Kurayami Monogatari

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U-KISS – MONO SCANDAL September 19, 2014

Filed under: U-KISS — solarblade @ 4:21 am

monoscandal

Track Listing

  1. Kkiburijima
  2. Hana
  3. Dasi Naegero Wajwo
  4. Neo Eopsineun Andwae
  5. Kkiburijima (INST.)
  6. Dasi Naegero Wajwo (INST.)

1. Kkiburijima

So the leading track on the mini, Don’t Flirt (the title’s meaning) is a really cool slow jam and has a cool, laidback groove to it that really emcompasses such a sexy and mature style that almost makes me think I’m listening to porn music XD.  I really dug it though and all of the members sounded good!  Though I will have to mention Jun.  As the newest member of U-KISS (and evidently replaced Dongho and currently AJ), his voice is really deep and his raps are smooth like syrup.  Though 17 and in a risque video like this?  Wow!  I wouldn’t say this is their best leading song (but I’m seriously waiting for an epic dance track from them), this was a killer song and definitely shows off their cool sides.

2. Hana

So the next track is a lowkey R&B ballad, Hana and I really liked how every member got one significant section to sing which is pretty cool.  Even Jun and Eli had their own rapping parts (Interesting to note that Jun did his in all English).  I mean arrangement-wise, this is nothing new, but I felt like this managed to bring the vocalists together as a group and they sung beautifully.

3. Dasi Naegero Wajwo

The same can be said about the third minus the R&B elements.  Another ballad that features a LOT of solos between the members and we get to hear Jun sing and he’s impressive here.  Otherwise it’s more of the same vocals and style which didn’t do too much.  Although, Kiseop was really underutilized here…that sucks bunches.

4. Neo Eopsineun Andwae

The final track begins with a busy signal from a phone before it kind of turns into this mid-tempo R&B track, but not as sensual as the leading track.  There’s something nice about this song actually and I think it was just how smooth and fitting everyone was in the song.  Still bummed at Kiseop only lines are repeats of one another, but over it’s a really smooth song and Hoon can really do these songs justice.

 

 

Caught up finally!  Anyways, after the news between losing AJ once again to college and the addition of Jun, we finally got out first taste with MONO SCANDAL and overall, this release was missing some punch.  I mean Kkiburijima was definitely an upgrade over the releases for “MOMENTS” but still not the badasses I was kind of expecting.  The remainder of the mini-album just kind of slid by me without much of an impact.  As for Jun, he fits in quite nicely in the group and his rapping is cool and his singing impressive.  Makes me wonder how they’ll sound once AJ returns.

 

U-KISS – MOMENTS

Filed under: U-KISS — solarblade @ 3:52 am

moments

Track Listing

  1. Intro
  2. Mysterious Lady
  3. Nae Yeojaya
  4. Bulkkeo
  5. Hey Man
  6. Jamkkanman
  7. Nae Yaojaya (Inst.)

1. Intro

So U-KISS opens their 8th mini-album with a minute intro and it has spoken monologue from AJ and then some yeah-yeah-yeahs and some extra ad-libbing…talk about some lead-in though at the end AJ says ~she’s mine~ which is the promo song.

2. Mysterious Lady

Funny though that instead it begins with Mysterious Lady and it’s a pretty sultry tune for the group that begins with a LOT of Eli in the track before the remaining guys come in with the first verse.  Of course, it is still a fest of the main singers but I am happy to see some good things here otherwise.  The groove is pretty damn smooth and the guys just seem to fit in the arrangement quite awesomely.

3. Nae Yeojaya

Now we come to the song that promoted the mini and boy did it throw me off.  I’m very used to the group doing K-pop/EDM so hearing She’s Mine is a wake up call!  It’s definitely quite hip-hop as it goes and it really fits home for Eli and AJ who are all over this song with great rapping skills present.  I also love how Kiseop is just getting equal lines amongst Kevin, Soohyun, and Hoon…he might not have the range Kevin does nor the power the latter two have, but he has a really nice tone to it.  Once the singers go, the tune does turn R&B, it definitely has flavor and is pretty unique and a nice change of pace from the group’s previous leading tunes.

4. Bulkkeo

Moving onto the new songs of the mini, Bulkkeo lightens up by going back to something their fans are a little more well-known for.  I am loving the piano melody of the tune and it sounds fun to listen to.  I do think it’s kind of charming of a song and it’s interesting to hear some of the singers sing in a different tone than normal (Eli sounds so different, like “Bingeul Bingeul”-like voice).  Fun little song for sure!

5. Hey Man

Kevin, please do not start the song like the way you did for Hey Man.  Actually the brighter dance feel is nice and kind of reminds me of the songs from “COLLAGE” which is pretty cool.  Of course we have the usual things going on vocally which isn’t surprised, but I do enjoy the Keven/Soohyun lead here.  Not much else to say here, but it’s not a bad track.

6. Jamkkanman

Ending the mini, Jamkkanman ends things off with a more sexy song which is a nice way to end things, but I felt of the songs on the mini, this could’ve been a leading track since I seem to remember it more than I did with “Mysterious Lady”.  It has a lot of personality and the vocals are pretty strong throughout.

 

 

As their first Korean release without Dongho, MOMENTS was a step further away from their K-pop/EDM sound to a more interesting and kind of back to basics sound with being all R&B and sultry for most of the tracks with an interesting amount of Eli and AJ found throughout.  Actually, they really were the most memorable members on this release, I found that a lot of their rapping had energy and punch moreso than the other 4 guys singing.  I also am noticing Kiseop is finally getting somewhere in the group (most of the time, he’s the member that really doesn’t contribute much in lines in songs, at least since he joined).  Though what’s this? AJ is going back on hiatus and auditions for a new member….WHAT IS GOING ON U-KISS?!?

 

U-KISS – COLLAGE

Filed under: U-KISS — solarblade @ 3:17 am

collage

Track Listing

  1. Step By Step (Intro)
  2. Standing Still
  3. Sumdo Mos Swieo
  4. Missing You
  5. Nappeuda
  6. Apeumboda Apeun
  7. My Reason
  8. Party All The Time
  9. Sweety Girl
  10. Saranghanikka
  11. Aperumboda Apeun (Inst.)
  12. Standing Still (Inst.)

1. Step By Step (Intro)

So the album begins with a pretty interesting introduction that starts like an EDM song but quickly fuses it with dubstep midway through this minute-long track…For being a precursor to the next track, it doesn’t make too much sense to me since well it’s a whole different feel which bothered me somewhat.  Oh well lol.

2. Standing Still

I know I’m late reviewing this but I decided to kick throw their Korean releases.  As the promotional track for the album, Standing Still is still a pretty cool song to come back to because it showed a really solid U-KISS performing together and they seriously gelled as a group for this one.  All the singers sound amazing and suited the serious arrangement as well.  Plus it’s been a while since the 7 of them were together so this was amazing to witness.  However, this would become the last video Dongho would be included.  Just really bummed he left, but this song is still such a great song and one of the best tracks that came out in 2013.

3. Sumdo Mos Swieo

Moving onto the rest of the album, Sumdo Mos Swieo follows with a similar dance/R&B mix with Hoon/Kevin leading the track and for being a rather deeper song, I’m really digging the atmosphere of the song for sure.  Though I did get lulled into Kevin’s hooks in the chorus for sure which is surprising to me xD.  I do like hearing the other members contributing to the song too, a lot of nice lines.  Good song overall!

4. Missing You

I really love the synth arpeggios that open the next track alongside Kevin (really takes the poster boy feel in U-KISS huh).  The song has a feeling that it wants to be a ballad, but caters more to the dance-side of things which gives it a nice, upbeat feel to it.  I LOVE that Kiseop has pretty lengthy parts going on alongside the trio of typical leads: Soohyun, Kevin, and Hoon.  It’s a really chill song and something I can imagine listening to a lot in the future!

5. Nappeuda

No we’ve come to a change on the album from the dance tracks to something more laidback and heavy on their R&B style.  Nappeuda is a pretty safe song for U-KISS to pull, really lets their vocals take charge and give a nice performance, without going under or over the borders.  I mean it’s still a lot of the 3 mains which is eh, but the remainder of the group have lines here and there.  It’s a pleasant song overall, but nothing quite as memorable as the previous three tracks.

6. Apeumboda Apeun

So the next track is the first of the split groupings, the first being between the two (IMO strongest vocalists, Soohyun and Hoon).  It feels like I’ve already encounter a duet between the two before and it doesn’t help that it’s a ballad which also kind makes me roll my eyes because everyone knows it’s going to be a vocally impressive track.  I’m not fond of ballads as it is, so this isn’t much for me to really get behind.  Like I said though the two guys sound REALLY good here so that might impress their fans a lot!

7. My Reason

So, throw in an acoustic and you got Kevin’s solo.  It really is that basic and really forgetful moreso IMO.  Though Kevin sounds good too and really threw me off when I heard a woman doing some monologuing.  I was surprised to see some lines overlapping making it feel like Kevin had someone else singing too…but that wasn’t the case.

8. Party All The Time

Finally we have a duet between Eli & AJ (wait Kiseop and Dongho didn’t get one?!?) and luckily it’s not a generic ballad!  As the group’s rappers, the song was going to be something upbeat and focused on the raps.  Well, it does for Eli, not AJ interestingly enough.  I love how much fun this song is and Eli really shows off his skills in a goofy light and there’s even a”Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” reference thrown in.  As for AJ he actually does the singing which surprises me in all the good ways.  I had a lot of fun with this one and my favorite of the split pairings.

9. Sweety Girl

Did they just suddenly become One Direction for this song?  It’s clearly that bubblepop/rock beat that really sets this song off and really feels off on this album.  There’s just a lot of cheesyness going on here, but at least the vocals are still spot on and even though they could’ve had a little more energy (and less sensual) this could’ve been an alright song.  Overall, odd song and a bit chintsey lol.

10. Saranghanikka

Ending the album is Saranghanikka and it seems like it was going full circle because we’re back to dance beats and synths.  I do really enjoy the floaty arrangement quite a bit and the vocals are really pleasant.  As the final song, it’s definitely an appropriate song and really brought our everyone.

Tracks Recommended

  • Standing Still
  • Sumdo Mos Swieo
  • Party All The Time
  • Missing You
  • Saranghanikka

Song of Avoidance

  • My Reason

Yeah, I know I’m late!  COLLAGE taken to account when it was released is a pretty solid album (being their 3rd).  Granted, it is a small tracklist, but I think they did mostly well.  I would’ve loved if they had a Kiseop/Dongho duet since they did with everyone else damnit.  Then again, maybe not because the weakest songs were the ballads here.  Then to find out this was Dongho’s final release just kind of made me think even more that their company really didn’t do too much with Dongho it feels.  Compared to their previous two Korean albums, it is the worst so far…but there was a LOT of good songs from those album sadly.