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Trouble Maker (JS&HyunA) – TROUBLE MAKER [Album]

2011/12/07

★★★☆☆

  1. Trouble Maker
    Do not watch the music video.  Do not watch the music video.  Did I mention that you should not watch the music video?  Oh, and don’t watch the performances.  The audio by itself  is a pretty good pop track, which is why I strongly recommend abstaining from contaminating your eyes with the trashy visuals.  Actually, the debut performance, which was bad already (it was more “HyunA dear, what are you doing?” than slutty), was not as bad as the music video, and I don’t understand how either is relevant to the song.
    The song’s style is slightly upscale and spoiled, like it’s from the fashionable part of town.  The melody’s nothing special but catchy, and the whistle brings an element of old school suavity to the typical glamour theme.  HyunA and Jay Stomp (ha!) sell it well and their voices complement each other.  She might still sound whatever when on stage, but her studio voice sounds better.  I think.
    Trouble Maker sounds debonair: slick expression, confident undertone.
  2. 듣기 싫은 말 [Speech that I hate hearing]
    Koreans really like their Latin influences, as evidenced by the romantic guitar picking in this ballad.  Again, the melody is nice though typical, with a touch of something else in the instrumentals.  Personally, I’d like to strip off the percussion and bring the guitar further out, but it’s really a matter of what they were going for.
    This song is all Korean drama.  Obviously, it’s about a relationship not working out for some reason or another.  Maybe nobody’s dying, maybe the honeymoon stage ended badly, but it’s still the same thing.  These songs are a little too easy to file away.  Well, they’re pretty and THERE’S NO RAP.
  3. Time (featuring 라도)
    I’m going to call this a 바래 type of song.  It’s on the sadder side of the barae ballads scale but it has that unmistakable quality of reflecting on the past and looking towards the future.  It’s all in the rolling percussion and the chord progression.  Also, both singers sound great on this track.  So many variations of this type of song have been made, and they all sound more or less the same, but you know it’s your guilty pleasure.  You know it.
  4. 아무렇지 않니 [Don’t you mind?] (JS solo)
    Koreans can be so rote; Don’t You Mind’s a pleasant R&B ballad track like all the others.  Yep.  That’s really all there is to it.  Isn’t it boring?  It’s not quite exactly bad because the whole thing is tried and true.  The style, the instrumentals, the singing, everything is good but everything is also a rehashing of every other R&B ballad that ever existed.  It’s true that most songs in a genre will sound similar, and that’s even truer when the songs are written by a certain set of songwriters, but is it so difficult to reject songs that aren’t strikingly interesting?

Overall, it’s not too shabby despite the stupid fanservice-y promotions, but I am expecting better.

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