written by: Mystifiedbulb
Artist/Album: Davichi – ‘Mystic Ballad’
Release Date: March 18, 2013
After all the hassle of leaving Core Contents Media, setting up an independent label and then once again rejoining CCM, Davichi have returned with their album ‘Mystic Ballad‘. As the title suggests, Davichi have stuck with their trademark ballad sound which certainly plays to members Lee Haeri and Kang Min-Kyung‘s strengths. The real question is whether or not they have been provided with the material to match up to their superior vocal talents.
In this reviewer’s opinion, a successful ballad is one which creates an emotional bond with the listener, thus, it follows that the best ballad singers will be those that can convey a spectrum of emotions with just their voice. This is one aspect in which Davichi do excellently, but across the whole album, it feels like they are rather limited by the emotional capacity of their music. Aside from “Turtle” all the songs seem to be rather sombre in tone, ranging from subtle heartaches to over-the-top heartbreak. The thing that is truly missing from this album is any sense of diversity. Once the listener has heard one of the many ballads from this album, then the rest sort of follow suit which means that the album adopts the structure of one lead single being supported by a mass of filler tracks. They aren’t necessarily bad, but they arn’t distinctive or interesting either.
Possibly the best example of this is “Cry For Love“. It starts off soft and builds into a dramatic chorus with plenty of vocal belting and sappy strings – a very formulaic and unmemorable approach to songwriting which is a great disappointment. There are many songs on the album that are literally indistinguishable in tone and instrumentation: “Just The Two Of Us” and ‘Nagging‘ are both guitar-led and are examples of the generic nature of this album. Despite this, they are nice enough to listen to, with the latter track featuring a rather nice build up which is slightly enticing.
Some of the best moments on the album are when the vocal performances of Lee Haeri and Kang Min-Kyung mesh and blend together. There are moments within certain songs where they sing in harmonies (rather than individually or in unison) which sound spectacular. The best of these can be found in the sweet “The Thing That Still Comes Up In My Memory” which is relatively flawless as a whole. The chorus isn’t over the top (which is one problem that features throughout the album, their vocal prowess outweighs the songs and throws them off balance) vocally and allows for a fluid emotional connection with the listener.
In all, this album, as explained earlier, features many tracks which are rather forgettable in nature but is interspersed with moments of brilliance. The constant drone of balladry is rather intense after over half an hour of listening, but the rare breaks in tone (such as on ‘Turtle’) are worth sticking through the album for. The main issue is that the material presented for Davichi is not nearly as strong or as demanding for their talents and it, rather disappointingly, is clearly evident.
|I Love You||
|Just The Two of Us||
|Cry For Love||
|The Thing That Still Comes in My Memory||
0 – could do without
0.5 – mediocre/filler
0.75 – pretty good/grew on me
1 – liked immediately
|I Want to Be Brave and Break Up||
|You Are My Everything||
Points to stars conversion: [(4.75/9) x 5] + 0.25*
*there is a 0.25 bonus for every album. The logic is that, if every song were “pretty good”, it’s a 4-star album.