AFTERSCHOOL – Shh

April 27, 2014 at 3:55 PM | Posted in After School | Leave a comment

SINGLE REVIEW
AFTERSCHOOL – Shh

1. Shh
2. rock it!
3. Shh (Instrumental)
4. rock it! (Instrumental)

Shh is the sixth Japanese single by South-Korean girl group AFTERSCHOOL, released on January 29, 2014. The single debuted at #7 on the Oricon Charts and has sold 16,483 copies to date.

AFTERSCHOOL has been releasing some really good Japanese stuff lately, and I have definitely been wondering about this single. Shh bears some resemblance to ‘Heaven’ in terms of 80s synthpop sound, but I think that’s exactly what Japanese music sometimes lacks. It’s pretty laid back for a song of that particular genre, but it’s catchy nonetheless. It takes me back in time to the 80s, when music was probably at its best if you ask me. Very good approach to that!

Jung-Ah, Raina, Lizzy and Kaeun take on rock it!, the B-side of this single. Raina and Lizzy are good vocalists, I have got to know their styles a little better by listening to ORANGE CARAMEL, but this song is definitely not that cute. It has a more aggressive approach, more dance/pop than Shh and less of the 80s vibe. Great way to have two uptempo songs that are completely different. Although this song ‘rocks it’, it’s not too special or anything. Just nice as a B-side.

OVERALL RATING
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4 stars

16,483
16,483
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Girls’ Generation – Mr.Mr.

April 27, 2014 at 3:38 PM | Posted in Girls' Generation | Leave a comment

MINI-ALBUM REVIEW
Girls’ Generation – Mr.Mr.

1. Mr.Mr.
2. Goodbye
3. Europa
4. Wait a Minute
5. Back Hug
6. Soul

♦ ♦ ♦

Mr.Mr. is the fourth Korean mini-album by South-Korean girl group Girls’ Generation, released on February 24, 2014.

Mr.Mr. starts with some heavy distortion, making me expect a heavy dance song. Eventually the verses sound a bit more aggressive than the choruses, which are funkier. What I like so much about this song is that it’s both catchy and it has good grind, hip-pop like. That catchiness is kinda what saves the song in a major way, because most of the time the funkier K-pop songs tend to do worse for me. Exception to the rule found.

Speaking of funky songs, it seems SNSD follows the latest K-pop trend and made Goodbye another funky song. That bass guitar in the background does the trick, and together with some more fitting vocals from Taeyeon and some nice cymbals it makes another nice song to listen to. SNSD easy-listening style, as I’d like to call it.

SNSD goes Homecoming with Europa, a light pop song that emphasizes yet another side of the girls as a group. Jessica was the perfect choice to deliver the opening vocals, it totally set the tone for the entire song. SNSD uses synths a lot in their songs, but this time the synths are higher pitched and combined with deep beats and a guitar. It’s catchy and fluffy, just a cute song that’s fun.

Wait a Minute continues the string of funky songs on the mini-album, being a bouncy kind of song. It´s definitely not the most memorable song here, it just flows a little too well to include any highlights that stick out, but it is catchy (in the way that you can’t fully sit still to it). I’ll forget about the melodies and such within the hour.

Sit back and relax for Back Hug, a sweet pop song with handclaps and acoustic guitars. It’s the first real ballad that can be found on this album, and it has such a cute and heart warming sound. I choose this one over Wait a Minute anytime because of its richness of calming instruments and vocals.

The ‘takeoff-intro’ in Soul made me think this would work a little better as the first song on the album instead of the last, but the overall song doesn’t really match with that exciting intro eventually. Still, it’s a very energetic and edgy song with an amazing electric guitar in the hooks, just to die for. Just not what you’d expect after the intro. Anywayz, it’s definitely one of the better songs on the album and maybe even better than Mr.Mr.

So in the end I enjoyed this mini-album pretty much. SNSD is becoming more and more one of my standard groups/artists to follow because of their energetic style and good use of vocals. Last year they released two very good albums, and I was wondering of they could continue that amazing succes. Well, for a mini-album this is good enough, but not better than ‘LOVE&PEACE’ and ‘I Got A Boy’. Still, this shouldn’t be overlooked by those who like SNSD’s type of music.

Favorite songs: Mr.Mr. | Europa | Back Hug | Soul

OVERALL RATING
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4 stars

BoA – Shout It Out

April 27, 2014 at 2:17 PM | Posted in BoA | 1 Comment

SINGLE REVIEW
BoA – Shout It Out

1. Shout It Out
2. close to me
3. Shout It Out (INST)
4. close to me (INST)

Shout It Out is the thirty-sixth Japanese single released by South-Korean singer BoA on March 5, 2014. The single debuted at #9 on the Oricon Daily Charts and has sold 7,515 copies to date.

I can’t remember when BoA last released an exciting and upbeat single, but Shout It Out caught my attention from the very first moment the PV became available. I enjoyed it so much that I was very disappointed the release date got pushed back a month. BoA knows how to do dance influenced pop songs that are very danceable, it comes close to the style she displayed in some older songs that I liked very much. Loved the vocals as well, please put this on an album TBR this year.

close to me is the ballad song on the single, just like the title suggests if you ask me. The acoustic guitar opening the song with BoA’s voice softly singing along gave me instant goosebumps, it’s not your typical J-Pop ballad but more Americanized if you know what I mean. I think this is the best BoA ballad I have heard in a very long time, I’m so impressed by the overall sound. The English/Japanese alteration is very smooth, I think I’d like a full English version sometime!

OVERALL RATING
starstarstarstarstar
5 stars

7,515
7,515

7,515
7,515

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