Before anything, I just want to say that as a fan I think F.T. Island need time to re-evaluate who they are as a K-band. Listening to everything since their debut and listening to everything on “Return” (the group’s 2011 Korean mini-album) is like listening to two different bands.
It seems F.T. Island hit a quarter-life crisis the day CN Blue plopped into the picture, and considering they’re both under the same label, it’s a possibility that F.T. Island felt the need to sprinkle a bit of the CN Blue flavoring to their style. However, in doing so, they ended up with music that was less like them than they probably intended.
Rather than competing with CN Blue, who have way more of a pop sound than F.T. Island, they might want to look into reinstating the elements that became F.T. Island staples – like the big swooping strings, engaging melodies, and even all of the angst. I mean, I love seeing F.T. Island happy and stuff, but c’mon – the angst was sooo indulgent and powerful. Not to mention Lee Hongki‘s voice is simply made to belt out heavily emotive songs.
I know I sound like a traditionalist fanboy but…I want the old F.T. Island back, goddammit!
That being said, I wasn’t expecting F.T. Island to release anything in Korea after their “Return” comeback this year, but listening to “Memory In F.T. Island“, I’m kind of relieved they did.
Instead of releasing brand new material, F.T. Island released a collection of five covers, a move that I found to be quite ingenious, especially after practically slitting my wrists just now saying they’re not themselves anymore. “Memory In F.T. Island” kind of mends those wounds.
The lead single “Like The Birds” isn’t my favorite song, but the arrangement does remind me a lot of “I Hope” from their “Cross & Change” album, which isn’t a bad thing at all. But even so, it slays next to “Return” because it feels authentic and true to the F.T. Island I know and love.
“Even Your Tears” is a definite keeper, mainly because twink-bassist Jae Jin sings most of it. I fell hard for his voice ever since I heard him in “Raining” back in 2009 and I’ve been a groupie ever sense. Of course, it doesn’t come close to the intensity of Hongki’s vocals, but Jae Jin has his place in the group, and when it comes to softer tunes like this one, I prefer them being sung by my baby over his superior.
Another great cover is “The Person In Shinsadong“, which Hongki sang on “Immortal Song 2“. It is seriously like he’s making sweet and passionate love to my ears
F.T. Island looked to bands that inspire them, took their hit songs, and gave them a classic F.T. Island twist. It’s like the most introverted artistic move they could have made, and in some ways it makes them appear more like a genuine group of buddies making music than simply idols calling themselves a rock band.
I enjoy seeing F.T. Island stepping into brighter songs sometimes, but their emo side will always resonate a little stronger with me, and I finally get some of that in this album.
Do you hear that, Hongki? You’re a funny guy, very talented. But don’t forget that you are more than welcome to sing to me like we recently broke up and now we’re having intense make-up sex, baby.
via Asian Junkie
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