[Album Review] Verse #2 (1st Mini Album) – JJ Project

It has been 5 years since we last saw them. But finally, JJ Project has launched their comeback with their first mini-album. Of course, being a fan, I would not miss out on this opportunity to review their mini-album, which is titled as Verse #2. Just one comment about the album before we start. But every single track, regardless of any differences, end up making this one damn good albumt to listen to. Everything works well with each other and it did not leave me disappointed. Now, on with the review of each song!

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Verse #2 Album Cover

1..Coming Home – The album opens up with an aesthetically pleasing and RnB influenced song. I love the instrumental of this song, from the rolling drum beat to the very chilled chorus. I also loved the layering in the song. The different layers of vocals in this song, which gave the song some depth, which I thought was pretty nice. Just when you consider the entire track as a whole piece, it does come off a little dry. (9/10)

2. Tomorrow, Today (내일, 오늘) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Tomorrow, Today. (8/10)

3. On & OnOn & On feels like another song that fits the tropical house trend that is ongoing in the industry. But the verses/chorus felt a lot more serious and more RnB influence. It wasn’t until the instrumental chorus break that it took that trend on board. What was more interesting was how they changed up the ending. Their efforts felt a little late and that ending personally could have been omitted. But it was still nice to listen to. (8/10)  

4. Icarus – The best part of the track was definitely its chorus. The energy explosion once the beat dropped made it feel so much more lively, compared to the extremely boring verses. Their vocals managed to just appear in front of the instrumental and provided an attraction to make me go back for even more. It could have easily been hidden behind in the instrumental. (9/10)

5. Don’t Wanna Know – This was my personal favourite of the entire album. Their vocals suit the RnB genre and this song gives their vocals the right amount of spotlight without going overboard. The instrumental also gave the song some energy, which made it one for me to go back for. The ending could have faded out, rather than feel abrupt, but overall, the song was too good to overlook, in my opinion. (9.5/10)

6. Find You – Like the previous song, I thought the vocals from both Jinyoung and JB were showcased to be the highlight of the song. It was upbeat and felt like an urban track that I wouldn’t mind listening to from time to time. But I fear listening to this song on repeat could leave the track feeling bland and boring in the long run. The instrumental was decent but pretty standard. (8/10)

7. The Day (Jinyoung Solo) – This could easily be played on repeat in a small, indie cafe somewhere. Jinyoung has nice vocals, but they aren’t the best compared to other people in his group. But what we hear here is a great display of his talents and skill. I like how he kept the instrumental from becoming too boring, by adding and taking out instruments. It has a nice RnB sound, which goes nicely with every other track on this album. (9/10) 

8. Fade Away (JB Solo) – Musically, JB’s track starts off with an ear-catching sound, which draws my attention. But sadly the interesting vibes from it faded out quick;y and the track felt like it was repeating itself. JB’s husky vocals made this song sound pretty good. The instrumental had a nice creepy vibe, which when I think about it now, doesn’t sound like that should have been the intended effect. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.5/10

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Tomorrow, Today – Teaser Image

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[Review] Tomorrow, Today – JJ Project

It has taken the JJ Project duo five years to make their first comeback since debut. But as the saying says: ‘better late than never’. JJ Project is made up of JB and Jinyoung, who went on to debut as GOT7, released Bounce in 2012. Their latest release, Tomorrow, Today, was released today as part of their first mini-album, Verse 2. This is also the start of the many solo and unit promotions that GOT7 will be undertaking for the second half of 2017.

If you are after a dance track such as Bounce, you have come to the wrong place. Tomorrow, Today is a completely different track, with a completely different song style that we have yet to hear from JJ Project or GOT7 themselves. The song itself is stripped of its standard dance and electronic elements and feels more ballad-like. The instrumental seemed like it was pinched from a DAY6 album, which is a good thing because we all know how good DAY6 instrumentals are. The guitar and the rolling drum beat in this song make me want to go back for some more. But what I liked, even more, is that the song felt pure and untouched. The song gets you into that swaying motion, which I have recently announced my love for.  The melodies just make you feel warm and bubbly. And don’t get me started with their voices. Even as a guy, I find their voices so dreamy and soothing. My favourite part of the entire song was Jinyoung’s part in the chorus, which provided an amazing hook that caught me for the rest of the song. The only part which I felt could have been better or scrapped entirely was the rap. It wasn’t needed and didn’t fit in with the rest of the song.

I am going to be brutally honest here, I found the video extremely boring to watch. Sure, it fits in perfectly with the song’s overall sound and style. Sure, it felt like it gave the viewers some raw footage of the guys while they were on some holiday trip, which I am sure fans enjoyed. But there wasn’t anything amazing to hold me there and make me want to watch and rewatch it some more. Unless I find idols lying on the ground quite captivating, this video just didn’t feel like your standard music video. It felt like a home video that I was awkwardly made to watch when visiting some relatives. Though the scenery was nice and some of the symbolism made sense.

I did like the choreography for this the performance though (I staked out the live stream for the first stage). The symbolism of past and present was more apparent here than the music video, with each member doing selected movements before the other. It too fitted the song and for the rest of the performance, they were in sync with each other, which I thought was cool. Hopefully, what I saw hold and it wasn’t the members missing the timing to sit down or step off the chair together!

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8/10

10 Favourite Non-Title Tracks (Part 1)

Welcome to the first ever ‘Special’ segment of my website. Though I have used the category ‘Special’ for other purposes in the past, I thought I could use to expand the content of what I write. So I thought I would make various lists of different aspects of the KPOP sphere, starting off with non-title tracks that should be more appreciated. I have other ideas lined up like “favourite OSTs’ and ‘favourite dances’ etc. If you have any ideas, feel free to comment below and I may just look into your idea. In no particular order, here are 10 (and this particular will be expanded in further editions) favourite non-title track songs by KPOP artists.

Crying – Sistar

Sistar leaves behind many great tracks, so of which barely get enough attention. What makes Crying a great track are the vocals. They were dynamic and gave the song a very unique feel. I thought the chorus was extremely catchy and interesting with how it starts off with a striking delivery of the word “Love”. The instrumental was pretty simple and their vocals/raps matched it perfectly.

One Step, Two Step – Oh My Girl

I personally thought this song has a very nice blend of instruments. It also felt like angels were singing to me.  The track ended up being very addictive, becoming a song that I would search for on YouTube for a while. I loved how the track started off very sweet and nice. But as you approach the chorus, we enter a more upbeat phase, making the build-up sound amazing. The violins in the bridge were also amazing, with it being another highlight of the track.

Albatross – B.A.P

Adding to the fun vibes of their 5th mini album, Carnival, Albatross is one track to jam to. It is a very down to earth feel and listening to the song makes you wonder how fun the recording process would have been if there was a stage or music video accompanying it. It was released in February but there is a very vibrant and Summer feel to the song, making it a track that I constantly listen to during Winter when I want to feel some warmth.

Shadow – F(x)

I think out of all the non-title tracks out there and the songs on this list, this is the song that everyone will agree on as the most underrated song ever. It literally catches your attention with its very creepy lyrics. But the lyrics are smothered with the sweetness of the instrumental and their vocals, making the creep factor exceed the highest possible limit. It is extremely addictive and I totally love it.

I Wanna Fall In Love – Song Ji Eun (Secret)

Song Ji Eun’s tracks have always been intriguing for their dark messages. Her more recent releases haven’t followed that path, which is quite disappointing. But there are a few that have caught my attention, such as I Wanna Fall In Love. It is much better than many of her recent title tracks and her strong vocals resonate throughout the entire track. It dominates the entire track, which I think is amazing and the song is quite catchy after a number of listens.

Get The X Out – Sunny Hill

Judging from the title, I would never have thought of the song being what it is. It is extremely unexpected, as the instrumental is reminds you of toys and dolls. Very innocence. But instead, it holds a very scary message telling their partner to just leave. I love how they cut the swearing out (or else it would be banned) but it makes everything feel more intense. And this is another reason to why I love Sunny Hill’s songs. They take uniqueness to a whole new level.

Before The Song Ends – JJ Project ft. Suzy (Miss A)

To hear that JJ Project will be getting a unit comeback stage before the end of the year makes me extremely happy. But before that, I must show you all this extreme party-vibe track. Sure, it may be overpowered by autotune but it one hell of a song to jam to. Suzy’s featuring in this song makes it so much better. But the real winners are JJ Project, who has such a dynamic track under their belt.

Maze – VIXX

I tried to include some old tracks and some more recent tracks on this list. Maze falls under the “more recent” category, with it being one intense track to listen to. That is mainly because every time I listen to the song, I feel a rush of adrenaline as if I am actually running through a maze myself. It is a super catchy track and dynamic at the same time.

Switch – NCT 127

Switch is the only song on this particular list that has its own music video. From memory (and what I read a few months back) that this song and music video was recorded before the debut of NCT. I was totally into (and still am) the instrumental of the song. It sounded different to other songs that I have listened to. It’s another track that gives off a nice Summer feel, which I am totally digging at the moment, as I freeze each morning.

One Minute Back – SHINee

This, by far, is up there as one of the best songs ever released. It is such a unique song on so many levels. Their vocals are on point throughout the track, especially during the entire chorus. The lyrics of the song depict a guy catching his partner cheating on him and wanting to turn back time. Overall, listening to just once will not be enough as it leaves a very long lasting impact that makes you want to go back and listen to more.

 

 

A – GOT7

GOT7 is back with a brand new song. They made their debut back in January of this year and after receiving a lot of love, the boys are back with a brand new song. Their debut single, Girls Girls Girls, was not as a great song as I had expected, but they manage to start off quite strong as the newbies in KPOP. Dubbed as the next 2PM, the boys have managed to show off a different style for their fans, and have actually been doing quite well on charts, considering they are seen as a rookie group at this very moment still. However, we can see this group as the next big group in Korea. Maybe not today, but later on.

This song, to me, mirrors 10 out of 10 by 2PM. It has this same style of a fun song that manages to show off the charm of the members. Let’s look at the song. When I first heard the song, I thought the “A~” would become one of the most annoying things on the planet. But instead, I grew to like it a lot. Maybe I don’t find it annoying now, but maybe sometime in the future. I actually find it compliments the song quite well and really does not turn me away from the song. I like the rapping in the this song. Actually, I feel the same way about this song. It feels quite laid back and casual. It is not a very serious song nor is it a song that exaggerates the fun feel of the song. This just sounds like a casual song, where the song is sung in a casual setting, with the summery feel to it. I like the vocals and the rapping in the song. Particularly the rapping, it gives that casual feel to the song. The song, however, was far too short for me. Their lives barely make it over the 3 minute mark, Just a tiny complaint. But overall, an amazing song.

The music video is too quite casual. From where everything is set, to the clothing that they wear, the whole thing feels like a “normal” video to watch. The boys start walking into a diner, and then finds the pretty waitress, which they all decide to hit on. Then everything gets creepy. When she is walking alone on the streets, they follow her. When she goes shopping, they follow her. That is not love. I think that is considered to be stalking by many people. Anyway, the extras in the video really annoyed me. The boys run in and starts randomly jumping around and dancing, and they just continue to eat and eat. If that was ever to happen to me, I would be very annoyed, because they would be interrupting my time with food (forever alone) and also quite confused on what is going on. It was not until the end of the video that the extras started to dance around, and that two looked really awkward. But the video managed to reflect the feel of the song and also the lyrics so it was done quite well.

The dance is quite awesome. It seems to be an easy routine (not the ending though, those moves looks hard), but it also contributes to the simple and casual feel of the whole video which is once again reflected here.

Overall, quite a cool comeback. It is something that KPOP does not really have. That casual feel, that we don’t really see as much in KPOP. 8/10 Much better than their debut song, in my opinion.

Bounce – JJ Project

Song

I have been dying to review this song and now that I am OMFG!!!! I really love this song. It really is a great song that really does stand out from the rest. It really catchy beat and the really good rap and vocals. Oh and the chorus. It was like JYP chucked a load of English terms into one song, making it all sense and letting everyone’s jaw drop. As soon as I heard this song, I fell straight into its groove and beat. Jb and Jr are two very talented young men. If they keep on trying different genres, I think they would succeed. From what I know, there is a bit of rock and electro-pop into this song, which is pretty unique. I just want to say and it has been a while since I last watched the video, but the subtitles made no sense at all. Or was that another video? (If it is, then it would be very awkward right now.)

Music Video

Ummm… I really liked the music video. Expect for a small bit which kind of makes me look weird in a way. Is there a camera man in the music video? I think there is:

There is a camera man in the music video. Now I can see if he director made a mistake, but shouldn’t the editor surely picked up on this lonesome person in the corner. He  must have right?Look at UKISS’ video. AJ punched Kevin in the face. The editor there probably got sacked and another person got the job. seriously, while everyone has fun, there is a cameraman in the shot, just doing his job. How sad.

Oh and another thing about the music video. Newest fashion piece in the KPOP industry. All the stars are wearing this to the next red carpet: 

Imagine getting his head out this one. And I am talking about the cone head one. Not the actual stars of the video. Just the really smart person, who go a witches hat (cone) stuck on their head. Yay!!! Beside those two points, I really liked the music video. It was pretty good.

Live Performance

I enjoyed the dance for this song. It was energetic and quite fun to dance along with. The lyrics matched the dance literally (Like Wonder Girl’s Like This). Their heads bounced, when they were singing “Bounce, Bounce” and they shook their asses when they sang “Shake It, Shake It for me”. Not erotic at all. However the dance sequence at the end, kind of ruined the song, because it did not show much of the talent in of the artists. Though it looks hard, I expected something more from the guys at the end.

And The Rating?

8.66666/10. Yeah, cameraman. Not blaming it on you. Blaming it on the editing.  I don’t like a cameraman in the video. On in Behind The Scene footage.

Have Fun Watching 😀 Troy

Live Performance:

Music Video: