Notes: In the MV, I LOVE the Starry Night guitar, very classy. The whole video is really chic, there's a bit more camera shake than necessary, but it's good stuff. I also like that Toxic is using this rather rare genre, it would be nice for the kpop world to develop more of a rock-scene acceptance. Toxic reminds me a lot of the Japanese anime--easy-rock ops. I like it
Top Track: Midnight
Final Score: 7/10.
Count Down is a solid track. It has a nice sound that's unique in the kpop world. It has nice energy and it moves along well, the drums really add well. The guitar fills during the chorus and the vamps are pretty bland, but it adds nicely to the verses. It's decently spatialized and the bridge rocks, I would have like to hear a little more of the high gear jam session before it drops off, but it still does its job.
I give it a 7/10: Me Gusta.
Lonely (rock vers) is lovely. The nice deep vocals and the piano bleed well into the harder rock line of the guitar. The contrast of the falsetto and the deeper vocals keep up the idea of having the rock version sliding though the song. The use of pauses and silence is well done and the track moves really well.
Jamsilado Geudae (잠시라도 그대) has a great energy, the syllabic verses drag it out and the chorus punched it up nicely, the vamps all build well and drive the song melodically forward. Lyrically it doesn't go very far, it doesn't really evolve, but it's still catchy and that it's so easy to sing along to has it's merits.
Midnight's piano intro is absolutely gorgeous. The acoustic guitar is too. And the vocals slide through, just underneath it all in this beautiful, subdued sort of hum. The reverb on them gives this ghostly sense of sincerity to the whole track. The melody evolves beautifully, and the harmonic elements are gorgeous, especially with the use of silences. It's panned nicely with spatial interest but not an overwhelming space, it's very cozy and quiet even as it stretches out a private little world to feel full-scale. It's really well done.
Into the Night slides along wonderfully. There's some serious sass in this track. The energy builds steady through out the verses and the chorus gives a nice plateau moment without dropping the tension an inch. The drop into the next verse then comes along like a clandestine entrance into a secret-agent mission. The bridge adds to the exoticism of the feel, the sense of adventure. Over all, it moves well, but it doesn't really evolve, and it's construction is pretty simplistic.
Match is a nice, subdued track, with quirky harmonics that give it a unique vibe. The hard guitar and the drums are the main focus, and they're fabulous enough to merit that attention, but it really makes for little more than a fun outro. The song's length is good, being just short of 3min, any long and it would have felt like it was dragging.
I give them a high 7/10: Me Gusta.
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