Posts Tagged Alex

Review : Alex (Clazziquai) – Vol.1 – My Vintage Romance

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 :

01 어느새
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]
12 Daydreaming
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 :

Advertisements

Comments (4)

Hallyu Word of the Day #1

Since I’m learning Korean myself, I thought it would be interesting to do a Korean word of the day!

The focus, is Hallyu of course, and this so-called ‘Korean wave’ tends to throw specific words at its audience, through its music, dramas, etc.

So, I want to inaugurate, so to speak with a word that practically all Korean learners (and non-learners alike) tends to find themselves getting to know first (although by a few accounts this is 빨리, which we will be coming to later) : 사랑해 (sa – rang – hae), which means I love you (actually, it’s a phrase and a word all in one).

The suffix -요 can be added for politeness to make 사랑해요 (sa-rang-hae-yo).

사랑해, of course being a much-used phrase in K-pop, and other Korean music, not to mention Korean dramas (and drama doesn’t refer to theatre in Korea, it refers to what we call soap operas)

A related word 사랑, means love. If you listen to a lot of Korean music, then you’ll know what I’m talking about – about 50% of the songs in my iTunes have 사랑해/사랑/ 사랑한다 and other variations in their title/lyrics, all derived from the verb 사랑하다 – to love.

A few popular Korean songs with 사랑해 (links lead to MVs in youtube) :

  • Alex & JiSun (duet) – 사랑해 ….a very interesting music video storyline, followed in two parts.
  • Fly To the Sky – 사랑해 ….from their 7th album No limitations
  • Mighty Mouth Feat. Yoon Eun Hye (of Coffee Prince fame) – 사랑해…. this is fairly new
  • Namolla Family Feat. Taein and Kim Kyung Rok of VOS – 사랑해요… Namolla family is a group of comedians, I think, but they’re songs are fairly good – catchy!

You can watch the MV for Alex (Clazziquai) and JiSun (ex-Loveholic)’s duets here:

Part One : Very Hurtful Words (너무 아픈 이말).

Part Two : I Love You (사랑해).

Highly recommended! Really, it’s a MUST WATCH! Genre : fantasy – a guy goes fishing and he reels in something very unusual… And remember to look out for Alex’s and JiSun’s voices – very beautiful. And, remember it’s a continuous storyline, so watch part one then two, and no – it’s not horror/scary – I don’t really like that genre that much…

Comments (1)

Weekly Feature – Tying up Loose Ends – Korean Music – I

First week of June – a lot of interesting developments took place this week, eg. news about Alex’s, Lee Jung’s and Sung Si Kyung’s album releases, not to mention some new finds on my part, and of course the Dream concert.

For the uninitiated, the Dream concert is an annual Korean event when the industry (or at least half of it – the famous ones) gather in honour of the cause against music piracy. This year’s event saw stars like Epik High, SS501, Super Junior, MC Mong, DBSK, Maya, Jewelry, Typhoon, AST’ 1, SHINee, Peter, SNSD, Buga Kingz , Wonder Girls, Mighty Mouth and Choo Seung Hoon. That makes it the largest annual live concert in Korea. I couldn’t catch it, as always, though I had a good time reading about it on Popseoul (the comments are the most interesting bit – where else do you get to see motley fans of motley idol groups trade words like fire tipped arrows in a Battle Royale). Anyway, click here to read Popseoul’s coverage (And while you’re there, do have a look at the ridiculous picture of Seo In-Young posted there, it’s hilarious! (Not meaning to offend any Jewelry fans))

Anyway, the above picture is of Epik High arriving at the Dream Concert, 2008.

I came across a LOT of new music – some great and for some, terrible would be an understatement. And to imagine the irony, when I was looking through the music I had accumulated through the week, I found some very well known artists having the worst songs, and some – virtually unknown, yet having the best music there was (I know that had a LOT of grammatical errors, but I hope you understood the point I’m inarticulately trying get get across…). TGUS, Trans Fixion, Soulzean, MK, Orifeel…ing, Nell (for releasing 1분만 닥쳐줄래요!) pleasantly surprised me. And the only one I knew well was Nell, I had a faint idea about Orifeel…ing and TGUS, but besides that, I hadn’t even heard of these wonderful artists. I also mildly enjoyed F.T Island’s Japanese debut album, and Big Bang’s With U Mini Album.

On the other hand, the downers for me this week were SuJu-H’s Cooking? Cooking! (Not that I was expecting much, but I just wanted to be pleasantly surprised, despite the skepticism)… just too happy (with an exclamation mark for added emphasis) for me, it was too upbeat/candy-coated/sugary/saccharine, unfortunately. The Wonder Girls’ So hot single was not great either, though I must admit the title song is catchy (if a little narcissistic). So except the title song, I wouldn’t really recommend any other song on the single. However, at this point I must mention that the rap version (MV version) of Tell Me sounds like a big improvement over the original, in fact my favourite part of Tell Me is YooBin’s rap. Don’t really like the abundance of leopard print though…

My picks this week (NOT in any particular order):

1. Epik High – One (Band Ver.)

2. Nell – 멀어지다

3. T (Yoon MiRae) – Baby Bye Bye (From Rhapsody Part Two Digital Single with Drunken Tiger)

4. Trans Fixion – Radio (Feat. Xeno) (still don’t know where to get the rest of this, but I’m looking)

5. Soulzean -이번 한번만 (feat. Riaa)

6. MK – 사랑이라서 (feat.Roserael)

7. TGUS – I Believe In

8. F.T Island – Soyogi

9. Orifeel…ing – 슬픈 영혼 (By Kai, 장치열, 나리)

10. Orifeel…ing – 너무 늦어서 (By MK, 김미란)

I’m so gonna buy Orifeel…ing’s album, but I’d be damned if I find it on Yesasia… Actually I can’t find it anywhere…

Anyway, have a great week ahead, everyone!

Leave a Comment

Anticipated Releases this Month

The following albums are expected to release this month:

3th June – Miracle Vol.1 – Sketch (Pop/Dance) (RELEASED)

7th June – F.T Island Japanese debut album – Prologue of F.T Island – Soyogi (Pop) (RELEASED)

10th June – Swagger Vol.1 – Hello New World (Hip Hop) (RELEASED)

10th June – Happy Chair Vol.1 (Pop(?)) (RELEASED)

12th June – Jaurim Vol.7 – Ruby, Sapphire, Diamond (Rock)

13th June – Alex (Clazziquai) – Vol.1- My Vintage Romance (Mixed Genre)

16th June – Young Turks Club Vol.8

18th June – SS501 – Japanese Single – Lucky Days (Pop) (This item was #1 on online pre-order charts- source: Arirangtv.com)

19th June – Brown Eyes Vol.3

16th June – Sung Si Kyung Vol.6 (Ballad)

25th June – Lee Hyori Vol.3 (Pop)

Other anticipated releases are :

F.T Island Vol.2, Seo In Young Vol.2, Battle Vol.1, Bada Vol.4, Park Ji Yoon Vol.7, Ok Ju Hyun Vol.3, KARA Vol.2, Seo Taiji Vol.8, Jinusean – Single, Hong Chae Rin Vol.1.

Also anticipated is R-eal Vol.1. R-eal is a new idol group which recently appeared on a popular Japanese radio show. (Source : Shenyuepop.com ) Go here to read more about them.

I also heard something about a Lee Jung Vol.4…dunno much about it though… This is out! Excited about it…

More coming soon!

Really looking forward to these..

courtesy: absolutezero@z-degrees & release dates from yesasia.com

Leave a Comment

Ballad lovers in for a treat!

Balladeers Sung Si Kyung and Clazziquai’s Alex are all set to release their (sixth and first, respectively) latest albums this month. Sung Si Kyung’s sixth will be out by June 16 and Alex’s debut album titled ‘My Vintage Romance’ will come out by the 12th of this month.

R&B/Ballad duo J-Walk will also be coming out with their third album – ‘My Love’ by June 23rd (quite a while to go)…

Other anticipated releases this month, are Pop idol group Battle’s 3rd single ‘Step by Step’, which is due by June 12, and Kim Hyun Jung’s Vol.8 – In N Out, which is anticipated to release by June 16.

Another newly formed (so to speak, really) idol group Super Junior H (Sigh… another sub-group, are they going to exhaust all the letters of the alphabet or what?) is all set to release their first Mini album Cooking, Cooking? by June 10. I haven’t yet managed to figure out specifically the ‘theme’ behind this sub-group, eg. SuJu KRY is a ballad group, SuJu T sings Trot music, but SuJu Happy? Only time will tell I guess…

Here is a look at their album cover:

Fruity, to say the least…

Leave a Comment