Kurayami Monogatari

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Tohoshinki – TREE March 18, 2014

Filed under: Tohoshinki — solarblade @ 7:33 am

tree

Track Listing

  1. I love you -Introduction-
  2. Champion
  3. Breeding Poison
  4. Ai wo Motto
  5. Cheering
  6. Something
  7. Good Days
  8. Hide & Seek
  9. Shinjiru Mama
  10. SCREAM
  11. Crazy Crazy Crazy
  12. OCEAN
  13. TREE OF LIFE
  14. Good-bye for Now
  15. I love you -Full Version- (CD only bonus track)
  16. Very Merry Xmas (CD only bonus track)

1. I love you -Introduction-

Opening the album is of course a simple introduction.  I like that it begins with a lone piano and it sounds pretty enough too.  Yunho is the first to sing and he sounds so pleasant to listen to here.  It’s like a very heartfelt ballad.  Changmin though is more in the back as a melodic boost.  I felt as if the tune should’ve been longer because it was sung so beautifully.  Though luckily for us, we’re gifted with a full version later on in the album.

2. Champion

It just seems so strange to move from an intro like we have and move into a hard-hitting track like Champion.  At least we get a song that seems to give us a bit of a Western / Korean sound to it and I’m not sure where I stand with the song.  With Changmin taking the reins while Yunho lays back a bit, the tune eerily reminds me of a song from their last album, “Y3K” with a MESSY mid-8 section for sure.  Nah, I’m just not into this track at all!

3. Breeding Poison

Moving on from the atrocity, Breeding Poison seemed to try to repeat history again with the same tin beat, but has a more underground hip-hop arrangement.  I do like that it doesn’t turn into a tragic mess and the slower parts sound really nice and the duo has a pretty cool chorus because it starts slow and then grows in speed to the bridge.  Still, I hate that this song shares that hip-hop drum beat…cheap move guys.  Otherwise this is pretty good and pretty short in comparison to most songs on the album.

4. Ai wo Motto

From their last album, my biggest complaint was that their mid-tempo songs were mostly generic and annoying.  It seems they fixed that up as Ai wo Motto comes up.  The duo sound great together and the mix of piano and R&B beats gave the song a nice touch.  With a lack of ballads this era threw out, this was nice to see!  Though I don’t know if it’ll rank high with the group’s best ballads.

5. Cheering

I instantly liked the flow of Cheering when it begun because it has a little guitar riff and a nice pounding beat.  I actually quite enjoyed the tune as a straight up dance/pop track from the duo.  There were times where I felt they were going to make the song hard-hitting, but turns out that it just stayed on a nice medium.  Though, I think I hear Changmin a lot more than I heard Yunho…to be honest, this might’ve just been a solo but Yunho is in the back of Changmin’s singing.  Either way, this song is pretty awesome and one of my early favorites!

6. Something

We finally hit out first old track, which was the secondary A-side of their 4th single released for this album.  Also to note is that Something is Japanese re-edit of the same titled song from “TENSE”.  Like I said in the single review, this track surprised the hell out of me by being something different and as a big band song, I just fell in love with it because it’s fun and it shows with the guys as well.  It’s definitely my favorite amongst the A-sides all-around.  Just a great song for them, even that freeform jazz section was cool!

7. Good Days

Moving on, another change of pace happens and leaving the big band sound to Yunho and acoustic guitar for Good Days.  Of course Changmin is here too, I think…hard to tell.  The song does grow into a sort of mid-tempo rock track but the guitars sound so computerized that it kind of ruins this big moment the chorus is trying to put out.  It’s also a bit long at over 6 minutes as well…Yeah, wasn’t too keen on this one.

8. Hide & Seek

Seemed so random to have thrown “Good Days” in between the A-sides doesn’t it?  When it came out, Hide & Seek was just energy all over and I was kind of surprised but at the same time relieved because it did come out after the mediocre “Very Merry Xmas”.  It’s a pretty cool song on its own merits and definitely stands out on the album.

9. Shinjiru Mama

Oh man, Yunho and Changmin opening our next new track is just sexy and I like how it builds itself starting with a clapping beat and then adding more.  It’s definitely like another “Breeding Poison” with the beats and grittier flow but I’m loving the melodies and the mysterious flow as well…mmph this is a cool song from the group and the duo is just chilling.  Great song!

10. SCREAM

Moving to the 2nd A-side released, SCREAM like the previous track is also a gritty song to its core, but I don’t think it was handled as smoothly as it could have.  I initially liked the song, but the song didn’t feel like much of a song since there was a lot of shouting and not really much singing here.  I don’t know…this was a mess too.

11. Crazy Crazy Crazy

Oh hey a cool funky EDM song next!  It’s got that same funky and cool glow like “Something” had but has more of today’s instrumentation which is pretty cool.  Though my problem is that the pre-chorus to chorus is more than jagged because the tempo instantly changes into a much quicker pace.  I still like the song regardless and the chorus is fun to listen too even if its repetitive lol.  Still an interesting song from the duo.

12. OCEAN

For a song that I definitely didn’t think was going to be as EDM as it was (honestly I was thinking it’d be more like “We Are!” or “Box in the ship”).  Though the song does bring summer vibes but has a more electro-vibe to it and I like the sound of it.  It’s a little basic, but I really did end up loving the song and is great for the season!

13. TREE OF LIFE

As the promotional track for the album, TREE OF LIFE was screaming ballad before the PV came out.  It starts off with a fade-in of orchestral instrumentals and some other sounds before piano and a cello join in the fray.  With me being already impressed by “I love you” I was curious to how this could work itself up and this song is another great track for Yunho lol.  Changmin and ballads don’t seem to gel well, but you can tell he’s trying to impress.  I really liked how this ballad turned out and definitely didn’t feel lacking at all.  Great choice as a lead-in!

14. Good-bye for Now

As the final track for most editions, Good-bye for Now closes things up in a rather happy-go-lucky way.  It does come off as a tad bit cheesy as the mood is poppy and the ad-libbing is just wrong to listen to XD.  I kind of figured they’d close it out, but after “TREE OF LIFE” it is a little too silly to be plugging this at the end of the album (maybe after “OCEAN”).

15. I love you -Full Version-

As bonuses we get two extra songs.  The first is just an extended version of the introduction and thank god they were smart enough to throw this on because that was a pretty sweet intro.  Of course it’s the same but with Changmin on the second verse…so now it feels complete and a total winner.  Not as extravagant as “TREE OF LIFE” but it’s another strong ballad!

16. Very Merry Xmas

Just like how “TIME” made “Winter Rose” a bonus track, TREE makes the ubiquitous Winter single the bonus track once again.  Sadly, unlike the aforementioned tune, Very Merry Xmas was so boring and generic, the sheer fact it made the album cut baffles me.  I mean it’s a mid-tempo so it’s not as heart-warming nor it did leave much emotional value towards it…phoned it in almost lol.

Track Listing

  • OCEAN
  • TREE OF LIFE
  • Cheering
  • Something
  • Shinjiru Mama

Song of Avoidance

  • Champion

After being slighlty disappointed in TIME, I wasn’t exactly the most enthusiastic getting into TREE (and 3rd album with a 4-lettered T-word….what’s next TAKE….TACO….TUNA???  Yeah, I don’t know but TREE was a pretty damn good album and fixed a lot of the problems I had dealing with their previous album.  Though there are some stinkers here…overall I was pleased with this album!

 

2 Responses to “Tohoshinki – TREE”

  1. Dkd Says:

    Thanks for the review. I’m favoring TIME a lot more than this. TREE is so random. You must check on Suri Suri their recent Korean repackage album, so catchy 🙂


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