After floating down from the Vampire Weekend–high I was in yesterday, settling with C.N Blue‘s new mini album, Bluetory, might have been a challenge. However, the influx of relief C.N Blue has spewed into Korean music today is quite fulfilling.
Tracklist – Bluetory:
- 외톨이야 (Im a Loner)
- Love Revolution
- Y, Why
- Now or Never
- 그럴 겁니다… 잊을 겁니다… (I Will… Forget You…)
The first and last songs are my personal favorite; they compliment the album like croutons to a salad. And let me tell you, that first song is something else. It’s very reminiscent of Maroon 5, and although I’m not a big fan of them anymore, C.N Blue is pretty much Maroon 5 gone Korean. And as true as that may be, I like them. Most of the album is relaxing. You can bust it out when you’re alone, reading or something.
Bands like these don’t necessarily focus on impressing with their voices, but more or less the melodic sound and configuration of their music. The track on Bluetory that has one of the nicest melodies is I Will…Forget You…
Say you don’t like it! Oh, and if you recognize this song, it’s because they have already released it in an English version. It’s just as amazing, in my opinion. Jung Yong Hwa‘s voice is raw and smooth and it’s nice to hear real music like this amid the ear-shattering k-pop.
C.N Blue is made up of Jong Hyun – guitarist, vocalist / Jeong Sin – bassist / Min Hyuk – drummer / and Yong Hwa – leader, guitarist, vocalist. And although I mentioned C.N Blue is not aiming to impress with their voices, I actually have to acknowledge the talented vocalists in this group – cuz they’re pretty good.
Going back to the first track, Yong Hwa and Jong Hyun’s voices play well with each other because both are relatively close in pitch. They sound like one unit and one voice when you listen to I’m a Loner, and not a forced combination of completely distinct voices. Which makes for cleaner harmonies.
C.N Blue aren’t a rookie in this business ; they’ve previously released their own Japanese material and are just now crossing over to Korean territory. It’s no shocker they sound as good as they do here. Bluetory is lyrically confident and it’s a classic rock (mini) album. The opening track ‘I’m a Loner‘ demonstrates their impressive versatility – cramming hypnotic melodies and rap into almost 4 minutes of nonchalant charm. It’s really commercial and it was the perfect choice for a debut single. ‘Love Revolution‘ keeps the momentum rolling as an up-tempo track that develops a mellowed atmosphere. With fun phrasing and continuous drums from beginning to end, along with cheering crowds, it sounds like a live recording to me, as if they pulled it from a live show, which gives the album a snap of authenticity.
As are most collections, Bluetory has it’s slow rollers – that being ‘Y, Why‘ which brings things down to a simmer with a rather Western-ish sounding rock-ballad. If I ever heard this song in English, it would definitely qualify for air-play here in the States. OH WAIT! There IS an English version – click here for that little treat. Three songs actually, were remade into Korean from their previous Japanese mini-album, Now or Never. Wise decision.
If I had to choose one least favorite song on Bluetory, it’d probably be ‘Now or Never‘ just because it sounds pretty generic to me. It isn’t bad, but not eyebrow-raising either. While ‘I Will Forget You‘, perhaps the best song on the album, is meaningful and beautifully composed.
C.N Blue’s Bluetory is certainly worth listening to, regardless of genre preference, because it’s essentially a great Korean album.
And speaking of worthy albums, SO IS Vampire Weekend‘s Contra – holy crap, that album is a stairway to heaven and it will probably be my next review. Go listen to it, like, now so you know what the crap I’m talking about.