Jonghyun – BASE

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

ALBUM REVIEW
Jonghyun – BASE

1. Déjà-Boo feat. Zion.T
2. Crazy (Guilty Pleasure) feat. IRON
3. Hallelujah
4. Love Belt feat. Younha
5. NEON
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

OVERALL RATING
starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar
2½ stars

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11 Comments »

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  1. Wow! Everything you said was like perfect. I couldn’t help but laugh at the ‘dozing off part’ with “Love Belt”. So true! Well, this album was disappointing for me but maybe I expected too much. All I got out of this was great vocals (like always from him <3) and a couple of good songs. "Fortune Cookie" wasn't even worth my time 😦 Well, they say the rest of the SHINee members are to have solo albums in the future. Here's hoping they're better! Great review, Jade! Thanks! 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment! I was expecting to be the only one to feel this way about the album, but turns out I’m not haha 😉

  2. Thanks for the review, Jade.

    This album is a lot like Taemin’s “Danger” for the fact that it was pretty forgettable. You got a couple good songs. “Crazy” would have been better if that guy wasn’t rapping in your face for so long.

    It seems to me that this prove that they are pretty much nothing unless they are together as…”SHINee”. But maybe Onew will prove me wrong. And why does everyone have to try and go solo all the time? They are a group for a reason!

    • Thanks for the comment! You’re right, why is everyone going solo all of a sudden? The 5 of them together is what makes SHINee so good!

      • Hi there, Jade. It’s nice to see here on MA! We all know how busy you are. I love it when you get involved in our comments. 🙂

        In regards to requests would be easier to ask through email, or on MA? I do have a request though: “pieces” from KOKIA. It seems you don’t have much from her so about that? I also love her voice. 🙂 Just another suggestion for you.

  3. I felt the same. I’m impressed with the fact that in this period SM is making a lot of solo albums in a very interesting way (innovative atmospheres, a mix of different music styles, polished sound…) and I appreciate it, but I also feel that there’s something missing…a remarkable hit song, for example. I like new genres, but I also need a great catchy song similiar to the old ones and i think the agency should find a compromise about this.
    When i listened to “BASE”, I thought it was perfect as background music: sensual, relaxing, warm…but there’s nothing more for me, it lacks of substance. But I can also see maturity and unexpressed, precious potential behind. However, it’s a good thing that Junghyun composed. The result is a nice, average release in which he shows his versatile abilities, and because of this I know he can do better next time!
    (Sorry if I made some mistakes, my english is becoming worse, sadly…)

    Jade, about requests: would you like reviewing G.Soul’s mini-album? He debuted this year. Or Hong Dana’s “Asura”…

    • Thanks for your comment mari! I will look into those requests this weekend after I finish my exam this Friday ^^ Thanks for the ideas!

  4. At first, I wasn’t going to say anything…but I have to say…thank you! It’s refreshing to see someone put their feelings into words where they aren’t bashing the singer or his performance. So far, Jade has been the only one I’ve known to not do that.

    • I wasn’t aware of that, thanks for pointing that out! ^^ I guess you’re right, I don’t want to start bashing people just because I don’t like something, it’s always just a matter of opinion and it’s not my job to convince you guys to join me in my personal opinion haha. Always keep your own =D

    • I wasn’t bashing anyone, both Taemin and Jongyhun gave good perfomances, it was just their songs that were lacking. I don’t understand how they can do such great songs as a group and not as solo, but it still won’t stop me from loving them. 🙂 By the way, when I said “DANGER” I actually meant “ACE” but I’m sure you guys knew that.

      • No one was saying you bashed anyone, Cybuster. Actually, I was referring to people that weren’t from MA. You know, comments on sites and things. Sorry for not clarifying that. Not that many people even post comments on MA (hint, hint) 😉 I like to think that these first mini albums will help them to grow and that we can look forward to something better in the future from their solos. But I think they’ll always be best as “SHINee” because they’re so great together and it’s like they know what to do as a group (you know, song wise). Ah, I love them!! 😀 But by themselves, they just seem lost. With that being said, as “SHINee” or by themselves, I’ll support them no matter what ❤ Looking forward to their comeback!!!


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