NOTES: I wasn't a big fan of the MV, but I did greatly enjoy the idea behind it and it suits the expansion of A-Jax's image. I think DSP did well with this one. DSP isn't the most famous of companies, but they've regularly stood even with SM as more than adequate rivals. I LOVE the ballads on this release so I hope to hear some more of them in the future!
Top Track: Come Back
(TopTrack Notes: I had trouble deciding this one. Technically speaking, ComeBack is the best song, so that is why it's the one I ended up choosing. The one I Like the best is Fantasy. And then lyrically, Thank Ya is the best and it's a close follow up to ComeBack technically speaking. So yes, there was much trouble in defining the TopTrack. ^_~
FINAL SCORE: 7.5/10
Insane stands up as a solid comeback track. It's not spectacular, but it plays around with rhythm very nicely and the melody moves over ever-changing beat with a pleasantly smoothe stride. The harmonies lift it up and press it forward. Lyrically it's a bit boring, and the whole of the chorus is painfully simplistic, but that does make it easier to sing along with.
I give it 7/10: Me Gusta.
Don't Break My Heart makes for an interesting intro. It starts the release off on the same rough and tumble vibe as their last release, which is good, adding in the smoothe vocals they got to show off then too. The high synth adds great energy and doesn't interfere with the vocals, it also messes nicely with the rhythm. I thought the mix is a little bass-light, not enough sub-bass resonance for the drama they wanted to convey. It is also structured to be pretty repetitive and the lyrical evolution is next to zero. The melodic movement is restricted, but there are some good elements of counterpoint.
Come Back is proof that you can never go wrong with snaps. The synth-vocal counterpoint in the intro is GREAT, and continues to be throughout the song. The pitch-bend in the bass is fabulous, especially with how it pushes the vocals around. Between the bass and that swooping high synth, you can really feel the push-and-pull of the song's meaning as it bleeds into the vocals. The song moves beautifully through the vocal parts and the raps and each section is delineated with an elegant subtlety that I adore. The basline is incredibly simplistic, but it really works here.
Fantasy is great fun. Quirky and filled with great energy and use of spatialization. It felt a titch bass-light, but at the same time I could tell that any more bass would have created vocal interference and THAT is one of my biggest pet-peeves, so I approve on shorting the bass. There's enough fill in there to keep the feeling of space alive. The melody is catchy and moves pretty well, the sections are well defined.
Thank Ya is a fantastic ballad, perfect for A-Jax. It's strong and rough enough around the edges to suit A-Jax's image beautifully. I like the vocal croaking-thing (I know there's a real word for it, but it's early and I'm still sleepy), it manages to tie the rough side of the image to the smoothe and sweet vocals. The melody has great movement and evolves well as it progresses. Lyrically, I think this is the best in the album, because it takes the time to slow down and explain, and to let the meaning develop as the song progresses.
I give them an 8/10: FABULOUS!
A-Jax - INSANE (Music Review)
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