Kurayami Monogatari

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2PM – LEGEND OF 2PM July 12, 2014

Filed under: 2PM — solarblade @ 2:17 am

legendof2pm

Track Listing

  1. The LEGEND
  2. Masquerade (Album ver.)
  3. Beautiful
  4. So Bad
  5. ONLY ONE
  6. Missing You
  7. Want you back
  8. This Is Love
  9. Kimi ga Ireba
  10. I’ll Be OK
  11. SOS Man
  12. Breakthrough
  13. Forever
  14. Hanareteite mo LIVE ver. (Regular and PLAYBUTTON only)

CD 2

  1. Sexy Lady
  2. SAY YES
  3. Kimi Dake ni
  4. Oh
  5. TRUE SWAG
  6. Let It Rain

1. The LEGEND

The group opens up their sophomore album with a spoken introduction.  It sounds really epic and sets the album for some epic songs.  I like whoever is singing in this one (Junsu?).  Either way, for a minute long intro..it was cool!

2. Masquerade (Album ver.)

A new version of the 2nd A-side and final release before the album.  A new intro is in place and some extra sounds were thrown in Masquerade which was a song I wasn’t totally into.  It does sounds a smidge better than its original which is more or less a safe bet that they wanted to this the whole time.  I still don’t like the auto-tune in this song, but hey what can I do, the rapping section was also a bit meh.  Ehh.

3. Beautiful

At least we got the original version of the other A-side released for the album.  Beautiful was just exactly what you think it is.  I just love the smarmy sound of the tune and all the members just sound good with a deeper arrangement.  It’s definitely one of my favorite 2PM songs behind “Take off”.

4. So Bad

Moving onto some new songs, So Bad comes first and has a guitar-laced mix with beats which is always a nice thing.  It’s funny because this song sounds one of those flirtatious song because the chorus is mostly in English which is a nice decision.  There’s something ridiculously catchy about the song though…Just a pretty good song!

5. ONLY ONE

It seems like the songs seem to get less K-pop and more something else but I like it because it gives us an interesting side to 2PM’s sound.  While it’s not as easy to dance compared to the previous tracks, it has its moments, but I’m loving the little things about this tune like the layering and distant guitar tricks.  I enjoyed this one!

6. Missing You

So we move into a mid-tempo R&B song now?  Well whatever, I’ll just how this is like.  As this is more of a serious song for the group, Missing You has a more emotive stance.  I do kind of like the chords and buzzing synths that all around the song.  The guys for the most part sounds right at home with this so there’s not much for me to bag on.  It’s a solid slow jam right here!

7. Want you back

Man, are we slowing down further?  I thought 2PM was a dance group for the most part!  Anywho yeah, it’s a slower track when compared to the previous track but it sounds a little more emotive.  I wasn’t expecting the chorus to have been a bit more upbeat.  Though I kind of forgot how this went and just seemed to forget about it sadly.  Just didn’t have that spark as the other tracks had IMO.

8. This Is Love

At least things begin to pickup again with this song.  At first I thought it would’ve been a ballad, but it seems it’s the opposite and has a string-based dance track.  Whoever did the MC-ing in the beginning made it so corny!  It kind of sometimes feel like it wants to be a remix…that interlude before Taecyeon’s rap (and including it) felt so random and unnecessary to listen to lol.  Otherwise the main course is pretty catchy and nice to listen to.

9. Kimi ga Ireba

So both B-sides also made the album cut starting with the one found on “Beautiful”.  Like I said in the single review, Kimi ga Ireba reminds me of my favorite song by them.  It has a nice piano melody and the flighty/airy synths add a nice touch of flow.  Actually it reminds me of both “Beautiful and “Take off” mixed together.  It’s a pretty nifty song overall and I’m happy it made the cut.

10. I’ll Be OK

Acoustic guitar opens up our next song and I wasn’t expecting the album to slow down once again (well at least not until “Forever”).  It’s a simple R&B track with the typical sounds you’d find in one (more Western styled).  The guys’ vocals are really nice to listen to, but they didnt’ really save the song because I was falling asleep to it XD.

11. SOS Man

Waking me up from that slump is SOS Man which a more aggressive arrangement.  It’s one of the group’s darker arranged songs and I quite enjoyed what we got here.  Though I do lulz at how much emphasis they put on ~SOS~…otherwise it’s a pretty cool song but not at the top of the list.

12. Breakthrough

I thought Breakthrough would’ve been like “Kimi ga Ireba” but it kind of shifts somewhere else.  The synths felt heavily J-pop and the flow kept their signature K-pop feel.  I really did enjoy the call and response parts the most, but there’s really not a lot to say about this song that I haven’t said elsewhere on the album.  Good vocals, good sound…etc.

13. Forever

The song that closes out the album is also the B-side from “Masquerade”.  I mean it was real appopriate to end the album with this track because it’s a straight up ballad from the boys.  I still can barely remember the melody of the song more or less so it really left me forgetting this song…but since it is the only song that’s this way (on the first disc) this was an OK way to close it out

14. Hanareteite mo LIVE ver.

So on Regular editions (and PLAYBUTTON versions) it comes with a bonus track which is just a live version of Hanareteite mo (a song from their first album, “REPUBLIC OF 2PM”).  I mean it’s nothing totally special since it’s a ballad as well.  It sounds nice and the group together sounds beautiful so really…I don’t know why it had to be a bonus track…it’s OK.

CD2

1. Sexy Lady

So the 2nd Disc features 6 songs (each one sung solo by the members).  First up is Wooyoung and his song, Sexy Lady.  I like the buzzing synths with the pulsing beat.  It gives a rather sexy song.  Wooyoung’s voice is nice if not a bit nasal in some parts.  It’s an OK song, nothing that’ll stand out from the album.

2. SAY YES

Junho gets the next track with SAY YES and I almost thought it was going to be a full out dance track, but of the six…this one came out of nowhere because this song is a track that features electric guitar prominently.  While I don’t think his voice fits the style here, he tried and most of the time he sounded great!  One of the better solos.

3. Kimi Dake ni

Taecyeon gets Kimi Dake ni and it’s a little more urbanized because as we all know, Tae is the rapper of the group so he gets a song that shows off his skills in rapping as well as his deep singing voice.  It’s a pretty nifty track and it has a lot of attitude which I always love from him…better than Junho’s solo.

4. Oh

I’ve always thought Chansung had the oddest vocals in 2PM so hearing him have a solo made me slightly worry.  As a down-tempo R&B track, it really didn’t stand out to me and the chorus felt somewhat lacking as well.  Just meh here.

5. TRUE SWAG

Jun.K is up next and like Taecyeon’s has a bit more of a hip-hop sound but honestly this was a little more meh.  I just didn’t exactly care for most of what this song was about. Also, Jun’s vocals didn’t seem to work and felt like some generic rapper going at it (though the song itself was pretty generic too).  Just no!

6. Let It Rain

Finally, we have Nickkhun’s song (and let’s be honest…he’s been in trouble in recent times).  What I wasn’t expecting is that this song is entirely in English (though “TRUE SWAG” was too).  I was surprised that Nick’s vocals are rather good and he sounds VERY fluent in the language (well DUH! He’s from California what do you expect?).  Great ballad, although it ends rather abruptly doesn’t it?

Tracks Recommended

  • Beautiful
  • Kimi ga Ireba
  • ONLY ONE
  • Let It Rain
  • Kimi Dake ni

Song of Avoidance

  • TRUE SWAG

(This review was in incubation since March last year.  I know…bad holding out right?).  2PM’s sophomore album was definitely a stronger release over their debut by a good margin.  It started off amazing but did drift apart in the later half which is normal for me.  They sound amazing as usual and their music has been getting better overall.  The second disc was a nice treat with solos.  Although TRUE SWAG is just ick!  I wonder how they sound on their next album!

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2PM – Masquerade November 21, 2012

Filed under: 2PM — solarblade @ 7:16 pm

Track Listing

  1. Masquerade
  2. Forever
  3. Masquerade (ArmySlick’s bavtronic mix)
  4. Masquerade (Instrumental)
  5. Forever (Instrumental)

1. Masquerade

I was pretty much at this point waiting to get through this single and it finally has come out.  I found myself really interested in Masquerade since it has the group singing smoothly and quite strongly but I also found myself questioning the need for auto-tune for such a song (especially the chorus where it really wasn’t needed).  Plus a small nitpick, I hated the way they said the title…just not good.  I don’t know but I feel like this song qould’ve been much better with no auto-tune (the guys are great singers as it is, DON’T RUIN IT).

2. Forever

From when the single was announced we were supposed to have a different B-side but since their troubles happened, the single changed and we instead got Forever which is actually a ballad.  Since I’ve learned that 2PM was more lenient on dance tracks, this song felt a bit strange and more suited for their brother group, 2AM.  It’s not bad of a ballad, but it’s one of those if you’ve heard it once you’ve heard them all kind of ballads.  Your normal, dramatic piano/strings ballad…yeah…not really interested here.

3. Masquerade (ArmySlick’s bavtronic mix)

There’s something about Masquerade’s remix seems to fit more to the group than the original mix oddly enough.  I think I really like ArmySlick’s arrangement tons more than I probably should.  Of course the vocals are messed around a bit more with filters thrown around and the auto-tune still present as well.  I actually prefer this over the original.

 

 

For a single that was supposed to come out back in August…yeah AUGUST PEOPLE, this was just not worth the wait.  You can thank Nickkhun for delaying the single as long as it needed to be (which is SOOOO unnecessary in the first place, just release the damn single anyways!).  The single itself is pretty poor IMO.  Masquerade is just a weird song to me and using auto-tune was probably not the smartest of ideas and when the remix does better…there’s something up.  Forever was just you’re normal K-pop ballad…nothing new either…ugh I hope with this small hiatus they can at least put out something better >.>

 

2PM – Beautiful June 18, 2012

Filed under: 2PM — solarblade @ 3:56 am

Track Listing

  1. Beautiful
  2. Kimi ga Ireba
  3. Beautiful (Aqua blu mix) (CD only)
  4. Beautiful (without main vocal)
  5. Kimi ga Ireba (without main vocal)

1. Beautiful

Since the group is considered the upbeat group compared to their brother group 2AM, I’m not surprised I’m more interested in this group.  Beautiful keeps up with it’s dance style that the group has had since the beginning and that’s great to hear it.  It isn’t as forward as “Ultra Lover” was but it’s got good flow and the synths are pretty interesting.  Sometimes I get MBLAQ vibes from the song but it’s still a solid song and all the members sound smooth like velvet in the tune.

2. Kimi ga Ireba

The B-side is probably the nearest I’ve heard that sounds similar to “Take off” since it has breezy synths mixed with piano chords all over.  It’s really pleasant and add the dance beats and it’s so smooth and just flows like the wind for me.  I’m surprised to hear a lot of the guys are singing in a higher pitch which is cool to witness lol.  Really good song but then once it’s over, I feel like it’s too short…still REALLY good B-side from them!

3. Beautiful (Aqua blu mix)

The remix of Beautiful (found only on the CD only) is a bit more dance-friendly but kind of not much of a big change at all really.  I mean it sounds a bit more basic than the original which is kind of weird.  Like this was the original idea before the piano and the deeper synths made the decision changed.  I can’t describe that very well, but it just sounds like it would’ve been the original…since it sounds like it’d be perfect on their Korean releases or on “REPUBLIC OF 2PM”.  It’s a really good remix oddly enough.  Fits the atmosphere quite nice…and the rapping worked ^_^

 

 

2PM begins a new era with a pretty good single in Beautiful.  Since now I know that 2PM is mostly a group that does upbeat stuff, they kind of blended well with what they have in the leading track.  Oddly enough though, I prefer Kimi ga Ireba since it’s really light and flows a lot better than I thought it would but it is short.  The remix also was nice and accentuates the original’s lack of heavy beats.  Good single!

 

2PM – REPUBLIC OF 2PM December 4, 2011

Filed under: 2PM — solarblade @ 9:58 am

Track Listing

  1. I’m your man
  2. Ultra Lover
  3. I’ll be back -Japanese ver.-
  4. Stay with me
  5. Without U -Japanese ver.-
  6. Crazy In Love
  7. 100 Nichi Kinenbi
  8. Take off
  9. Hands Up -Japanese ver.-
  10. Unmei
  11. Heartbeat -Japanese ver.-
  12. Hanarete Itemo

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!

10. Unmei

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.

Tracks Recommended

  • Take off
  • Crazy In Love
  • Unmei
  • Ultra Lover
  • Without U -Japanese ver.-

Song of Avoidance

  • Heartbeat -Japanese ver.-

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!

 

2PM – Ultra Lover November 2, 2011

Filed under: 2PM — solarblade @ 3:18 am

Track Listing

  1. Ultra Lover
  2. I’ll be back -Japanese ver.-
  3. Ultra Lover (without main vocal)
  4. I’ll be back -Japanese ver.- (without main vocal)

1. Ultra Lover

I think the 6-nin group are trying to score again upon how popular “Take off” was with Ultra Lover since it’s more electronic and danceable than “I’m your man”.  I have to say the speed of the song and the floaty sound returned nicely and it kind of moves just like their first single if not a little more harder.  It’s pretty catchy, not as much as their debut in Japan, but this is much better than their last single at least…GOOD JOB GUYS!

2. I’ll be back -Japanese ver.-

The B-side is of course a Japanese translation of one of the songs from their first Korean mini, “STILL 2:00PM”.  Of course being one of their oldest songs in their Korean stuff, I’ll be back sounds really plain and kind of boring when compared to “Ultra Lover” right from the start.  The guys’ Japanese is pretty strong and they sound pretty damn good, but seriously the song sounds lame and too plain for me.

 

 

Since this is the group’s 3rd and final single for the “REPUBLIC OF 2PM” era, Ultra Lover did make up for the blandness that “I’m your man” contained so on that note, that did impress me that Ultra Lover was better even though I still love “Take off” far more.  However, I don’t know why they had to choose such a weak song in I’ll be back to make into a Japanese revision…it just didn’t work and the music was to blame IMO.  I can’t wait for the album though now!

 

2PM – I’m your man August 17, 2011

Filed under: 2PM — solarblade @ 6:27 pm

Track Listing

  1. I’m your man
  2. Without U -Japanese ver.-
  3. I’m your man (without main vocal)
  4. Without U -Japanese ver.- (without main vocal)

1. I’m your man

I’m your man is definitely a big change after the synth floatyness of “Take off” since it’s more along what they sound like in Korea.  A mix of synths and R&B which is alright for the most part but it just feels like the six guys don’t really use their vocals as well as they did in their debut which might be good or not….I don’t know.  It sounds alright as their second A-side since it’s still more of the catchy beats and lyrics and the boys get equal time but doesn’t surpass “Take off”.

2. Without U (Japanese Ver.)

Just like the last single, we get another Korean to Japanese track and Without U is off their single “Don’t Stop, Can’t Stop” (wait…Koreans release singles too?!?) lol jk.  It is interesting that they chose this song to be the B-side since it’s even more R&B than “I’m your man”.  Then again I’m happy to see Taecyon starts things off.  After the slow start, the chorus adds in some dance beats that somewhat reminds me of “Take off”.  I will admit the vocals sound deeper though which is surprising but still catchy B-side.

 

 

It seems that 2PM reversed for this single and what I mean is the B-side ended up sounding better than the A-side this time around.  I do know that the group’s main sound is a mixture of K-pop and R&B so I wasn’t surprised to see that they’d make the move now than on their debut.  Still, Without U was much better than the main track and such.

 

2PM – Take off May 19, 2011

Filed under: 2PM — solarblade @ 5:09 am

Track Listing

  1. Take off
  2. Heartbeat -Japanese ver.-
  3. Take off -TV size ver.- (CD only)
  4. Take off (without main vocal)
  5. Heartbeat -Japanese ver.- (without main vocal)
  6. Take off -TV size ver.- (without main vocal)

1. Take off

It takes a lot to have a pretty memorable debut A-side especially if you’re 6 Korean guys.  Take off is actually pretty different from what I’d expect from a K-pop boyband to debut with.  I mean yes the synths are there but how the song was presented was quite jaw-dropping and almost has this flight-feel to it which makes sense for sure.  The groove is pretty epic and all 6 guys have good vocals, especially Taecyeon for sure and since Junsu takes majority of the lyrics, it’s actually not a bad choice.  Then again when I’m yelling ~ready, ready, ready for the take off!~ alongside in the chorus, you know I have it bad XD.  The thing that got me a little frowny was the way it was handled towards the end…it felt so….off and short.  Otherwise, wow what a good song…and SONY tied it to Ao no Exorcist too? wow!

2. Heartbeat -Japanese ver.-

As a rehash of a song from the group’s first album, “1:59PM”.  I’ve never heard the original so I’m just basing on ears but it sounds like the fans that have been with them longer dislike it.  At first it didn’t really phase me in anyway because there was a lot of rapping and some odd notes.  It’s a weird song, especially coming after “Take off”, but it’s not bad really but nothing I would really go out of my way to listen to the original lol.

So a K-pop boyband debuting in Japan with a song that has an anime tie-in and they’re signed to SONY?  This sounds like an equation of potential greatness.  By the looks of it, Take off already has swept me off my feet with it’s electro feel and catchy hooks.  The JPN take of Heartbeat isn’t that bad, but worse than the A-side.  Hmmm, definitely keeping my eyes out for them!