September 29th, 2014


Hyolyn's Love & Hate album review

hyolyn love&hate

This review is long overdue as I purchased Hyolyn (Hyorin) of SISTAR's first solo album when it was released last year. "One way love" is very catchy, and I've also grown to like the other title track "Lonely" although at first it bothered me how Hyolyn sings almost the entire song in a held-back, breathy falsetto. On the other hand her voice soars in the two strong ballads "Closer" and "Falling". Of all the rapper-featured songs in the album, "O.M.G" with Geeks' Lil Boi is the most fun, "Red Lipstick" with Block B's ZICO is all right, "Stalker" sounds too much like Mad Clown feat. Hyolyn instead of the other way around, while "Massage" I skip most of the time because I simply can't stand Dok2's rapping voice and the weird dance break. Hyolyn doesn't really need too many rappers to overshadow her because she's able to shine just fine on her own, and not to mention raps by herself in "One way love". 8.5/10

Favorites: 너 밖에 몰라 (One way love), Lonely, Closer, Falling, O.M.G (Feat.Lil Boi)
Okay ones: 오늘 밤 (Tonight), 립스틱 짙게 바르고 (Red Lipstick) [Feat.ZICO], 사랑 하지 마 (Don’t love me)
Kinda meh: 스토커 (Stalker) [Feat.Mad Clown], 마사지 (Massage) [Feat.Dok2]
reading is sexy

SISTAR's Touch & Move mini album review

sistar touch&move

After their last album Give It To Me wowed me in 2013, I had high hopes for SISTAR's newest release this year. While this summer EP doesn't quite manage to top their previous effort's awesomeness, it still contains some jams. "Touch My Body" is a certified earworm, while "Naughty Hands" feat. Verbal Jint with its laid-back charm is reminiscent of "The Way You Make Me Melt" feat. Geeks, one of my favorites from SISTAR's previous album. The intro track "Wow" would've been better if it wasn't all Hyolyn—she has her solo releases for that after all. "Ok Go!" is not that bad but half of it sounds like a poor attempt at a 2NE1 song, while the token ballad "But I Love U" doesn't really do it for me somehow. The mini album ends on a high note with "Sunshine", an upbeat track which fits the summer theme very well. An honorable mention goes to the acoustic version of "Touch My Body" which features guitarist Ahn Jung Jae (watch the official video here). A pity it's not actually included in this record. 8/10

Favorites: Touch My Body, 나쁜손 Naughty Hands (feat. 버벌진트), Sunshine
Okay ones: Ok Go!, Wow
Kinda meh: But I Love U

Taemin's ACE mini album review

taemin ace

After becoming a full-fledged SHINee fan I spent most of August being excited about youngest member Taemin's solo debut. But first of all, I can't get over how weird this EP's cover is. The bubbles in front of Taemin's face make it look like he has a white beard and a glowing blue eye. Anyway, "Ace" was first previewed in a short video and I immediately fell in love with this R&B slow jam. It took me a bit longer to warm up to the dance title track "Danger", since I feel it should've had less whisper-talking and more singing. But after watching the MV a few times too many I was hooked (I especially like the bbambbambbam part). "Pretty Boy" feat. EXO's Kai is a fun song with elements of rock, while "Experience" has a catchy opening melody and verse. "Play Me" is another slow track and I was expecting it to build up to something, but after the second chorus it doesn't go anywhere and just ends in a lackluster way. In contrast, "Wicked" plays it up with the dominant brass section and has a nice culminating point.

Objectively speaking, Taemin does not have the best vocals in SHINee and some songs like "Ace" fit his voice better than other numbers. While listening I also get the feeling that some tracks would've sounded better with the addition of the other members' voices. However, it needs to be remembered that when this kid first debuted in SHINee he didn't even have any solo lines in the title song. I think this mini album and Taemin's performances of the songs in it show how far he has progressed and, at the same time, how much potential he still has to further improve. 8/10

Favorites: Ace, 괴도 (Danger), Pretty Boy
Okay ones: 거절할게 (Wicked), Experience
Kinda meh: 소나타 (Play Me)