Jay Park – Demon

No one was so hatefully bashed in here as Jay Park was in this malicious review. As an ending note I was advising him to try a more original and an inch more polished sound in order to come up with a true party anthem. Well, he did that. And no, not because of my bashing. Demon is not the greatest and most original thing ever but it manages to put Jay Park in front of my full of disbelief eyes in a completely new light. I love almost everything about this song. You may be familiar with my strange passions, like the one for this song. Now I think I’m having the same symptoms. I like the catchyness of the melody and how it starts at a low volume then suddenly powers up after a few seconds, I love the use of a grave violin tune and girl screams in the background, the rap in the middle 8 is delivered in a playful way that I am very fond of and the thing that manages to give me the good chills most are those adorable lyrics written by our very own Jay. I am willing to forget all about that Bestie girl and pledge my eternal love for Jay for being able to incorporate these verses in a song :

“I was on my way to heaven,
then she brought me down with a smile.
The scent of her perfume (black leather),
one look I traded God for her eyes.”

and the rap I was talking about :
“I was trying to go and save my soul,
but loving you really takes its toll.
You’re the only single name I know,
we must be glued together ’cause I can’t let go,
I tried to leave but I ain’t getting away.
No wonder your eyes are red in every picture we take,
‘cause you’re a demon why are you so evil to me?
But I love it so damn why didn’t I see?
You’re a master piece gone wrong, a wreck waiting to happen,
the grim ripper might as well go wait in the casket.
Not a human being but baby you’re a spirit.
I’m a super hero but you’re just a stronger super villain,
the best team in the league with you, I can’t win.
Heartbeat won’t die, my love’s what we can see.
So let me throw again what I still believe,
Baby you’re the finest demon that I’ve ever seen. “

I am so blindfolded by my new-found obsession that I was able to get past the gag reflex that wreck of a MV  is provoking me at every watch. The dance shots are ok ( he is, after all, a very talented dancer ), especially the slow-mo shot at 2:32 is a beautiful touch but any part that includes the actual she-demon look like taken from Drakula 5. ( I have no idea if this movie was ever made but if you were to ask me, aside from the fact that Santa and Dracula never really existed, any movie that tackles this subject is

a complete waste of money and lack of talent ). I mean, I like the actual skinship between her Evil Highness and Jay but seriously now, she seems as if she’s weighing a tone if you were to  look at Jay’s tormented appearance while she’s sliding over his bare chest…bare chest...chocolate abs…mmmm. And don’t even get me started on those gruesome Caspers that fluster around her. All in all things come to a cute NG ending and I’m happy to know that even he doesn’t take this MV that serious. Final rating : 8.6/10 Great job, Jay !


Kim Jae Seok – of the Wanted (album review)

This is the link for My Love(그녀의 매력), it was hard to find decent YT videos featuring the songs.  Wanted‘s album will be presented in another post because firstly I’d like to present to you Kim Jae Seok, one of the group’s3 (or was it 4??) voices. Ballad artists can be found a dozen a buck, the only ones that do manage to differentiate themselves are the ones that bring forth good quality composition, the key element that makes an album a good album. Or a great one. Jae Seok’s album is a great one, with interesting choices of songs, with a relaxed sound, good vocals and the overall impression of a pretentious well done project. It’s a clean-cut ballad album that manages not only not to bore the listener, but more, to make a lasting impression. Kim Jae Seok isn’t a fresh face in the world of kpop, but he’s one of the few courageous enough to take on the dangerous task of carrying an album entirely alone. No featurings of any kind. It may be because nobody really likes him, but no, I think it was very smart of him to do so. This way he manages to shine all the way through. This is the link for 2 Years ( original title 2년만에 ) I of course have my favourites : My Love, You Were Glowing, For You and 2 Years. He does remind me of Wheesung only enough to make me think of him like belonging to the same league. The greatness of this album, and of any impressive album in general, is the fact that it has no black spots. All of the songs are at least enjoyable and they made me to listen to the entire album for 3 times in a row since I started writing this review. ( Yes, I’m one of those slow writers…) Final rating : 9/10

Jo Sung Mo – Meet Brave (album review)

Jo Sung Mo was already one of my favourite Korean singers but after watching his live performance of I Want To Cheat On You on Music Bank I was blown away mostly by his dandy look, but also by his sincerity. Tell a girl she’s not the only one then be ready for the violent consequences. Do it through a rock song, wrap it in pure manly attitude and give her this gesture, then still prepare for some violence, but in the intimacy of your bedroom.
I Want To… is greatest when performed live. I love the manipulation of the vocals and the heavy use of electric guitars.

The Evening Passes counterbalances perfectly the aggressiveness of the first track. I am actually so infatuated with the sexyness in his voice that I’m more than willing to get past the fact that the songs don’t really impress me and give the mini album a good listen. I smoothly get pass Increasingly and get to my favourite track ( besides I Want To ), Why Do We. It may not sound so great the first time you hear but do me a favour and put it on repeat for a few times. You will know what I mean.

U&Me, the last track, is a electronic dance track  that comes as a perfect ending to a mini album which, to put it in a nutshell : feels like a soft breeze. ( Mona, you reap poetic talent ! ) Really now, it’s his voice that’s so different I get very confused. Do I like the songs because he’s the singer or I only enjoy them because of his voice ? Does it really matter if it’s one way or the other ? I think not.
Final rating : 8.5/10

Park Jung Min – ( album review )

Like Jung Min is falling...

I’m a sucker for any song that incorporates whistles. Call it a fetish of mine, call it anyway you want, but when done properly it does give a certain charm to any kind of melody. Or is that just me and that sick mind of mine. Regardless of all this cheap talk the first track on Park Jung Min‘s solo album, Like tears are falling…, could have been an inch more playful. On the other hand, the second track, Go Go, has exactly that playfulness I needed to hear. I prefer it to Not Alone, not because the latter one is a worse song, but because it fits him better. It embraces beautifully his high pitched voice with a powerful rock’n’roll sound.

Not Alone might be a bit too much to handle for Jung Min. It yearns for a powerful voice but at the same time, correlating it to the rest of the album’s songs I think it manages to be well incorporated. It is a long time since I last heard such a marching tune inside a pop song so I find it to be an original touch.

The ballad is weak, both in the vocal part and in composition. With the last track, Everyday is Christmas, Jung Min throws in the towel and places his best soft vocals on a blues track. The sax saved the song and the ending of this chic mini album. I really am pleasantly surprised by Jung Min. His was the best album out of all of the SS501’s boys solo releases.
Final rating : 7.5/10


Outsider – Loner

Wiki calls him a speed rapper. I gather up all of my abdominal strength and try to rap this the fastest way that I can : when you are

Minho is amazed of Outsider's rapping skills

Minho is amazed of Outsider's rapping skills

able to shoot 17 syllables per second without causing your diaphragm to snap, I say you really deserve a lot of praise and a place in kpop’s mainstream zone. But Outsider remains an outsider even in the korean music industry. I suspect it’s because he is secretly a very shy boy.

What’s more remarkable than his rapping skills is the fact that he incorporates classical music in his samplings. It is very hard to make it sound ok when combined with a pop melody, even harder to make art out of rap. I’m not saying that Outsider is that good of a rapper, but he is indeed a very good one. At least he has the technique and some raw talent, but there are many gaps in his music style.

He must learn not to make excesses. We all know he can do it, the 17 syllables thingie, but sometimes he tries too hard. Like in the case of Hero. It’s tiresome both for him and the listener. I have the impression that he is given the advice by the producers to try to promote singles that show of his special talent in the obvious detriment of musical quality. Loner is ok, but, like I said, Hero it’s too much.

I really like the MV for Loner. The best a director can do is to separate the singer from the plot. You need actors to express in a professional way the angst and suffering a love triangle can create. Let the actor suffer from an unrequited love and let Outsider chill in a fancy car. The only thing that’s disturbing is that shot in which you can see the car and Outsider in it through the open door of the apartment in which the actor is agonising. The T-Rex’s angry look through the rear window in Jurassic Park pops up in my head immediately.
Final rating : 8/10 ( because I actually am a fan of his )

Lee Min-Ki – No Kidding (album review)

I can’t say I fell in love with Min-ki’s acting in the 2 movies and 1 kdrama I saw him in. There is some potential but it’s hidden behind his awkwardness shell. Maybe his comfort zone is the music scene where he made a modest but notable debut last year with his first album : No Kidding.

He’s one of the few actors turned singers that sing for the love of singing, and also get paid to do so. The problem is that he lacks basic vocal skills. This way it was hard for me to take him seriously after listening to Eternal Summer, the main track of the album. He is struggling to vocaly sustain the melodies. Obviously, having a nice soft vocal timbre isn’t enough to save the singing but somehow, after listening to all of the songs, he manages to work things out in an interesting way. I had to give it some thought before realising that the secret lies in the composition of the songs. They suit him like a glove adding more layers to his already charismatic alien looks.

Taken individually the songs fail to impress, except maybe Dreaming or Tonite, Tonite. As an album, No Kidding has elements of disco, trance, electro-pop, funk and rock, which combined create a psychedelic mix that might be the perfect soundtrack for a chill session.
As I said before, Dreaming and Tonite, Tonite are the highlights of this album, Play My Way features a playful guitar and I would have shortened the awfully long Eternal Summer and make it stronger by adding a more powerful beat to it. Both versions of JouJou are equally horrendous but work well with the overall pattern of the album.
Final rating : 6.5/10

He think this album is kindof ok.

Se7en – Baby, I Like You Like

( The only video of this remix I could find, from what I know this version exist on the 747 album )

I can’t say I dig the copying of the American blockbuster’s title, but Se7en is a guy I like. I like him so much that I am willing to get over the fact that he comes from the label that gave us Big Bang and 2ne1, some of the most unlikable appearances in kpop. This is me at my highest level of subjectivity. Bear with me, I’ll someday explain to you why there is so much animosity on square feet between me and YG.
Getting back to Se7en I have tostart by saying that I am oh, so glad that he started singing at the beginning of the decade. It was my favourite era in the history of pop in general. All singles had a certain je ne sais quoi that inspired relaxation. Like laying back and simply enjoying the feel good message of the track kind of relaxation. Sadly, this is no longer found in today’s pop. All the electro grew up to be like a hard to handle adolescent and things got so out of hand that autotune became a substitute for instrumentals. Of course, autotune was given birth around that time but back then it was used with extra care and the impact of it was mainly positive. Take Believe from Cher as an example. It still is considered one of the best pop songs of all time because it is innovative and timeless. Trends may come and go in pop music but every now and then there are some songs that go beyond the tests of time. There are those songs that have the melody that stands out, making the rest of the package to come in second.
After all this useless talk I should return to the actual subject of the post. My favourite track in the whole world from Se7en is : Baby, I like you like that. But the remix that’s upgraded with bits from Baby, U and has a more electric sound. If you get past the horrible adlib copied from Hot in Here by Nelly,and by this time you would have gotten used to the minimalistic beat, you will most certainly get surprised by the beauty of the melody. But even more surprisingly, you will adore the catchy melody.
Anytime I seem to have a strong crush on a track, the first thing that comes into my mind is : after how many days of keeping it on repeat will I get enough of it? Because once I’ve gotten past that threshold, any intention of going back and listen to it again will be a fruitless effort. Well, in the case of Baby, I like…, I can openly state that I have found the hidden jewel in the palace. I have hit the jackpot. I have rubbed the lamp the right way. Call it anyway you like it, I’m so infatuated with liking this song that I can’t go on writing this review.
Final rating: 9.7/10. ( I seem to have kept some trace of sanity, after all)