Jonghyun – BASE

January 31, 2015 at 3:14 PM | Posted in Jonghyun | 11 Comments

Jonghyun – BASE

1. Déjà-Boo feat. Zion.T
2. Crazy (Guilty Pleasure) feat. IRON
3. Hallelujah
4. Love Belt feat. Younha
6. Iringeuk (MONO-Drama)
7. Sigani Neujeosseo (Beautiful Tonight)
8. Pochunkuki (Fortune Cookie)

♦ ♦ ♦

BASE is the debut solo album by SHINee member Jonghyun, released on January 12, 2015. The song “Crazy (Guilty Pleasure)” was used as the lead track. The track “Déjà-Boo” was pre-released on January 7th.

Déjà-Boo feat. Zion.T opens the album and since Jonghyun said this album introduces his musical style, I’m wondering if this is it. This song is a neo-retro/funk type of song that is still humble in its approach, but very effective. Zion.T’s raps are very well put in without being off or anything, makes for a nice addition. Pretty good!

Since I’m a sucker for nice beats and a good flow, Crazy (Guilty Pleasure) feat. IRON is probably the perfect song for me on this album. It has something similar to hiphop in the background, with the irresistible piano riff taking center stage in the arrangement, very easy on the ears.. IRON adds some great edge to the song, loved it.

Hallelujah is like the Korean answer to Hozier’s ‘Take Me To Church’, comparing love to religion in some way. Although Jonghyun says he’s not good at singing ballads, he definitely is and he’s underestimating his own talent. Although this song lacks the big punch I’m craving for right now, it’s very creative and has a lot of production value.

Love Belt feat. Younha has a beat I need to get used to when I first hear it, but eventually it’s easier on the ears and very soulful. Younha is known for her R&B songs and she fits the ambience of this song perfectly. Still, it doesn’t really capture my attention and I tend to dose off after a minute or so.

Then finally NEON brings everything back on track for me, since it has a little more ‘oomph’ to it, you know what I mean? It’s still not uptempo, but it’s very groovy indeed and I like the soulful approach to the music. Jonghyun himself delivers the most solid and perfect performance on (probably) the entire album.

Iringeuk (MONO-Drama) has better beats than the previous track, but it has the same appeal if you ask me. A nice piano riff, layered vocals, a little bit of soul mixed in and, surprisingly, very nice deeper vocals by Jonghyun in some parts of the song. No goosebumps, but it’s good.

Despite being a midtempo R&B-inspired track, not something I’m looking forward to at the moment, Sigani Neujeosseo (Beautiful Tonight) has some surprising elements. At first it didn’t do much for me, but those catchy whistling parts made it a little more worth my while. Nice falsetto near the end, too, but again, it’s a little too tame.

Pochunkuki (Fortune Cookie) is probably Jonghyun not taking himself too seriously since it’s just a quircky little jazzy song, I can see why it was used as a hiden track (it’s also only two minutes in length). Fun to listen to, not really  a big hit or anything.

So basically, I expected more from this album. And ironically, for someone who says he’s not good at singing ballads, Jonghyun has a LOT of slow, ballad-ish songs on his album. I thought he would be more into R&B music and actually, that’s what I wanted to hear from him. Most of the time, I’m not into those sultry lazy soul songs. This is only my opinion, though. There are some good things I would like to mention, like the fact that Jonghyun once again proves he has AMAZING vocals and that he put a lot of effort into this album. I’d like to give him a hand for that, but that’s where it stops for me. Sorry.

Favorite tracks: Crazy (Guilty Pleasure) feat. IRON | NEON

2½ stars


January 24, 2015 at 10:29 PM | Posted in BoA | 2 Comments


1. FLY
2. Airport de Machiawase
3. FLY (Instrumental)
4. Airport de Machiawase (Instrumental)

FLY is the thirty-eighth Japanese single by South-Korean singer BoA, released on December 3, 2014. The title track was used as the ending theme for TV Tokyo’s ‘Soiyou Mystery 9’.

Okay, so this single totally slipped my mind, I didn’t even know it existed until about two weeks ago. I’ve been struggling to find the time to review it ever since, but here we go!

FLY opens with a beautiful piano solo and I always love the way BoA incorporates piano music in her slower songs. This is not really a ballad, more like a midtempo with a little sass to it. At first I thought it would be emotional, but there’s a sense of positivity in the music. I wonder why she chose to release something new right after she releases an album filled with past A-sides, especially since this would fit quite well onto that album. Still, a good new A-side to close BoA’s 2014.

So one song is called  FLY and the other one is Airport de Machiawase, quite the ‘airy’ theme (pun intended) right? There’s more of a bounce to this B-side and although I think waiting at an airport (which is the translation of the title) is like the most boring thing a person could do, listening to this song while doing it would actually make it less tedious if you ask me. Is it strange that I like this song a little more than FLY?

4 stars

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