Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Jonghyun The First Mini Album 'BASE' Review
I'm going to be honest and say that "Deja-Boo" bothers me. I know that in Korean it would be romanized as 'boo' but that doesn't mean that that is the correct way that it is spelled. I just needed to get that off my chest, now we can move on to the actual review.
I am going to start this in the same way that I started the music video review
Is album is totally what I expected from Jonghyun, except maybe I thought there would be something a little more up beat but that could just be my inner SHINee fan talking. It probably is. Jonghyun is SHINee but SHINee is not Jonghyun and that can be said for every single member.
Jonghyun's voice is like butter in this album. He definitely knew what he wanted to do and he went with it. This album has him all over it and it is pretty good.
This first song is the annoyingly named "Deja-Boo" which features Zion.T and that is a great collaboration. It took me a few listens, but I think that I have decided that this is my favorite song on the album. This song is good funky fun and it is a great way to kick everything off. It definitely leaves the listener with no question as to what kind of album this is going to be. I also really liked Zion.T's rap in this song. It wasn't jarring or awkward, it was really good and he and Jonghyun's voices together were amazing. Yes to all of this.
Piano track! I completely forgot to mention that when I reviewed "Crazy (Guilty Pleasure)", but that should just be assumed that if there is a piano I will probably like it. This song has a great beat and the chorus makes you want to sing along, it's overall another great song.
"Hallelujah" then takes us back down with a lovely ballad with a great chorus to sing behind Jonghyun's own soaring voice. I like that this song is a slower one so he can wail out those hallelujahs. I also read the translation for this song and there are allusions to God, angels, and praying connected with the love that he is singing about. It's also one of those songs that you are so wrapped up in that when it ends you realize that three minutes have flown by and you want to listen to it again.
For our last collaboration we have Younha in the song "Love Belt" and dang that was smooth as heck. Everything about this song is so relaxed from the beats to the singers you just can't help but to sink into this song as it plays. This is coffee shop song if I ever heard one.
With all the other songs we are given these really funky or chill beats but "NEON" takes those beats and pours alcohol all over them. This is one of those songs that from lyrics alone it sounds like it should be a mopey ballad but it isn't because of how interesting the melody and the beats are. I also really like when a singer layer their own voice in a song and that is something that Jonghyun does quite often in this song especially with the chorus of "NEON".
Our next song "MONO-Drama" is all about Jonghyun and what he can do vocally. He has a deep smoky urgency which builds into a higher emotional sound that Showls are more used to hearing in SHINee songs. This song is also the longest song sitting as just above 4 minutes but it ends up being a 4 minutes well spent.
Not counting the two title songs, "Beautiful Tonight" is my favorite song on the album. It is very clean sounding and I wish I could make a blanket out of the chorus and wrap myself in it. Jonghyun finishes the song by switching into a falsetto which I love. This song is great and I don't care what anyone else says.
This album also has a secret song called "Fortune Cookie" which it short and interesting. The beat is very disjointed and all over place, as are the vocals. It's not bad, nothing on this album is, but it is the weakest song to me and that probably why it is the bonus track. It's an extra interesting tidbit on a really good album.
Over all this album was pretty good. Jonghyun definitely wanted to get away from his usual SHINee sound and he jumped over it and didn't look back. I also really like that he did so much in the making of the album from writing to producing to composing. This is obviously something that he really wanted to do and I am interested in hearing more from him in the future. Don't let this be a one time thing SM!