Super Junior – MAMACITA

December 24, 2014 at 1:36 PM | Posted in Super Junior | 1 Comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Super Junior – MAMACITA

1. MAMACITA (AYAYA)
2. Chumeul Chunda (Midnight Blues)
3. Baegilmong (Evanesce)
4. Saranghi Meotji Anghe (Raining Spell for Love)
5. Shirt
6. THIS IS LOVE
7. Let’s Dance
8. Too Many Beautiful Girls
9. Hwanjeolgi (Mid-season)
10. Islands

♦ ♦ ♦

MAMACITA is the seventh Korean album by South-Korean group Super Junior, released on September 1, 2014. The album was later repackaged as THIS IS LOVE.

This album was requested by one of my friends, let’s see if I will like it as much as you do!

My friend has already shown me the MV for MAMACITA (AYAYA), I thought it was the craziest! Luckily the song itsself is amazing and it’s so catchy it got stuck in my head for weeks after only one listen! I was instantly blown away by Siwon and Kyuhyun opening the song, and Eunhyuk’s rap is an amazing addition to it. This was so catchy I think I’ll put it on repeat O:)

Now I’m using the color coded videos on YouTube to get more familiar with who is who in Super Junior, little fun fact. Chumeul Chunda (Midnight Blues) is a more laid back song after the catchy opening track and the guys sound wonderful together in the chorus. There are some really good singers in the group and here Donghae really stood out for me. I love the midtempo approach with the synths as major instrument here while there’s still a soft and relaxed ambience.

Baegilmong (Evanesce) takes a more pop/R&B approach while also a midtempo track. It’s more on the sad side when it comes to the lyrics and the guys captured it perfectly. Guys like Donghae and Kyuhyun have the perfect sound for songs like this, while Kangin was just too loud and in your face. Other than that, everyone together in the chorus made it close to perfection.

I was longing for something a bit more uptempo now, and Saranghi Meotji Anhge (Raining Spell For Love) is a quite lovely and bouncy track to fulfill my wish. It’s not really uptempo, but it has a bit more sass than the previous two tracks. I love the piano tune playing throughout the song and the little rap section opening the second verse, different than expected. I quite enjoyed this!

Sounds like Suju is getting quirky with Shirt, talking about different! This track is filled with horns and good beats while the guys hit it with some fierce vocals, it all fits very well together and I don’t even mind the ‘shirt sh-shirt shirt‘ chanting, which almost makes it a little too weird. Still, I can’t imagine myself sitting still to this one.

I was almost scared THIS IS LOVE was gonna be another ballad or other type of slow song, judging from the opening, but in the end it turns out this is more a midtempo song with a twist. It reminded me a bit of BoA’s song (with almost the same name) ‘This Is Love’, it has about the same funky influence in the music.

Let’s Dance is as infectuous as the title sounds, continuing the funky influences the previous song had by the inclusion of the guitars leading the arrangement. As the song develops it does seem to take on a more electropop sound too, I love the diversion here.

OMG is Suju going all One Direction on us? At least, that’s just what Too Many Beautiful Girls reminds me of, especially the chorus sounds so much like that famous 1D song in all its summer-ish splendor. Not that it’s a bad thing, I know some of you may not like the comparison but I mean it in a good way. This song is catchy and just pure fluffy, fun!

Hwanjeolgi (Mid-season) is the next summer track that seems almost 80s inspired with the use of the synths and keyboards in the background. The paradox to this song is the uplifting and breezy music in contrast with the depressing lyrics, but oh well… Nice rap too, overall not badly done.

Closing the album, Islands was written by Donghae to express the group’s friendship, I believe. It’s that kind of pensive ballad you would expect near the end of the album, especially with a title like that. There is some really good vocal work here and they picked exactly the right guys to take centre stage here, lighter vocals fit this song best. The soft percussion and strings joining the piano later really let the song take off, lots of love for this one.

This was my first Super Junior album and the title track hauled me over. I must say I was scared the rest of the album was going to be full of filler tracks, but that didn’t happen at all. There are definitely some gems here and I’m sure many Suju fans love this album. I won’t call myself an instant fan, but I guess I will have a lot at some of their other albums as well. Good stuff!

Favorite tracks: MAMACITA (AYAYA) | Saranghi Meotji Anghe (Raining Spell For Love) | Too Many Beautiful Girls | Hwanjeolgi (Mid-season) | Islands

OVERALL RATING
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4 stars

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Michael Jackson – Xscape

December 24, 2014 at 12:24 PM | Posted in Michael Jackson | 1 Comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Michael Jackson – Xscape

1. Love Never Felt So Good
2. Chicago
3. Loving You
4. A Place With No Name
5. Slave To The Rhythm
6. Do You Know Where Your Children Are
7. Blue Gangsta
8. Xscape

♦ ♦ ♦

Xscape is the second posthumous album of previously unreleased tracks by American singer Michael Jackson, released on May 13, 2014. The album peaked at #1 in five countries all over the world and as of September 2013, the album has sold over 1,400,000 copies.

No MA without the Michael Jackson category, I know the whole blogging world concentrates more on K-Pop and J-Pop but I BREATHE Michael Jackson music, so that’s why he’s here. Thought a little explanation might help 😉

So, Love Never Felt So Good is the first track and it was also released as a single that features the amazing Justin Timberlake. I love both versions, the version on the album features just Michael and it really lets him shine the way he intended too. This song revives the disco/soul genre 2014 style with catchy music, maybe a little tame when you know MJ’s discography very well but it’s a good opener.

Chicago really brings out the grittier side of MJ’s music with its mysterious and foreboding ambience. It starts out a little quiet, but then Michael lets everything go and he sings out his anxiety about this woman who he thought loved him, but lied to him. The deep bass and slight R&B/hiphop influence makes this timeless and very enjoyable.

After that darker track, Loving You is on the lighter and cuter side. While everyone else goes out, MJ would rather enjoy time at home with his woman, that’s what he’s singing about. His light vocals sound great with the uplifting piano tune that plays throughout the song. Maybe not a song you would notice immediately the first time, but it’s definitely worth it.

A Place With No Name tells the story of a man stranded in the desert, who is then lured to ‘a place with no name’ by a mysterious woman. This compelling story has very good music to accompany it, with catchy synth loops to make the thing a bit bouncier than other tracks on the album. It’s not as ‘in your face’ as Chicago is, but it’s one of the best songs on the album for sure.

One of my other favorites must be Slave To The Rhythm, another track that is pure MJ, very similar to the work he released when he was still among us. Everything about this track is strong: the lyrics, the beats, and Michael’s vocals are best. Everything builds into this big explosion of music near the end of the song, loved it so much.

Do You Know Where Your Children Are continues that strong typical MJ sound with aggressive use of beats, synths and the first time an electric guitar takes more centre stage. This is another track that shows how important it is to actually listen to lyrics, the message grabs me and although the chorus is quite simple, it’s delivered in the most memorable and catchy way.

Timbaland gave Blue Gangsta the perfect futuristic twist. This track was probably dark themed already since Michael’s vocals are a lot edgier again, but this song was reworked in such a way that it fits right in the category with ‘Beat It’ and even ‘Thriller’. Deep R&B filled with low-end strings, horns and snap-back snares, it’s as fierce as it gets and I love it ❤

MJ was very enthousiastic about Xscape, ‘Wait til the world hears it’, he used to say to one of his producers. Michael sings about escaping and getting away from the system and ‘electric eyes’, something like ‘Leave Me Alone’ in the late 80s. This track beats the latter any time and I love how there are samples of ‘You Rock My World’ here, one of my all-time favorite MJ songs.

I actually bought my copy of this album when I was in the States this summer and I don’t regret a single dime I spent on it. I must have played it in the car more times than I can even remember so I know all the songs by heart now. It reminds me time and time again how much love I have for this amazing legend, something that will never go away. Actually, I think MJ is the only artist I feel such a connection to and I have always said that, if I ever have a son, I will name him Michael in honor of him. Crazy? Maybe, but that’s how big my passion for his music and everything he had to say is. This is more perfection than his previous posthumous album was ❤

Favorite tracks: Love Never Felt So Good | Chicago | A Place With No Name | Slave To The Rhythm | Do You Know Where Your Children Are | Blue Gangsta

OVERALL RATING
starstarstarstarstar
5 stars

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