[Album Review] 7°CN (7th Mini Album) – CNBLUE

7°CN is CNBLUE’s latest release and their 7th mini album since debut. So many releases over the years and I only just remember getting hooked onto their debut single. I wasn’t going to do an album review for this mini album, but I thought, ‘why not?‘. It is also a sign of thanks for your endless retweets, likes on Twitter and the huge amount of views for my review of CNBLUE’s latest track. To date, you guys made the 24th of March the most viewed day in the history of my blog and made the review the highest review of the year so far (865 views in just one day). The force of the Boices!

 

Image result for CNBlue between us
7CN Album Cover

1..Between Us (title track)Click to see the full review of Between Us (9.5/10)

 

2. It’s You – It took me a few listens to like this song, but I am now a big fan of it. Usually, I prefer the rock and powerful sounds that the band is commonly known for, such as their title track. But this feels different and most importantly, it sounds fresh. It a lot more fluffy than what I am used to but that doesn’t affect the track in any way. The instrumental pulls the song together, which gives it a bright and sweet feel. Yonghwa’s voice fits this song perfectly. Whether he is singing or rapping, it doesn’t matter. Those “Woah” and “It’s You” are catchy and make the song addictive. (9/10)

3. Calling You – When I write every single review, I take my time so I can listen to the song multiple times to ensure what I am writing is what I feel and I could pick on a few more things that I may have missed out. But I can’t write this review while listening to the song. Don’t take it the wrong way, though. It just shows how good the track. Yonghwa’s vocals don’t stand out here, but Jonghyun’s vocals do instead. That part where they sing at a higher pitch (post-chorus) catches your attention. To me, the instrumental sounds very typical, but there is a happy vibe coming off it, which is something that is hard to miss.  (9/10)

4. When I Was Young – It sounds like your typical KPOP song, but it’s jammed with more modern influences that one could imagine. The band’s influence is softer in this. It uses more electronic sounds, similar to the title track. And it makes the song stand out a mile away. To be honest, it sounds like a track that a dance group would have released as a B-side. But here, CNBLUE seems to effortless make this song work for them. I like this song because, like the title, it takes different genres that I grew up thinking wouldn’t work and make it work. (9.5/10)

5. Manito – This is the compulsory ballad that all album releases KPOP must have on their albums. Is there some law that enforces this? This song is probably the weakest track out of the lot. But that being said, it is still pretty good. The track does make you sway along, and their vocals make the song sound amazing. It does give you a chance to relax and take a step back from the epicness of the album. However, it just sounds quite typical and ordinary., which does make it disappointing. (8/10)

6. Royal Rumble – Besides the title track, when I first listened to this song, I was blown away by it. It’s not your typical track, and it isn’t something that I have heard from CNBLUE before. It adds an almost Latin or Spanish feel to the song, which does stand out a lot. I love the strumming guitar, which is addictive now that I come to the think of it. More importantly, is the buildup before the chorus. It may not be much, but it impressed me a lot. Also, the “Royal Rumble” which Yonghwa sings, sounds amazing. If he had a huskier voice, then the song would have been perfect.  (9.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9/10

 

Between Us Teaser Image

 

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[Review] Between Us – CN BLUE

CNBLUE has returned with their 7th mini album, 7°CN. This is their first comeback to the Korean stage since You’re So Fine, back in April of last year. Since then, the group had another (5th to date) concert tour and released more songs in Japan.

This song is amazing. Am I too straightforward? At first, it sounded a little awkward to me. CNBLUE is a band and for the longest time focused on more traditional instrumentals when it comes to bands (such as guitars, drums, keyboards, pianos and vocals). But the chorus this time is dominated by synths and electronic sounds. This isn’t the first time the band has gone for this style, but it is done wonderfully in this song. It keeps true to the band’s roots and the rock sound that I yearn to hear from CN Blue each time they come back, something that was missing from their last comeback. The chorus is made to headbang along with, something that I have been doing when the song pops up on my playlists or as the next automatically played video on YouTube. Per usual, the song is dominated by Yonghwa’s vocals, with a small distribution going to Jonghyun. I am a little disappointed because it has been a while since we have heard Minhyuk or Jungshin in their title tracks. But this song suits Yonghwa and Jonghyun’s vocals very much. There is a big difference between their singing abilities, but in this song, both voices worked well with each other. Everything was really catchy and addictive. And I mean everything (vocals, beat, instrumental). It’s a really good track and is a track that I would be willing to recommend to new listeners of KPOP.

The music video was interestingly shot. I personally thought it was a cool video to watch. There isn’t much to it. For the most part, especially, the chorus focused on the band. The camera circled the band, who were playing the instruments. It complimented the more upbeat and faster tempo of the song at that point. The verses slowed down a bit and showed more of the individual members. They spoke on the phone to their lovers. They used a flip phone and a brick (for those who do not get the term ‘brick’, it refers to the old mobile phones that resembled the shape and weight of a brick) for those scenes and Jonghyun was featured in a phone booth. Next, you would tell me this video was shot 10 years ago. There was a lack of colour, but that didn’t ruin the video. Instead, it had other effects on the video. Either the scenes were presented using a black and white filter; or while filming, they directed quite a bit of light to focus only on one area. It looked stylish and focused the attention of the viewer at one spot, where the member(s) were in the scene. I just was not into the overlaps of scenes and images (see feature image above). It made it look too messy. The idea behind them was nice, but it just looked messy. Overall, the video fits the song perfectly and vice versa.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10 
Overall Rating – 9.5/10

 

You’re So Fine – CN BLUE

So much work to do and yet here I am procrastinating. It is funny. When I don’t have anything to do but write reviews, I procrastinate then and find work that I have put off for weeks and months. Wasn’t actually planning on writing a review until tomorrow since today was extremely busy, but hey, CN Blue cannot wait. Yep, the band is back with a brand new mini album. That being said and all this talk about being busy, the boys are extremely busy with promotions and also solo work.

It is officially Spring and you can tell by listening to this song. CN Blue usually goes for a powerful rock / pop track. Something with a little more energy and bass is a sound that I would associate with CN Blue. However, this time around, they went with a song that has a mellow feel to it (but in a cheerful sense). This is the song that you would sit outside on a grassy field, with blue skies all over and there is just a nice breeze. That or cheery blossoms. Oh wait the song. I really do like the song. I was kind of shocked when I first heard it, but I grew to like this song. I don’t love and I don’t think it is their best song ever, but it is still a good song. The vocals were great, though the small sections of rap or the short instrumental we got for the bridge were kind of awkward. It has that “throw your hand in the air” kind of feel, but they are just hanging down near my hips. Though, I do love the instrumental. Combining that band feel with the saxophone did wonders to my ears. It isn’t overpowering and the volume of the vocals and the instrumental is just right.

The music video was boring. The guys are in this lobby hotel. Minhyuk is getting his hair cut. Jonghyun is getting this poor kid to polish his shoes. Jungshin accidentally gets locked in the elevator. Yonghwa is the singer by the bar. Okay. A girl walks in and each guy is suddenly drawn to her presence. She some hows manages to interact with all of them indirectly (by giving people around them flowers). Then she goes and gets changed, and each of the guys decide to sit there and wait for her to come down and blind them with her beauty. Might have added that last part. But there wasn’t anything in the video to make me go wow. The video just had me thinking “So what?” throughout the video. It wasn’t climatic and it just didn’t do much to portray that spring feeling. I did like the set, very colourful. And there is what I liked the best regarding the video. Their clothing isn’t that great as well, but very retro.

Overall, great song. I’ll pass on the video though. 5/10

Cinderella – CN Blue

CN Blue is back with a brand new album. This year, the members have focused mainly on solo work up until now. They have returned to acting and also launched solo careers in Yonghwa’s case. He made his overdue debut with One Fine Day at the start of the year. The band itself has been busy in Japan, releasing singles after singles that topped charts. They also have had many concerts in the few months in between Yonghwa’s debut and their second album release.

This song is a great song. Their last few songs have been quite mellow and more ballad like. This song picks it up quite well and adds that Summer feel that I don’t see much in CN Blue’s songs. This song is catchy and addictive to listen to. We don’t really see much bands in KPOP, so everytime we get something from CN Blue, I get excited. This song gets me really excited. It kind of reminds me of the tune of their debut songs and the few songs they promoted afterwards. I love the “ooo~”s that we get throughout the song. Jonghyun’s and Yonghwa’s voice compliment each other a lot in this song. In the past, Jonghyun was given a small part of the song, but in this song, he has parts that are spaced out more. Jungshin’s part, which was the “Somebody help me” was great as well. I am disappointed that Minhyuk did not get much of the song beside the drums and the “ooo~” that we aren’t really sure if it is his. They also nailed the English this time around. It was a great song and a nice throw back to the era of CN Blue which I liked.

As for the music video, Minhyuk’s arms. Damn, someone has been to the gym. Hahahaha… It is weird that the girl was there one minute and all of a sudden she disappeared, with a glass slipper to replace her. Like I get it for Minhyuk’s part where he looks away and then when he looks back to see that she is gone, but honestly Yonghwa’s part where she was halfway through shaving his non existing beard and then all of a sudden he leans forward and she is gone. What a teaser. And where on earth is that small laundromat? I have never seen a place look so small. Essentially, two washing machine are found in that small room and it looks so tight that they barely have any room to stand, yet somehow they made some room to sit down on the floor and chill for a while. Jonghyun’s part was also weird. He leans to the girl for the kiss, but she just vanishes and leaves a slipper behind. Jungshin probably got the short end of the stick and the only form of skin-ship with the girl, was a simple bump. But I love how dark the rest of the music video was. Does it match the song? Probably not. But I thought the test looks quite nice and reflected the mysterious nature of the girl that disappears and randomly leaves glass slippers. And how many pairs of those shoes does she have? Like why are there so many glass slippers at her disposal?

Beside that shocking music video review, I thought the music video was enjoyable and the song was incredible. CN Blue never shocks me. 9/10

Can’t Stop – CN BLUE

Source: http://img.ohkpop.com/2014/02/23/aegzos.jpg

CN Blue has finally returned with a more softer image. Move over rock side of the band, welcome to the world ballad side. It has been a year since we last saw the band as a whole promoting a new song on the stage. Their previous song, I’m Sorry, was a major hit and did pretty well on charts. After countless number of individual activities through solo song promotions and dramas, we finally get to see them in flesh. Almost every song they have released has always been a hit and this song proves it. Despite the competition they have at the moment, the band managed to capture their first win this Wednesday. Congratulations!

The song is more of a ballad rather than that really addictive rock song that we tend to here. It has been toned down from their last song, which to me is really disappointing. But needlessly to say, this song is pretty good itself as well. I am just not used to this softer side of the band. However, this song I think is equally as good as their previous songs. The instrumental is really subtle and for some reason, i am not troubled by it. I don’t know why but a few songs (most of which I have not reviewed) sound kind of weird, but this song is pretty good. The piano at the start really suited the song. And I liked how the other instruments were slowly added to the song. The chorus was really cool and catchy. Not as addictive as other songs, but still pretty good. The vocals are kind of weak in my point of view. The voices are a little whiny in my opinion. Jonghyun sounds really awkward and I think he suits more of a fast paced song than any other. But still pretty good!

The music video was pretty boring in my point of view. Though the song was great, the music video dragged out for a very long time. Not sure about CN Blue’s obsession with foreign girls though. They look awkward together. I find it really weird that they chose the most popular member to  be the lead actor, but I have to say he is pretty good. Looks like Yonghwa is a professional (I don’t watch K Dramas, well beside Melody of Love at the moment). He portrays the role pretty well. I like the whole idea of the mirror acting as a passage way into both worlds. There are two things I just find that does not work at all. Yonghwa makes a sound that is loud enough for her to hear. She looks towards Yonghwa, but then turns her head in the opposite direction. Like, I think a mirror making the sound would capture your attention straight away… I don’t believe it. Also, it really ticked me off how the smashed glass pieces became coloured balls. You know, how that just ruined the pleasant feel of the video. I expected literally smashed glass, not some randomly 2 year old play pen balls. But beside those two complaints, the music video was pretty cool.

8/10. Not bad, just some mild things that did not sit right with me. Go CN BLUE!!!

 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!!!

 

It is finally Christmas and I am excited! And the year is already up. Sadly though. However, shall we continue with a more different review this time around? But before that, I just would like to wish everyone who will read this post a Merry Christmas. Enjoy your time, with family, friends or anyone else. Be thankful and be safe. Let’s enjoy the final few days of 2013 and ready to party with 2014. Anyway, today, it is really more of an impromptu review. Not score will be given for these reviews. I have review Lonely Christmas by Crayon Pop and Miracle Of December by EXO. There are however four more Christmas songs that I want to review and today will be three song reviews in one! Shall we get started???

Christmas Song – United Cube 

United Cube is back with a lovely slow Christmas song that showcases the groups under A Cube Entertainment and Cube Entertainment. The artists in this song include: Beast, 4Minute, APink, G.Na, Huh Gak, Roh Ji Hoon, BTOB and Oh Ye Ri. Wow that is a lot of artists. Also included is Kim Gi Ri, the comedian for Gag Concert. The song has this soft tune that reminds you of a warm Winter’s night, like Christmas Night. Though the song starts off really slow and it takes quite a while for it enter a more Christmas-like song, by the end, you are bound to remember those warm Christmas nights with your loved ones. I think the rap was handle really well in this song which is pretty good, considering how raps tend to ruin a good song. And the whole song, vocally, sounds amazing.

 Love Falls – Romantic J 

Now we are getting into the more festive songs. This song may sound like a love song, which it is. I really love the jingle bell feel of the instrumental and how the vocals in this song are not hard hitting as powerful vocals. Though Jonghyun from CNBlue does not have as much lines as Juniel, the song still sounds amazing. His husky voice fits the tone of Juniel’s voice which makes the song have this beautiful duet. The song is quite addictive and sounds really good. I have been lipsyncing to this song since it came out. Though the music video may seem more of a romantic story, the song still carries the Xmas cheer. Yay! Also, this is a duo that I would love to hear more from.

Winter Propose – Jellyfish Entertainment 

This song is the only song that is really close to those Christmas carols we here every year. Not exactly what I like, but it still does. It features all the artists of Jellyfish Entertainment including: VIXX, Seo In Guk, Sung Si Kyung, Park Hyo Shin and also a mysterious female singer (do I hear a singer debuting next year?). This song sounds amazing and really has that festive cheer to the song. It combines all of the artists of Jellyfish Entertainment and amazes me a lot. Though I was not much of a fan of their previous Christmas song and also their more experienced singers, this song gives you that warm feeling that makes you remember Christmas day and eve a lot.

Snow Candy – Starship Planet

The final song which gives off the happiest Christmas feeling of the year. It features Sistar, K.Will and Boyfriend and seems the most enjoyable song out there for memories of family and friends. Again, this song, along with the others vocally sounds amazing and the rap seemed to be handle really well by Bora and the Boyfriend rappers. Of course K.Will and Hyorin holds the main vocal part of this whole company venture, but with this song, I am going to let it slide. The music video also seems to be the most festive one out of the four. Pity that Dasom from Sistar was not a part of the filming, but probably have featured in the he song somewhere. Not sure where though.

Thank you for spending another year with me. Merry Christmas to all, wherever you are on this planet. Be happy and I will see you next time!!!!
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