Posts Tagged Debut

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 :

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Review : T.G.U.S – Vol.1 – God of Harmony

NAME : TGUS Vol.1 – God of Harmony

ARTIST : TGUS (which stands for The Guys Using Sound, which sounds really… weird, not to mention fobby)

RELEASE DATE : 10th June, 2008.

LANGUAGE : Korean

GENRE : Ballad

I must admit that I knew next to nothing about these guys before they released this album. Heck, I didn’t really know them even after they released this album. A friend of mine recommended it to me, and I was really surprised by their beautiful voices. This is one group I think we should all be watching out for.

This group is all male and has four members. The members – Hang Wan Hui, Park Sang Jun, Song Young Min and Lee Si Hyeon (credits to T.G.U.S. official thread @soompi for members names) were all part of unsuccessful groups, who later teamed up to form T.G.U.S. This group’s USP is vocal harmonization (smoothly melding voices together to produce a clear sound, mainly used in acapella), which I found to be a very pleasing aspect of this album.

They are a new group and have participated in the SBS Hope (Hwimang) Single with Jewelry, SS501, SNSD, Brown Eyed Girls, Super Junior and Lee Hyun (5tion). Besides this, I couldn’t find a lot of information about them, no matter how hard I searched.

TRACK LIST :

01 Intro
02 I Believe In (Title)
03 가슴이 시키는 대로
04 One Last Kiss
05 Feel So Good
06 너의 뒤에서
07 Tonight
08 말해
09 무지개
10 Player
11 눈을감아
12 말하지 못한…
13 Outro

Track by track

Track 1: (9/10) I don’t really care for intro tracks – let alone rate them, but this one really makes you get up and take notice of the guys! Really nice…

Track 2: (9/10) This is the title track, a nice R&B ballad. One of the best tracks on the album!

Track 3: (7.5/10) Ballad again, a very emotional song and their vocal talents really shine through on this one.

Track 4:(9/10) This son, for some strange reminds me of 90’s ballads (by popular boy-bands of that time (western, not Korean)). Anyway, I like it a lot. Recommended.

Track 5: (6/10) A faster song to break the monotony of ballads. It doesn’t really stand out to me though…

Track 6: (8/10) R&B ballad again. Nice…

Track 7: (9/10) This is where they capitalize on both individual as well as group strengths. Easily one of the best on the album.

Track 8:(6/10) Again a faster pace, a faster beat… Not that great though, I’m beginning to get the feeling that they should stick to ballads, but I don’t know… it doesn’t seem that they are bad at it, seems more like the song isn’t good enough…

Track 9: (8.5/10) I like this song. Actually, it reminds of some Westlife song but I can’t remember which. It features a female artist, but I don’t know who…

Track 10: (6.5/10) Faster paced, not that great – haven’t we heard that before?

Track 11: (8/10) R&B ballad, I’m relieved that they’re back to this. It’s really beautiful. Listen to it to see how well they’re voices go together.

Track 12 : (8/10) A really mellow track…

Track 13 : (?/10)Outro, disappointing after listening to the great intro track. It’s just a girl mumbling in Chinese, not what I expected…

VERDICT: These guys are really good. Overall, I would give them 7/10, which is great for a début album. I hope they do well because they seem to be genuinely talented. Here’s wishing them luck!

TRACKS TO WATCH OUT FOR : Tracks 1,2,4,7,9.

I couldn’t find the video for their title track, but here’s a video of them singing Thank You (originally by Boyz II Men). It’s really sweet, check it out!

I heard Sohn Ho Young stars in the video… Looking forward to it!

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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

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F.T Island – Prologue of F.T Island – Soyogi

NAME : Prologue of F.T Island – Soyogi

ARTIST : F.T Island

RELEASE DATE : 7th June, 2008

LANGUAGE : Japanese/Korean/English

GENRE : Pop/Ballad

This is F.T Island’s Japan debut album, and has five Japanese, two Korean and one English track. The two (6,7) Korean tracks were included on their debut album ‘Cheerful Sensibility’ and the English track (Always Be Mine) is a remake of ‘첫키스’ (First Kiss/Cheot kiss), also from Cheerful Sensibility. The first five tracks are Japanese.

TRACK LIST:

01. Friendship
02. ミライジテンシャ (Mirai Jitensha)
03. SOYOGI (Title)
04. Stars
05. A Song For You
06. F.T Island
07. Primadonna
08. Always Be Mine

(credit to neko28@wordpress)

Track by track,

Track 1: (7/10) Upbeat pop track with strong rock influences. It has a fun feel to it… similar to a few tracks on their first album.

Track 2 : (6/10) Again, pop-rock. Doesn’t really stand out to me though. It’s OK…

Track 3 : (8.5/10) This is the title track of the album. This sounds a bit different from usual F.T Island stuff, but I mean it in a good way. I’m liking this track, it sounds fresh!

Track 4 : (8/10) Pop. I like this song. No complaints about this one…

Track 5 : (6.5/10) Hmm… The second vocalist Won Bin features prominently on this one. I think I heard this song first in a concert clip of theirs, but I really didn’t like it at all then. Like it a little better now. Maybe the effects of screaming fans… really put off by that

Track 6 : (6.5/10) From what little I know, isn’t this a song written for their fans? ( I heard once that their fan club is called Primadonna). It’s OK, a little inconsistent in beats, sometimes mid-tempo and then the chorus feels really fast. One thing that annoys me is HongKi’s pronunciation of Primadonna like pureemadonna. But it’s nice that they are so considerate about their fans anyway…

Track 7 : (7/10) This a really slow, nice ballad track reminiscent of Only One Person/Hansaramman (which I absolutely loved). His English pronunciation, though restricted to just a couple of lines sounds spot on, surprisingly. I can’t comment on the Japanese pronunciation, since I don’t speak it…

Track 8 : (5.5/10) I like 첫키스 better… the accent is getting to me! Hongki, he pronounces fly as fry, with as wreeth, right as light, peaceful as prissful, everything as everyting… Don’t get me wrong, I like the song’s melody, and the lyrics are not bad either (stereotypical, but not bad) but I just cannot get over the accent…

VERDICT: This is a nice album, though not half as good as I had expected it to be, and I can firmly say that liked Cheerful Sensibility much better. I liked 3/5 of their Japanese songs, which is a good strike rate. They really need to brush up on their English pronunciation though… Overall I would give it a 7/10.

TRACKS TO WATCH OUT FOR : Tracks 3,4.

Watch the video for Soyogi here:

They look more mature here, and Hongki’s look… rockstar-ish, hair and all. I like the setting – a wooded area near a river/lake… They use mirrors to create light effects… cute!

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Review : Shinee First Mini Album

NAME : SHINee First Mini Album

RELEASE DATE : 25 May 2008

ARTIST : SHINee (SM Entertainment)

LANGUAGE : Korean

GENRE : Pop

This is the debut album for SHINee, a new group from SM Entertainment (the same company which produced BoA, H.O.T, TVXQ and other successful idol stars). What’s most surprising about SHINee is the age bracket, ranging from 14 to 18 years, which makes them the youngest group around. SHINee, described as a contemporary band, are composed of members who go by the names of Jonghyun, Minho, Taemin, Onew and Key. The mini album has five tracks including a Boom version of the title track 누난 너무 예뻐 (Replay), which incidentally translates to Noona, you’re so pretty (Noona is a term used by guys to address older women or girls). Interesting title, don’t you think, since most of their fans are bound to be noonas, considering their ages!

TRACK LIST:

01. 누난 너무 예뻐 (Replay) (Title)
02. In My Room
03. Real
04. 사.계.한 (Love Should Go On)
05. 누난 너무 예뻐 (Replay Boom Track)

Track by track:

Track 1: (9/10) REALLY catchy dance track! On repeat in my mp3 player… They sound nice on this one too, and actually, they sound really mature on it… it’s hard to tell that they’re all so young. Really talented though…

Track 2: (6/10) This track really doesn’t stand out to me…

Track 3: (6/10) Pop/dance track, really upbeat. I found it bubble gum-ish..

Track 4: (7.5/10) Upbeat dance/pop track, nice but not even close to 누난 너무 예뻐.

Track 5: Same as the title track, only a boom version, which basically sounds like

VERDICT: OK album with respect to the songs (except track1 which is really amazing), but really shows the boys’ talents well. Overall 7/10. But we should definitely keep an eye out for these rising stars!

TRACKS TO WATCH OUT FOR : Track no.1 누난 너무 예뻐 (Replay), which I think we will be seeing on the charts very soon! Highly recommended!

Watch the video for Noona, you’re so pretty here:

Check out the cool dance moves! I like…

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