I haven’t really been keeping tabs on Jay Park this year and a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m not particularly fond of him as an entertainer. Actually, scratch that. I’m not fond of his methods of entertaining at all, and yes I’m talking about him strip-teasing every two seconds of his life.
Listen, I know it has absolutely nothing to do with his music (thus my prefacing my actual album review with the airing of some pent up whatever), but that kind of douchebaggery doesn’t work for me. The fact that men get away with being practically nude all the time while women are immediately slammed for showing their midriff ticks off my rational-self completely and I’m not even a fucking feminist! Jay just happens to be that guy with too much self-worth in Kpop for me to like him. Stay pressed if you disagree.
This week, Jay (unofficially?) released “New Breed Part. 1” of what I’m guessing at the moment to be a portion of an on-going project that he’ll probably drop in early 2012. It’s a five-track EP and since it’s so short, I’m just going ahead and calling it a mixtape. In fact, the continuity of these songs is so minimal that he might as well have released it as such.
I’m not even going to lie, I thought Jay Park’s “Take A Deeper Look” was a pretty awesome mini-album, but due to some of his fans preemptively being big, fat assholes to me for taking my time reviewing it, I…didn’t review it? Their loss I guess because I had tons of praise for it.
Anyway, “New Breed Part. 1” is unfortunately not as strong as “Take A Deeper Look”, at least not musically. Where “TADL” had one pronounced voice, “New Breed” has five flimsy ones, which isn’t necessarily referring so much to the songs themselves, but more to the execution of them on the whole. They just don’t make that much sense to me being under the same roof when they should. But I guess that comes with the territory of an EP, wherein artists try to touch all and every taste bud in one mouthful. And not to continue comparing one mini to another, but “TADL” was also very generous to Jay Park as a singer. By this I mean the production quality of “TADL” was good enough to compensate for what I will kindly call his lack of vocal proficiency.
The vocals on “Star“, the single, were mixed way too hot for my liking to the point where I wish I didn’t have to listen to it to review it. Jay’s singing is very nasal-y, which is very common among pop/hip-hop singers, and I wouldn’t have that big of a problem with it if it weren’t for the fact that it’s so present and distracting. It’s like Jay’s pinching his nose closed. That’s literally how it sounds to me and the fact that producers didn’t do much to alleviate that isn’t helping. I think Jay should collaborate with Lil Mama. Their singing voices are so annoying that they’d probably cancel each other out, leaving room for something cool a la “Shawty Get Loose” to ensue.
But either way, good singing voice or bad singing voice, “New Breed” is actually not half bad. Part of the highlight of this EP isn’t exactly Jay, but his cohorts. And by cohorts I mean the incredibly awesome rappers Dok2 and The Quiett, who added a nice level of badassery to this EP. They lend their flow on the best tracks – “Enjoy The Show” and “Up And Down” -which are of course up/mid-tempos, and honestly these are the type of songs where Jay sounds his best. For what it’s worth, I can’t really knock Jay for rapping because let’s face it, he does it better than 3/4 of the Kpop “rappers” you find in boy bands, not to mention just having talents like The Quiett on his music must mean he’s at least okay enough to hang with the big kids. Plus he sounds like he’s having fun, which I’m going to interpret as a genuine aspect in his music. I don’t know how meaningful that actually is, considering Jay’s ego is flashing its dick in “Enjoy The Show” (again), but hey that’s ‘hip-hop’ for you.
Overall, “New Breed Part. 1” is just okay. It doesn’t have enough weight for it to stand as strongly on its own as some of his past projects, but I’m thinking Jay has left the best bits for what I’m sure the masses hope to be a Part 2. We’ll see.
“Up And Down” Feat. Dok2
support the artist, buy the music: Melon