NAME : Vol.1 – My Vintage Romance
ARTIST : Alex (Clazziquai)
RELEASE DATE : 12th June, 2008
GENRE : Ballads, mostly…
LANGUAGE : Korean
Long-anticipated by fans of Clazziquai and ‘We Got Married’ (a Korean TV show where (random) celebrities pretend to be married to each other) alike, this album marks Alex’s solo debut.
Being a member of Clazziquai – a group whose music can be best described as versatile – ranging between the genres of electronic, jazz, house, lounge, retro and several more – Alex’s solo venture was expected to a bit more… versatile (in terms of genres) itself. However, it was unfortunately not so, and as predicted by a few – this album is mostly ballads. As a fan of Clazziquai, and of Alex, I felt quite disappointed about this myself…
But on a brighter note, Alex’s smooth voice almost makes up for it (almost, because the album would have sounded so(oooooo) much better if there had been a greater variety in the songs). And the theme of the album, I’m guessing is romance – right from the title, cover, themes in the songs etc. – which makes for a great publicity pitch, especially owing to the success of ‘AlShin’ (Alex and Shinae (an actress), who are a couple in WGM). In fact, Alex had even admitted in an interview to be reminded of Shinae during the production of ‘My Vintage Romance’.
TRACK LIST :
02 그대라면 [If it's you] (Title)
03 넌 언제나 [You Always] (feat. Thomas Cook)
04 기다리게 해서 미안해요 [Sorry for Making You Wait]
05 발끝을 적시는 눈물 [Tears that wet the tip of my toes]
06 Feel Like Making Sunshine
07 깍지껴요 [Empty Shell] (feat. Gaeko from Dynamic Duo)
08 Waltz lesson (feat. whale)
09 연인 [Lover]
10 사랑하오 [I Love You]
11 기분 좋은 날 [A Good Day]
13 Miss. Understand (feat. Simon Dominic)
14 데이지 [Daisy]
15 화분 [Flower Pot] (Bonus track)
Track by track:
Track 1 : (9/10) Slow-tempo ballad. I really like this song, because it really brings out the romantic in Alex (people who watch WGM know what I’m talking about).
Track 2 : (7/10) This is the title track for the album, but oddly enough, it doesn’t stand out so much as compared to some other tracks on the album.It tends to grow on you, though…
Track 3 : (9/10) Mid-tempo ballad – one of the best songs on the album, definitely. I can’t get it out of my head!
Track 4 : (7.5/10) Romantic ballad – reminiscent of ‘Very Hurtful Words‘ (his duet with JiSun). This is a beautiful song, with an easy melody – nice to listen to on a sleepy afternoon (it’s nice to hear most of his songs like this)…
Track 5 : (8.5/10) I like the violins playing in the background. This sounds like a typical 90′s ballad. Really grows on you, too…
Track 6 : (8/10) Alex’s vocals sound really really good on this upbeat, melodic song. Reminiscent of times gone by… actually, many of Alex’s songs give a feel of the old classics, maybe because of his voice quality – a breath of fresh air in the industry where pretty faces matter more than singing talents…
Track 7 : (6.5/10) Repetitive ‘Come with me’ – don’t really like it. Track is okay – midtempo, peppered with hip-hop sounds.
Track 8 : (7/10) Whale, don’t really know who she is – she has a really small part here – towards the end. Sounds okay, this track.
Track 9 : (7/10) Trademark Alex ballad, but by now, I want to listen to something different… All the songs are really great, if you listen to them individually – but sweet love songs can be just too much if you listen to them all together.
Track 10 : (6.5/10) I don’t know how many honey-covered/sugar-coated/saccharine love songs I can take anymore…
Track 11 : (9/10) This starts with the ticking of a clock… my first thoughts – Time is tickin’, T-Time is tickin’ away… lol… too much Epik High in my system. Anyway, this song is really a breath of fresh air – upbeat, fresh poppish music. I love this, especially the part where he whistles. This song is so… alive!
Track 12 : (8/10) Jazz – a genre Clazziquai is more than experienced with. A really relaxing track to listen to.
Track 13 : (7/10) This one has stronger beats, and Simon Dominic’s rapping is pretty good.
Track 14 : (8.5/10) Mid-tempo ballad – I like it for the beautiful musical arrangement, and of course Alex’s heavenly voice.
Track 15 : (9.5/10) This song has so been stuck in my head – even though I don’t really watch WGM – and I’ve been in love with it ever since I heard it. He performed this song for Shinae on the show, and I remember reading about how fans cried while watching it. This song is actually a cover of the Loveholic original (sung by JiSun), and despite being a fan of Loveholic, I would say that I enjoyed Alex’s version better – maybe because he sings it with so much emotion. Undoubtedly, the best song on the album!
VERDICT : Overall, I would give this album a 7.5/10. But again, as I said before – each of the tracks on this album is beautiful individually, but if you listen to the album all at once, it may be too saccharine to bear. Also, I didn’t like the choice of the title track…
TRACKS TO WATCH OUT FOR : Tracks 1,3,5,11,14,15.
Watch the video for 그대라면 (If It’s You) here:
Loving the MV, all done in dark blue tones, and having a simple storyline…
Oh, and watch him perform 화분 for Shinae here :