I’m your man
I’ll be back -Japanese ver.-
Stay with me
Without U -Japanese ver.-
Crazy In Love
100 Nichi Kinenbi
Hands Up -Japanese ver.-
Heartbeat -Japanese ver.-
1. I’m your man
Interesting that the group decided to open the album up with their 2nd A-side released. Compared to the other A-sides, I didn’t exactly feel much for this song initially since it felt like something I’ve known for a long time. It did grow on me after a while but I still consider it the era’s weakest A-side.
2. Ultra Lover
Makes sense that at least the 3rd A-side appears next. I really do find this song so refreshing and the members sound great and the chorus does sound like a Xmas GAP commercial but it’s got a great flow and of course Taecyeon’s rapping is quite strong in the song. It’s a little strange coming after a more serious “I’m your man” to such a light poppy song…strange but still so good!
3. I’ll be back -Japanese ver.-
I kind of wished they didn’t bring the three Japanese remakes onto the album since they all felt dated and kind of basic compared to 2PM’s more recent outings. The first of the three was originally off of “Ultra Lover”. My opinion still stands in which I said the song felt uninspired and kind of light and empty.
4. Stay with me
Only five new tracks on the album (which is alright for a debut album), Stay with me is the first of them and I’m kind of reminded of their Korean stuff with this one. As well, it seems a little underwhelming but does better than “I’ll be back”. I do like the boys’ vocals in the song which is good and all, but I’m still kind of unimpressed at the overall presentation here.
5. Without U -Japanese ver.-
Next up is Without U was off the “I’m your man” single. Now this song was my favorite of the three songs that were redone since it sounds serious and the K-pop dance beats sound just right. I love the deeper voices taking the chorus when compared to Junsu for that and it really adds a darker tone to an already dark song.
6. Crazy In Love
I was hoping the rest of the album would start to pick up and luckily it does, starting with Crazy In Love which has a nice amount of high synths and smooth vocals mixed together under such a K-pop kind of atmosphere. I’m also once again loving the rappers in the song since it gives edge to the song. Even the slow parts was really cool too….hmmm liking this one a lot!
7. 100 Nichi Kinenbi
After 6 tracks of upbeat songs it was coming that the group was going to put out a ballad and 100 Nichi Kinenbi would be that song. Now I wasn’t expecting the ballad to be brighter than some of the other 2PM ballads I’ve heard. It’s a great uplifting kind of ballad actually and the guys sound pretty strong against the strings and other assortment of sounds/instruments.
8. Take off
Of course I’m so happy Take off is on the tracklist because it’s still one of their best songs in their full discograhphy. I’ve said it many times before on other singles that Ao no Exorcist has been producing such amazing songs for both it’s intros and outros. Take off was the first ending theme and it still sounds unique amongst the album since it’s floaty and sooo good. Still the album’s best track right here!
9. Hands Up -Japanese ver.-
Acting as the album’s main promotional tune, Hands Up is the Japanese take on their main track off the last released Korean album. Now I’ve heard the song originally and to be honest it’s a little weird for me and in context is also a bit strange (especially after that light and fluffy “Take off”). I mean most of the song that I can remember is the whole ~put your hands up, put your hands up~ lines that occur a lot. It’s kind of funny to listen to in either language but it shows a different side to the group, I haven’t seen yet and I give brownie point to them for that!
It sounds like a heart machine that opens up Unmei along with the sirens lmao. Out of the new songs on the album, Unmei is actually my favorite of the bunch since it’s a great K-pop track once again. The rapping was a little random, not gonna lie…but it sounds amazing and the strings during the rap was a nice twist! Then again hearing ~unmei~ being repeated over and over is humourous. Strange but awesome song!
11. Heartbeat -Japanese ver.-
Heartbeat has such a funny opening talk line. After that the rapping starts with underlying synths and I’m just kind of lulzing at how wacky the rapping sounds (and surprised at how fast they’re spittin their Japanese words). I think I’ve grown to dislike this song even more though. It’s a strange tune but doesn’t seem to bore and it does have its own identity on the album.
12. Hanarete Itemo
Strange that the group decide to let Junsu get a solo to close the album with Hanarete Itemo. For being a simple piano/strings ballad it’s kind of boring in the arrangement until Junsu leaves his uber deep vocals for something that has a little color in his vocals. The other guys seems to play background support which is cool and all, but this is still Junsu-forward. It’s an alright song and closes the album on a solid note…but I’m no fan of it.
Song of Avoidance
2PM finally releases their Japanese debut and for the most part, REPUBLIC OF 2PM is quite solid for a K-pop group. I will say that most of the Korean reedits kind of sucked on here and probably shouldn’t have been on the album. The other songs show a whole lot of potential for the group though but nothing defeated their debut, “Take off” at all. Hopefully they’ll continue!