Kurayami Monogatari

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JYJ – In Heaven September 19, 2011

Filed under: JUNSU / JEJUNG / YUCHUN — solarblade @ 6:53 am

Track Listing

  1. Get Out
  2. In Heaven
  3. Fallen Leaves
  4. Boy’s Letter
  5. Mission
  6. I.D.S (I Deal Scenario)
  7. Pierrot
  8. You’re
  9. Nine
  10. Ireum Eomneun Norae PART 1

1. Get Out

As the first of two promotional songs for JYJ’s Korean album, I was pretty unsure since this opens up the album.  My first thing I noticed was the pretty piano opening before entering this awesome dance track and even better is that hearing the grow from the beginning with JUNSU right up until the chorus…the rise of sound was amazing.  As usual I do love hearing both JUNSU and JEJUNG since their vocals are so solid…but then YUCHUN comes and ruins the chorus with his screechy and seems he’s overdoing it.  Still, I like the catchy feel and the ~ayyyyyy….ohhhhhh~ might be a little cheesy but I still like this…it’s up there with “Ayyy Girl” (minus the Americans).

2. In Heaven

The next new song out of four was also used for promoting the album and unlike “Get Out” this is straight up a ballad and like I’ve said before when they were a complete THSK, they aced ballads like it was nothing (even if the arrangement was bare-boned).  I don’t know who talks in the beginning (but it’s clearly a guy and a girl).  They sound pretty deep here and while they down to whispering and the song slowly grows into a grand R&B ballad.  Yeah, vocally I was impressed but I was wanting more perhaps in the arrangement?

3. Fallen Leaves

It’s sad that 4 of the songs are new…the other 6 songs are from their last release, “Their Rooms” (which I still don’t understand the whole Music Essay tag…what’s that anyways?).  Fallen Leaves is the first and it kind of sucks coming after “In Heaven” for some good reason.  I mean the previous track is JYJ doing amazing things with ballads…Fallen Leaves is quite the opposite.  I do love the arrangement with the moving strings and happy piano chords…but the guys take their vocals to a very dramatic level and it killed the song for me…and it’s not just YUCHUN with vocal problems XD. 

4. Boy’s Letter

I really am already tired of the slow songs already and this is ballad number 3 in a row…JEJUNG actually starts out the song before YUCHUN after.  I really don’t know why this song had to come after “Autumn Leaves” but at least it cuts the dramatic vibes by a good amount so it doesn’t sound ridiculous.  Does sound a little cheesetastic but what can you do…you can’t really get another “In Heaven” can we?

5. Mission

It does seem a little weird that it suddenly jumps into Mission since it’s pretty much dance heavy and such.  So the GIANT riff is pretty awkward but it’s what I needed after so many ballads in one sitting.  YUCHUN seems to do a whole lot better in upbeat songs and it shows since I found myself loving this song from their mini.  Sadly the one thing I was disappointed was the chorus (you could barely tell when it started or ended if it wasn’t for the guys). 

6. I.D.S (I Deal Scenario)

After the exciting “Mission”, I.D.S comes in with it’s absurd amount of auto-tune which is something that the boys should avoid since their vocals sound amazing without them.  It does stand out from their other dance numbers because of the more electropop feel it has.  Either way once the auto-tune goes away, the song gets a lot better and it feels chilling and cool…but still auto-tune = NOOOO!

7. Pierrot

I think I could say that Pierrot reminds me more of an ethereal sounding “Get Out”.  However, from the dance tracks the album has put out, this one I lost interest and it’s my least favorite (besides some of the bad ballads).  I don’t know why I really liked it but since then it kind of became forgetful when compared to “Mission” and “I.D.S”.  It just didn’t have the long-lasting power I guess…

8. You’re

The last of the new songs appears next and You’re kind of doesn’t fall in either category (like “Pierrot”).  It has a dance beat, but it has a lot more strings and piano going for it.  When JEJUNG starts singing it makes me want to think it’s a ballad since it has more of a quiet persona.  The chorus though feels like there was more than just the three guys since it sounds so grand and such.  At least it didn’t suffer the same fate as “Fallen Leaves” and “Boy’s Letter”.

9. Nine

Really six of the 10 songs on the album are ballads…really…Nine to me reminds me of “Get Out” with the uber quiet singing before getting into some powerful vocals.  JUNSU sounds really nice though through the beginning.  Sadly, the song is kind of more along the negative side of the album.  It just does nothing for me and kind of flows like static noise at this point.

10. Ireum Eomneun Norae PART 1

Still no part 2?  What’s the deal JYJ?  Anyways if it couldn’t get any worse the album ends with the ridiculously long Ireum Eomneun Norae.  I mean besides the raps from YUCHUN and JEJUNG this is still essentially a ballad and for being 8 minutes long of this…I didn’t want to relive the song for the whole time AGAIN…

Tracks Recommended

  • Mission
  • Get Out
  • I.D.S (I Deal Scenario)
  • In Heaven

Song of Avoidance

  • Ireum Eomneun Norae PART 1

As this is JYJ’s first Korean album, In Heaven is kind of poor of a release to be honest.  First off only four new songs and the rest are from the previously released mini, “Their Rooms” seems like a weak idea from the starts.  Next is that six of them were ballads…that’s just too much IMO.  I wouldn’t have been so harsh either is the ballads weren’t bunched up near other.  The new songs were slightly better, but Mission and I.D.S still kicks majority of it.  I wished there was more new material though, not gonna lie.

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JYJ – Their Rooms February 19, 2011

Filed under: JUNSU / JEJUNG / YUCHUN — solarblade @ 1:47 am

Track Listing

  1. MISSION
  2. NINE
  3. PIERROT
  4. FALLEN LEAVES
  5. I.D.S (I Deal Scenario)
  6. Ireum Eomneun Norae PART 1

1. MISSION

As we begin, JYJ’s mini-album in Korea, MISSION already feels like a whole lot more was put into it than anything off their previous efforts.  I love the string melody that’s quick and mix in the dance beats.  It might sound like typical K-pop dance music, but there’s something about the fact that the boys give such a cool and sexy performance out of it.  It might be pretty busy in the arrangement side of things, but it’s pretty good and a lot memorable from them in recent times.

2. NINE

Slowing down for our next song, NINE is kind of the typical ballad, but it’s odd to hear JUNSU sing at such a low tone that I didn’t know at first who it was…but JEJUNG replaces him and later YUCHUN comes in.  While their ballads are really hit or miss, NINE isn’t so much of a bad track, but it does lack a certain spark that makes them pretty epic. 

3. PIERROT

Like I’ve said, I really enjoy upbeat tracks from JYJ and the duo Tohoshinki, so PIERROT is pretty much along the lines of what I’d really enjoy normally from them.  While it’s not as hardcore as “MISSION”, the song has a really nice dance-pop feel that makes it really enjoyable.  Could it be their best song yet as a trio…..COULD BE!!!

4. FALLEN LEAVES

Dance, ballad, dance, ballad…anymore of this flow issue?  As this is a more orchestrated type of ballad, FALLEN LEAVES is quite too much for me, but it’s not from the music this time.  It’s along the faults of the guys since they really wanted to overload their vocals in emotion by adding tons of vibrato.  While I’ll admit that doing a dramatic song was a good choice in mind…it was too much in execution IMO.

5. I.D.S (I Deal Scenario)

More synths?  I guess it’s time for another dance track.  Unlike the previous two tracks, I.D.S makes full use by putting some of the words in the song under auto-tune to make “up-to date”.  I like the robotic feel of the song and while it’s still a strange song because of the wild amount of auto-tune.  Oddly enough, it’s short so this doesn’t have too much time to really stand out, but it’s still a catchy enough song.

6. Ireum Eomneun Norae PART 1

Closing the mini out, Ireum Eomneun Norae really does feel like some of the older THSK ballads that made em big.  Beginning with JUNSU rapping for a bit, it’s a little fast and I can’t follow along XD.  Since most of the song is rapping and there’s less focus on the singing, it’s really weird of a song…made moreso by the 8 minutes that you have to listen through.

Hahaha, is it weird that I think that Their Rooms is the best thing they have released since their debut as a trio?  Also…”Music Essay”…c’mon really?  Just say that it’s self-produced!  Which by the way is with JUNSU with 3, JEJUNG with 2, and YUCHUN with one (which unluckily is the long ass one at the end).  While this is a good mini-album, it shows that they are more eccentric and exciting with upbeat songs while their ballads are kind of ehhh.  Still not bad from the three amigos!

 

JYJ – The Beginning October 21, 2010

Filed under: JUNSU / JEJUNG / YUCHUN — solarblade @ 10:55 pm

Track Listing

  1. Intro
  2. Ayyy Girl (feat. Kanye West, Malik Yusef)
  3. Empty
  4. Be My Girl
  5. Still in Love
  6. I Love You (feat. Flowsik)
  7. I Can Soar
  8. Be The One
  9. Ayyy Girl (S. Tiger Remix) (Limited Edition bonus track)
  10. Empty (DJ EON Remix) (Limited Edition bonus track)
  11. Be My Girl (DJ EON Remix) (Limited Edition bonus track)

1. Intro

~Peace and Harmony…~  Not entirely sure what that really has to do with anything, but it’s just only an intro and doesn’t really do much else other than provide such a thing.  I did like the beat though so does it mean we’ll get a good album….let’s check it out.

2. Ayyy Girl (feat. Kanye West, Malik Yusef)

As the first song off the album, Ayyy Girl is what really put my mind in a negative light because Kanye had something to do with this as well as being featured in the song which is two negatives and it doesn’t make it right BTW.  After Malik’s intro, Kanye starts to rap and I’m already feeling like I wanna press next…where’s the boys?  After the meh rap, JEJUNG and JUNSU comes in and sings in English which is surprising since they actually do it well…YUCHUN kind of slips with the heavy accent.  Without the American guys, JYJ actually did nice for the song, but it seems a little underproduced and needs a heavier punch.

3. Empty

Wow, JUNSU’s voice is weird to me on this song for some reason since it’s like nasally on purpose for some reason.  The mechanical singing in the chorus feels like what was wrong with some of BoA’s songs and it just doesn’t work here.  I do like the fact that JEJUNG doesn’t really do much cept for the chorus which is great and lets YUCHUN and JUNSU have their light.  Definitely better than “Ayyy Girl”.

4. Be My Girl

Slowing a little bit for our next song, Be My Girl reminds me of their JPN works in a good way since it’s just the right amount of R&B to let it pass.  It also does a good job with the trio harmonizing.  YUCHUN sounds really nice since he’s in most of it while JEJUNG comes after providing backup and JUNSU…well I’m sure he’s somewhere but he’s not important in this song and I don’t mind since the higher vocals sounds great.  Unfortunately the music is what brought it down since it stayed on the same wavelength the entire time and there wasn’t a point of impact or a high nor low point to it…just flat.

5. Still in Love

Because the sound of rain immediately makes you think ballad, Still in Love is definitely what it is.  JUNSU once again begins the song and his vocals are sweet and soft-spoken.  JEJUNG comes in as well, but that’s when the song starts to lose its momentum and kind of becomes white noise to me because the singing is just to soft and odd against the piano/strings/synth mix.  Just a very awkward song here.

6. I Love You (feat. Flowsik)

Great…another collaborative effort by some rapper from the Americas.  I can tolerate Kanye’s through some songs, but this Flowsik guy is just icky.  I like the female talking a little bit before Flowsik’s rap.  His voice sort of reminds me of The Game’s but it just doesn’t work here.  Once JEJUNG starts to sing, things to get sort of better, but I don’t like Flowsik’s quips in the song.  I don’t know why, but this song feels too plain for me and the chorus is pretty crappy.

7. I Can Soar

These slow songs are starting to get me frustrated with them.  At least I Can Soar is just a pure ballad from the boys and since they really pull these songs off, I Can Soar is one of the better songs off the album.  I do think the female vocals are a bit strange to put in the song, but the guys did a nice job with what they had.  Maybe the R&B beat is just a little bit of poor decisions…still not bad.

8. Be The One

So we end off the main album with a dance track?  Be The One has a pretty cool rhythm throughout and I liked the energy coming from the boys in the song.  At least this shows energy and good vocals even though the lyrics are a little bit cheesy.  Add in some auto-tune and we have this song, but I have to say I enjoyed it.

9. Ayyy Girl (S. Tiger Remix)

As bonus tracks on the limited version of the album we get remixes of three songs.  Ayyy Girl definitely needed an improvement after the originals inclusion of the rappers and this definitely corrected that situation.  The beat is very heavy and it actually fits the melody which is great and I love the club style thrown in the song.  Good job here.

10. Empty (DJ EON Remix)

I don’t know who this DJ EON is, but he should do more remixes for more JPN artists because the first remix for Empty sounds kind of different from what I’m used to it.  Even though the mechanical singing fits more with this melody which is surprising, but still it’s club music at its finest here and I really enjoyed this as well.

11. Be My Girl (DJ EON Remix)

It’s funny that I already can’t remember how the original went since it was very one-lined in the arrangement department.  At least DJ EON saw this and corrected it by making it danceable.  Be My Girl sounds better under this…why weren’t these the original.

Tracks Recommended

  • Be The One
  • Empty (DJ EON Remix)
  • Be My Girl (DJ EON Remix)
  • Ayyy Girl (S. Tiger Remix)
  • Empty

Song of Avoidance

  • I Love You (feat. Flowsik)

Yeah…JYJ, NEVER EVER DO THIS AGAIN!  Why would you want to throw something like this out to fans who are still torn about the THSK situation (and the other happenings as of recent)?  If “The…” was plain and not strong enough, than The Beginning is just a pure bomb.  I mean the remixes were better than all the songs cept for Be The One.  I think it’s just time to stop and quit while you’re ahead avex and SM!!!!

 

JUNSU / JEJUNG / YUCHUN – The… September 9, 2010

Filed under: JUNSU / JEJUNG / YUCHUN — solarblade @ 7:33 am

Track Listing

  1. Itsudatte Kimi ni
  2. Get Ready
  3. Long Way
  4. W
  5. Itsudatte Kimi ni (Floor on the Intelligence Remix)
  6. Get Ready (Caramel Pod Remix)
  7. Long Way (DAISHI DANCE Remix)
  8. W (The big sky in the east ver.)
  9. Itsudatte Kimi ni (THANKSGIVING LIVE IN DOME ver.)
  10. Get Ready (THANKSGIVING LIVE IN DOME ver.)
  11. Long Way (THANKSGIVING LIVE IN DOME ver.)
  12. W (THANKSGIVING LIVE IN DOME ver.)
  13. Itsudatte Kimi ni (Instrumental)
  14. Get Ready (Instrumental)
  15. Long Way (Instrumental)
  16. W (Instrumental)

1. Itsudatte Kimi ni

Beginning this rather long ass single, Itsudatte Kimi ni (promotional song) begins the mini-album with well an R&B ballad and I’m not surprised that they would because Junsu and Yuchun are pretty good vocals for ballads while Jejung to me is the odd voice.  At least he sounded nice when he began the song.  Still, Tohoshinki ballads are just too similar at this point in their career and this shows that fact around IMO…though the acoustic guitar solo was nice.

2. Get Ready

Sadly minus the remixes coming up, Get Ready is the only upbeat song found on the mini-album.  Now I think they do very well on their synth based songs and to me it sounds like they took the sultry stuff from Junsu’s solo single and made it possible for JJY to do.  I hear quite a lot of Yuchun in the song and I like his voice during upbeat stuff like this.  Though who’s vocals are auto-tuned? I barely recognized it.  As for Junsu, his sultry and deep vocals sound hot as well.  I swear I didn’t hear enough of Jejung though the chorus is a different story haha.  It’s good, but there’s something missing (besides the obvious), but I mean it doesn’t have the spark that “Survivor” did.

3. Long Way

I was wondering where they were taking this song because it began off like a ballad, but it slowly turned into a synthy mid-tempo tune.  I like the interesting mood of the song and their vocals are pretty spot-on for trio of guys.  Though I think there was a lot more of Jejung this time around to give some equality not found in the last track.  It’s not that bad of a song actually.

4. W

If songs couldn’t get dramatic, they just did.  W begins with Junsu singing up his low tenor vocals while the other members join after a little bit.  It’s a strings/piano ballad, but with an R&B like the style from “Doushite”.  They can get emotional in the songs and that’s a plus but once again the song goes nowhere for me.  Might be an awesome ending to an anime or something, but iono…it’s like I just don’t feel for the song.

5. Itsudatte Kimi ni (Floor on the Intelligence Remix)

The rest of what I’m reviewing appears on the CD only of the mini-album starting with remixes, all for each of the four songs.  Starting with Itsudatte Kimi ni of course is given a piano and dance based sound instead of the plain mid-tempo ballad sound of the original.  I do think the music covers up all three boys a bit, but I still prefer this over the original.

6. Get Ready (Caramel Pod Remix)

Being the longest remix at 8 minutes straight, Get Ready’s remix is definitely club-friendly for sure.  Since Get Ready was already classified as an upbeat song as the original played, the music here was changed and extended with synthesizers and bunch of fancy twinkling.  Sadly, I wasn’t feeling this remix because it had the same melody throughout and rarely changed around.  It was basically only kept alive by the vocals and lyrics from the guys.

7. Long Way (DAISHI DANCE Remix)

Since I have heard both from Caramel Pod and DAISHI DANCE prior to this release, I wasn’t phased by how their songs were gonna end up sounding like.  Long Way’s remix definitely has that trademark sound in it that DAISHI DANCE did with Mika and his own works.  I think DAISHI did a great job with this remix because like we’ve known before he combined piano/strings with a dance beat and even more to support the guys.  I thought the harmonizations sound heavenly in this remix and I don’t even remember that in the original XD. So much better!

8. W (The big sky in the east ver.)

Being the only track that isn’t a remix, but it’s more of an orchestral version of said song.  It’s unfortunate that it had to be for a song that was already kind of mediocre for me.  I think it does show off the boys’ vocals better than in the original and shows that JEJUNG sounds great in ballads and so does JUNSU.  YUCHUN has his points but he kind of squeaks in various places.  Still if they had kept this in the original’s arrangement, I probably would remember it more.  I mean whoever ad-libbed sounded BAD!

9. Itsudatte Kimi ni (THANKSGIVING LIVE IN DOME Ver.)

For the rest of the mini-album, we get live versions of the four songs (frowns immensely).  I don’t know why but why do they sound almost in low quality?  I mean it’s not the quality of the mp3, but it’s just it sounds fluffy and mainly annoying.  Now this might’ve been the first song because when each member started singing, there was applause from the audience.  The guys do sound pretty good live though I’ll admit.

10. Get Ready (THANKSGIVING LIVE IN DOME Ver.)

I was wondering what was going to happen for some of the upbeat songs, simply because there’s not a lot in the collection right now they can do.  I mean “XIAHTIC” and “Intoxication” and that’s basically it.  Now once again, this isn’t as upbeat as previous songs in Tohoshinki, but it’s a step in the right direction.  Now for the live version, I feel like the boys are already showing a little fatigue, but at least the crowd is totally into it!

11. Long Way (THANKSGIVING LIVE IN DOME Ver.)

The thumping of the song kicks the song off and of course hearing JEJUNG and YUCHUN first really puts the song into focus quite quickly.  Now I know it’s not the guys singing the heavenly backup stuff, but they sound good otherwise. 

12. W (THANKSGIVING LIVE IN DOME Ver.)

Dang, how low can JEJUNG and JUNSU can sing?  That’s like pushing it right there.  Once again it shows how great the boys sound in unison and worked for me because for some reason, W just sounds better as a live version instead of that pale imitation of the studio cut.

 

 

Once again, 4 songs should not equal to be a mini-album, this should be considered a single as well (thx KOKIA…).  Anyways, I’m still kind of irked that avex really wanted to push the three guys together and hastily release something (as if JUNSU’s single wasn’t enough).  I wonder how CHANGMIN and YUNHO are taking this release though, I’d be pretty pissed off at it, but then again the whole SM situation is so beyond dramatic, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tohoshinki never gets back together at this point.  The… isn’t that bad of a mini-album because it’s what we’ve come to know from the three guys, but the main tracks kind of lacked something that’s besides the other two guys.  It just seemed like it was only there to prove that JJY can still sing, but to me they didn’t sound as interested like they were in the past.  I mean hell, Itsudatte Kimi ni continues this line of boring songs.