Albums- U-Kiss, CNBlue & Big Bang

It has been really busy on the K Pop scene with the release of a few major albums. Out of the many singles, mini albums and albums released, there were 3 that got me interested.

Now I’m no music critic and I can’t really tell the difference between rock and metal unless it’s the physical objects. I am just an average consumer who happened to like music and not necessarily restricted to K Pop. But it is people like me whom the artistes must convinced that I should part with my hard earned money to buy that little round disc of theirs. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the following 3 albums, of which two surprised me.

U Kiss

 

Bran New Kiss

I will be frank (at the risk of being chopped and cooked for lunch by all the Kissmes), I never really liked U-Kiss, or rather, I never really liked most of their songs (*Tiffany ducks under her chair for cover*). Most of their were songs were loud or louder. But it wasn’t just that. There were plenty of loud songs that I did like. No, it was just that none of the songs ‘spoke’ to me..if you know what I mean.

Last year, I covered The Kings of Freedom concert and unfortunately, it wasn’t a totally positive impression- first being over an hour late for the press conference and then what sounded suspiciously like lip-synching for one of the song at the concert. (although Alexander did explain later that they had problems with the microphone….)

Earlier this year, there was a major shake-up within the group as NH Media changed 2 members of the group. Alexander and Kibum left and were replaced by Hoon and AJ (formerly from Paran). Needless to say, there was a huge uproar in the fandom (strange that nobody bats an eyelid when Jewelry changes its members almost regularly). Anyway, they came out with a new album last month. It took me awhile before I checked out their album because I was expecting more of the same.

But when I watched their title track mv- 0330, I was very pleasantly surprised. In fact I would say I liked it. I really do. I think there is a sense of maturity in the song and their singing and it showed the individual members’ singing ability as well (not that I know who is who…^^  ) . They were no longer loud just for the sake of being loud.

But what really impressed me was this particular video clip that I found….

With the music removed, I can hear their voices clearly and though there are a few slip-ups here and there, it convinced me that these boys can sing and sing well if given the right song. I can even cautiously say I find the rest of the album ok too. Whilst I can’t say yet that I’ve become their fan, I will say that I will keep a lookout for their future development and new album.

CNBlue

CNBlue

They became a instant sensation when they broke into the scene in 2009, with their ‘indie rock style’. Their song, ‘I’m a Loner’ was one of the most widely played song everywhere. When they performed their showcase here in Singapore last year, I walked away feeling totally satisfied with the performance except for the fact that it was too short. And so, it was with much anticipation that I (and the rest of the 100,000 fans) looked forward to their latest album.

The latest album, First Step did not fail to deliver the right songs but this time it didn’t made as much impression on me as it did for the previous 2 mini albums- Bluetory and Bluelove.

I still like the album but there wasn’t a ‘wow!’ factor. Hmmm…maybe it was a case of new album but same style? Or the songs didn’t beckon to me as much? I’m not sure. Of all the songs in the album, I like the song, ‘Imagine’ most. It had that same feel as the song, ‘Love Light’ in the second mini album, Bluelove.

I love this version alot…especially the bongo-like drum part.

Back to song, Ímagaine’, the song gives me a Spring-like feel…where everything is new and bright. The song (lyrics by Jung Yong Hwa) is about this guy imagining being with the girl that he likes. Sweet and romantic without being overly sachrine. Actually it brings a smile to my face when I listen to it. Perfect when one needs a lift and we all need a lift every now and then. ^^

The first time I saw you, it felt like a dream

Because of your smile that is pretty like an angel

How would it feel if you were to be my love?

Just imagining it makes me happy.

Translation credit: thejonasbrothersno1f

Big Bang

Big Bang

I have to make another confession too. I’m not a fan of Big Bang. Well, actually you will find that I’m not a fan of many of the boy bands, the majority of which end up looking very much like each other…from the songs they sing to the clothes they wear to the dance steps, even though most of them are eye candies.

Almost everyone I know was waiting eagerly and impatiently for the release of their mini album. I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. ^^ When I finally did get around to listen to it… I was impressed by their songs, their style and the whole production.

Now most people like the song ‘Tonight’, which is their main title track. I like it for the fact that they aren’t like most of the cookie-cutter songs by so many of the boy bands- it was not formulaic. It was a dance track that I could actually listen to and enjoy.

But my favourite is ‘What is Right’. I really find the beat addictive. In fact, the first time I listened to it, I was on the train and I found myself tapping my away immediately. ^^

I guess their electic style of dressing is also reflected in their songs- individual and yet cohesive as a group. Big Bang has just released a repackaged limited edition of this album, consisting of 3 new songs. I haven’t had a chance to listen to the new songs properly so I can’t commet BUT it doesn’t have ‘What is Right’ on the repackaged album. 🙁

Bohwal

In my current obsession with all things No Min Woo, I took a quick look at his 2010 drama, Rock! Rock! Rock! I haven’t finished watching it so I shan’t do any reviews here. Anyway, No Min Woo plays the role of Kim Tae Won of the rock band Boohwal.

Now, seeing as the band was way before all the idol bands got started and also way before I even know where Korea is, I would have no reason to know the band. But it seems I do know them… somehow.

I didn’t know that lee Seung Chul, a singer with a voice that I respect was actually part of this band before he went solo. Wow! And I even recognise Kim Tae Won. Seeing as how I fail to recognise most of the singers/ actors, it was a miracle. But then again, with his distinctive look and style, perhaps it should be not be surprising that I can recognise him. But from where though? He’s not in any dramas/ movies that I know. Hmmm…. mysterious.

Now the next part was even more intriquing. I found out that one of the most famous song that Lee Seung Chul sang together with Boohwal in their come back in 2002 was one that I’m familiar with. Again, the mystery is…where oh where did I hear the song? I tried searching for mvs, dramas etc but to no avail. It did appear in the drama, Queen of Housewives

but I didn’t watch that drama!!!

I can only conclude that it’s such a beautiful song that everyone (Lee Seung Gi, SG Wannabe, K.Will) has sang it at one time or other.

It’s been haunting me since the weekend and everytime I listen to it, it gives me goosbumps. Composed by Kim Tae Won, it made me think…who make a song, THE song…the composer or the singer.

Without Lee Seung Chul, the song would not have that flavour brought about by his voice and yet, without the composer, Kim Tae Won, the song would not exist the way it is. I think somewhere towards the end of the drama, they both sort of acknowledged that they had their own strengths in their areas.

There has been much talk about whether Hallyu or K Pop will survive. It will if they can produce songs like the ones I mentioned above and especially the one below. At the end of the day, what counts is good music that lasts..whether K Pop or Asian Pop or Chinese Pop. Now, I think I got to go search for Boohwal’s previous albums.

Here’s the clip of that 2002 concert with Boohwal and Lee Seung Chul. Enjoy!

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