in honour of the aggressive sound of Don’t Be Rude. Either this or it was the other way arround.

Final rating : 8.9/10