I like the fact that pop music is based on a single premise : appeal to as many people as possible. Pop is for the grand masses, it is supposed to sell better than any other music genre and, sometimes, to be more superficial too. Not always. It is hard to juggle with a good rock song and try to add to it influences from other genres. What’s even harder is to make a pop song sound as if it were a rock one. Well, I don’t know about others, but to me CN Blue isn’t a rock band. I couldn’t care less about their indie background and the rest of the legends that surround them. Other than a good sense in mixing some bits of melodies I see nothing here. Nothing. At ALL. It takes a whole lot more to impress the rock chick in me. As thin the line between love and hate is, the thicker the one between rock and pop is.
Getting back to my kpop review, well, I like CN Blue. Gotcha, ha? They’re fresh, they’re talented, they use instruments, well, I guess only on recording studios and concerts because I have yet to see one plugged guitar or drum in a live tv performance and they write their own songs. Which is more than all of SM and JYP artists put together are capable of doing. Except IU, but I’m not so sure about IU being under JYP. Oh, and that mock of a rock band, Trax. Yes, that one too. Anyway, CN Blue manage to impress me as kpop artists, but even from this point of view things don’t look as shiny on close-ups as they do from afar.
Let’s take a closer look at Bluetorry. It’s a plethora of western influences, from Maroon 5 to Arctic Monkeys ( hmm, alternative isn’t really my area of expertise, I’m more into progressive and stuff ) and there’s definitely a bunch of good ideas that stand out, however they’re inconstant with their compositions. I’m a Loner is 5 songs in 1, but that’s exactly its appeal and it is a hell of a good song. The different tunes blend together beautifully and the rappers/backing vocals manage to keep up with Yong Hwa’s strong vocals, complementing his parts.
The same thing goes for Love Revolution, another fun listening experience. The guitar riff might not be as original as they would like it to be, yet it does the trick to bring more color to the song. Love Revolution’s greatness lies in the fact that it manages to introduce you into that vibrant concert atmosphere. You can even hear in the background some screaming and clapping as if it were recorded from a live performance. Or as if a pack of Yong Hwa’s groupies were gushing inside the recording room. A nice touch, nonetheless.
Y, why is bad. 3rd-rate-American-garage-band bad. They manage to ruin it even more by getting the rapper/rappers drunk at first and then telling them do deliver a solo. What happened to all the energy from before?
I know, they were keeping themselves for the next track on the list, Now or Ever which is a failed attempt to sound an inch more aggressive, but a nice sing-along song.
I’ll Forget You is indeed a nice ballad, I love the instrumental part, all the instruments can be clearly heard, but I’m not so sure about the melody. It does sound a bit too bland for my taste.
In the end all I can say is that I do prefer their previous Japanese releases to the total disappointment First Step it was for me. And more than everything I like Love Revolution which I think still remains their best track.
Final rating : 8.3/10