Notes: I was kind of disappointed in the MV. I was hoping for something more suit-porn related. Sure I know they were going for gangster, but you don't have to be a street thug to be a gangster. I was hopping for something like Mob Boss, top dog in high fashion with the tats of earlier days... They gave us a taste of it with the little bursts of story, but not enough.
Overall, the album is great, easily marketable to fan both inside and outside Korea, and it proves that Henry does have what it takes to go solo. I'll forever think of him as part of Super Junior, but still, he can go far on his own.
Also, I think this is one of SM's best releases this year so far. I'm not sure if I'm happy about that, or sad that it's taken them so long to gear up for 2013.
Top Track: 1-4-3 (I LOVE YOU)
Final Score: 7/10
Promotional Track ~
Trap started out beautifully. Right from the get-go, I was happy with it. The classical instrumentation and the street-wise beat go fabulously together. It's a pretty low-key track it doesn't build tension through pacing, but rather through raising the pitch as the song progresses. I like the bridge very much; it's a nice classical overlay that still feels very street-stuck. I even like Taemin and Kyuhyun's brief appearances, their voices wrok very well with Henry's I very much approve of it. I would have liked it better if the MV had told a more complex story. It's a great story telling song. The MV's story was a very basic love-lost thing. I was hoping for something like I Remember (Bang YongGuk & Yang Yoseb).
Ah well, I give it a 6/10: Good Job.
Other Tracks ~
1-4-3 has a nice bounce to it. The build up is also really well done, the melodic line is balanced and cleanly shaped.The song itself is also really cute. 1-4-3 as the number of letters in I-LOVE-YOU and then 4-8-6 as the strokes in 사랑해. It's a good lesson in Korean slang, and an adorable ode to a love with an outsider which definitely appeals to non-Korean fans (like moi). Overall it's a nice upbeat song that isn't upbeat simply because it's fast. I like it.
My Everything is a nice chill, almost campfire sounding song. I love the relaxed vibe of the guitar in contrast to the beat. It builds nicely and balances all the parts, the chorus doesn't explode but instead washes nicely over the listener, especially with the violins and the piano in the background. The English is an interesting add, I've got no complaints with it. All of the transitions have a nice lean-in pick-up of at least two beats and still the transitions are dramatic enough to create solid movement. The bridge is lovely and amps up the tension while taking away instrumentation and distraction (something too rarely done these days). The ending comes up suddenly but in a way that leaves you nicely breathless rather than lost. It's a good solid track.
Ready 2 Love starts with subdued tension that continues to build throughout the piece. It's well spatialized and really makes a listener move. Again it's a low-ish key song, not really all that fast, I'm guessing around 120 bpm, but it feels like it's going way faster than that, which give it this wonderfully dizzying feel of tension and mental release when tied to Henry's high-line vocals. Very nicely done, and again the ending comes up quick but not in a bad way.
Holiday screams vacation in every way most delightfully. It's very fun and light, even with the heavy beat. It's loose and freeing, a great summertime track. The claps and the rapid, loose-toned vocals give it a very organic feel. It speeds up slightly in the choruses and, uniquely, it makes the listener very aware of that fact with short vamps just beforehand. The double-bridge sort of thing is very nice, and quite unique. And the song calls to what everyone is thinking about, their stresses and how they need to just get away. It's a good track and very easy to relate to.
I Would shows off Henry's piano and violin skills beautifully, both playing and composition. It also brings out the unique smokiness of his voice, it's not quite rough, but it's on the tight and definitely not the typical solo-ballad-singer voice. It is very nice to listen to though. The English is a nice touch too, this whole album has been very cleverly geared towards international fans.This song is well structured and well balanced, and just nice to listen to.
Overall, I give these tracks an 8/10: Fabulous!
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