When I heard of 2AM the first time, I disregarded them as some soppy-boy band for girls who love their mushy love songs. An Asian version of Il Divo (minus the opera) if you may.
Even when allkpop began hyping their upcoming new release with the many (many) teasers they kept releasing, I never bothered to click. Then when the official music videos for their first two singles were released, I was curious to see if the hype was all worth it. I listened to the two singles – “Like Crazy” and “You Wouldn’t Answer My calls” and went: “Wow, nice songs. They have great voices too.”
So I thought to myself: ” Well, if they have two great songs in one album, they may have a few more good songs”.
Long story short, here I am writing a track-by-track album review for an album I think is one of the best pop albums of the year! (I’ve managed to find out the English translation for the Korean song titles):
1) INTRO – Phone: A beautiful piano laden instrumental with the phone constantly ringing in the background. Sounds very Japanese soundtrack-esque. Also a precursor to the next track.
2) 전활 받지 않는 너에게 / You Wouldn’t Answer My Calls – A beautiful emotional ballad. Not much else to say really. It’s beautiful track.
I wouldn’t rave about the video, but then again, I’m a guy. The girls seem to love it. (4 out of 5 for the song)
3. 미친 듯이 / Like Crazy – Another great ballad! Slightly more uptempo compared to its predecessor but a soppy ballad none the less.
Since I don’t know Korean, I have no idea why they’re crying so much in the video. (4/5 for the song)
4. 바로 나야 (feat. GLAM) / Just Me (Feat. GLAM) – One of the my favourite tracks on the album! Happier, fresh-sounding with a 90s- groove to it. (4/5)
5. Mirage – Getting into American R & B territory with this one. Just ‘okay’ to me. (Sorry, I don’t like Korean-pop trying too hard to sound American) (2.5/5)
6. 다시 사랑하기엔 / To Love Again – A nice ballad. Sounds like a track you’d often find on a soundtrack to some K-drama or movie. (3/5)
7. 이젠 없다 / Now, There’s No More – Found this to be track best enjoyed with your eyes closed. Another great ballad. (3.5/5)
8. 불안하다 / Nervous – Beats! Thumping beats! Yet another song with a strong 90s-vibe. This time a lot more uptempo. (4/5)
9. Love U, Hate U (feat. 방탄소년단) – My least favourite track on this album. Only because its another attempt to sound American with its “H to the A to the T to E” lyrics. Didn’t even bother listening to it in full the first time. (1/5)
10. With or Without U – The most uptempo track on the album, this is a great track with the guys letting it all out in the chorus. (3.5/5)
11. 사랑한단 말 못해 / Can’t Tell You That I Love You – The final track on the album and believe it or not… my favourite song on this album! A sexy uptempo track with great beats, this seems to be a favourite among fans as well.
Overall album rating: 4/5 (Very Good)
I’m definitely getting this album! Either on yesasia.com or when I go to Bangkok in a few days time. With this album, 2AM are now officially on my k-pop radar.
Update: I finally bought my copy of the album. Picked it up when I was in Manila, Philippines.