Rewind!! Luhan Reloaded Part 1

The history of Exo is long and complicated for a short version of the story of Exo click here. Fast forward  to 2015 Luhan debuts his first mini album and music video as a solo artist. Below is the review for Luhan’s first solo release  Reloaded part 1.

After leaving Exo Luhan  changed his image so to prepare those are have only seen or remember Luhan in Exo .

Luhan went from this

luhan past

To this

luhan now

Now on to the (mini) Album!

luhan album cover

That good good hits the ground running with its hip hop influenced beat and catchy repetitive hook of the phrase I got that good good similar to Willow smith’s whip my hair song. As if luhan performing in this genre isn’t enough of a 180 degree change of his image some of the lyrics in the song (especially the pre chorus)may give one pause as they may be perceived as sexual . Some fans debate that maybe Luhan  doesn’t understand what the term “the good good” means but in the video watch his “dance” move whenever this verse arises. It is definitely a image shattering single which is probably his intention.

Adventure Time Is the true surprise track off this mini album even more so than that good good. The track starts off with dramatic piano chords mix in the instrumentals. The music is very reminiscent of western hip –hop (or trap) music which is a huge departure from the music Luhan had been doing with Exo. There had been a lot of negative reviews of the extreme use of autotune on Luhan’s voice . However it does give his voice a unique sound in the chorus and at his part at the end of the song.

That good goodSquaresound remix
A surprisingly dark melody starts off the track and builds up during the first stanza to a dub- step like climax with chiptune music. Great restructuring of the song ; taking the song from its high energy hip hop tunes to a low tempo electro / chiptune groove.However the chorus is only heard once and the bridge is absent which was a slight disappointment.

That good good – Penthouse remix
Like its brother remix on the mini album the Penthouse remix is much more low tempo than it’s original. While using electronic instrumentals  like the Squaresound remix the melody in this version  is much brighter. The beginning has a lounge like sound and midway after the chorus more hip hop elements meld their way into the music. Despite its fall release this remix would be a good summer song.
With this release Luhan makes his foray into the music world all on his own but he isn’t done yet as of this review he has already released two more songs possibly for a Reloaded part 2 release.

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TVXQ- Rise as god

tvxq2

In the year of 2003, a band with an legendary name as well as a unusually epic career began. Formed by SM entertainment TVXQ or DBSK (which stands for Dong Bang Shin Ki) roughly meaning Rising gods of the East, which is a high name to live up to. After their debut song Hug (which was not epic lol) TVXQ became a force in Korean and Japanese pop music. They were a groundbreaking and barrier breaking k-pop band reaching countries and audiences not yet touched by the newly growing k-pop industry. As time went on and their fame grew the good times hit a climax. In 2009 just even years after debuting three members split from TVXQ and sued their record label SM Entertainment to dissolve their contracts, for more info on why click here. In 2010 TVXQ  reemerged as a duo with the two members who decided to stay with SM entertainment Yunho and Chagmin. Becoming a duo was a drastic change, despite this setback TVXQ came back strong with their first single Keep your head down and the rest is history. TVXQ the duo began to rise again as gods of the east with a successful career and like before once TVXQ’s success reaches its zenith as a new challenge appeared. On July 21 Yunho was drafted into the Korean Army and the possibility of Chagmin entering later this year, meaning TVXQ will be on hiatus for at least two years. So before they leave the music industry for a while TVXQ released Rise as god as a farewell album for their fans.

A short TVXQ MV history

TVXQ –Hug

TVXQ – Triangle

I remember seeing this on t.v. in the U.S.A on the international channel!

TVXQ –Mirotic

TVXQ- choosy lover

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=044f9C9LBlE
Japanese single

TVXQ the Duo!!!

Keep your head down mv

Tvxq-Something mv

Riseasgod_cover

First track Vertigo opens with a vocal loop that repeats throughout the song. Powered by bass and a slight orchestral note Vertigo has a bit of the Epic sound I was hoping for. Yunho and Chagmin’s voices blend so well in the stanzas but more definitely in the chorus that it almost sounds like one voice is singing.
After the smooth dark intro by U-know and Max, U-know’s solo track Champagne brightens up the mood. With its disco-esque dance beat Champange is a definite party song. As it is Yunho’s solo track we are also graced with an accompanying music video.
Champange mv review
The music video for Champagne is as bright (literally) and energetic as its track. Yunho sheds his usual serious visage for a lighter and at times comical image in this mv. Yunho shows off his dance moves and even tries something a little different like his “cane dance” near the end of the music video.
Rise as one is Max’s first solo song on the album. Unlike like Yunho’s solo track Max is a slower tempo song with dramatic orchestral elements. It’s surprising with a chorus that places emphasis on we’ll rise as one that the song wasn’t sung as a duet.
Every day it Rains opens with the appropriately fitting sound of rain which then fades into the background of retro R&B music the beginning reminds me of never can say goodbye by Jackson 5. The premise of the song is how rainy days make the singer remember his ex-girlfriend. However it may not be truly just rainy days that stir these memories hence the songs closing line everyday it rains.
Smile lifts the mood with its jazzy melody which sounds very similar especially on the chorus to Grazing in the grass. Once again TVXQ shines with their vocals and use of English in the chorus.

Top of the world a bouncy piano infused number with 90’s flavor keeps the old school  theme flowing. High energy with a slightly laid back feel this song reminds one of R&B summer songs from the mid 90s.
Max brings down the high mood of Top of the world left us and leads us to the somber track Apology. As its name suggests it’s a song from the POV of a man missing his ex (once again) and offering apologies for his wrong doings almost to the point of begging hoping it would win his ex back.
Komplicated is Yunho’s second solo on the album and as expected is another dance track keeping with the old school theme. Komplicated brings as an early 90s house/dance themed track complete with minimalist instrumentals and repetitive lyrics. This song would fit right in on their Tone album.
Dominus meaning “master or lord” is a fitting title of this jazzy number about falling for a woman and wanting to her make his own. With its smooth jazz feel it would fit in well on one of their Japanese releases.
Lucky Star brings this farewell album to a close. This however is not a sober or sad song by any means. With its dramatic piano cords and building guitar in the dramatic chorus Lucky Star is more like an anthem song from TVXQ to the fans. After Lucky Star fades off (fittingly) the music of TVXQ will go silent for at least two years.

The selection of the solos highlight the contrast between the two singers Yunho (U-know) represented by upbeat danceable tracks while Chagmin (Max) shows his talents with slower, downbeat and somewhat solemn songs. As often with an impending loss or possible career ending event it tends to bring out the best in people in this case TVXQ. As a group that went through many hardships as a whole and individually in the end (for now) prove that they are truly The Rising gods of the East!

Rewind!! Teen Top mini album Natural Born

Hello readers! I’m sure you know this summer has been pretty busy with new releases, sometimes some coming out  back to back or many premiering on the same day. So with this rewind!!segment I have posted my review of Teen Top‘s mini album Natural Born which was released in June. You can check out the review here.

teen-top-natural-born-

What is your take on the mini album and Music video?

Let’s go back…….. to 2014 Taemin solo album ACE

Taemin has been a member of the super popular South Korean boyband “SHINee” since its inception (2008). As most boybands go SHINee’s catalog of works contained upbeat candy pop, dramatic anthems and R&B influenced pop songs. Being that Taemin is a member of this group one may typically expect his solo album to have similar influences. However this is not the case. As listeners will find out upon hearing the diverse tracks of Taemin’s first solo album ACE.

A very short video history of SHINee

   Taemin_Ace_EP

The following review is of tracks from the mini album that stood out to me as a listener.
Ace The album’s title track is a surprising intro to the album with its slight 80’s R&B ethereal vibe the airy chimes and keyboard notes creates a cool atmosphere that showcases Taemin’s lucent voice.

Danger Taemin’s debut song contains influences that is blaringly obvious from the first stanza: Michael Jackson. The song as a whole is an interesting mix of 90’s style euro-pop and Michael Jackson. MJ’s influence is heard in the details ranging from the song’s melodic rapping thru Taemin’s shouts of Danger! In case you are still not sure of  the Michael Jackson influence in threaded in Danger the video will clear that up.

Play Me brings us back to the flowy dream like sound that the opening  track Ace introduced. Taemin’s soft voice once again is complemented by lighter instrumentals and delicate melodies. Play me sounds like a homage to an older R&B song “Rock the Boat” by Aaliyah with its cool airy vibe and its repetitive chorus.

Pretty Boy This track interrupts the cooler tone Ace was leading. Taemin voice takes on a hint of base as he sings/raps with confidence and bursts with energy in the chorus. In variance with the track’s title of ”Pretty boy” Taemin tries to come across more macho and “hard” as a stark contrast to the smooth R&B crooner he portrays on the other songs off his album.

For a solo debut Ace demonstrated Taemin’s vocal talent in a musically diverse collection of tracks . The album as a whole establishes Taemin as a possible contender in the R&B realm, giving him a more mature and suave image than his k-pop counterpart (image?).

So what do you think about Taemin’s solo album ACE a year later? Did it help establish him musically and image wise as an solo artist?

SHINee Married to the music review

shinee married2

With their latest release of their repackaged album Married to the Music SHINee takes on a retro theme. I have always been a been fan of retro fashion, music and movies be it the 50s thru the 80s and even the 90s (now that its considered retro ) so I excitedly awaited this release. Check out my review of the new songs on the album and the unusual (for k-pop anyway) music video here

What do you think of the single or the music video? Better yet what you think of the new tracks?

Let me know in the comments!

Music reviews!

I’ve loved and have been doing music reviews for a long while and for a couple of years fell into a music reviewing hibernation. As of this year i have been woken up from this deep sleep and have been reviewing music (and music videos) for an up and coming website dj2thirteen.com

So… below are two reviews that I have done for them!

My very first review was of the K-pop boy band EXO’s second album EXODUS and you can check it out here

next is my review of French house music artist Allure! Its the first review I’ve ever done of an instrumental album! Check it out here!

First Post!

Hello readers and welcome to my first post ! Here you will find links to my music reviews and sometimes other articles ( music related of course!). Since I’ve started with this blog a little behind feel free to take a look at some of my previously published reviews. As of now whenever I post a review you will find out here first.