K-HIPHOP / REVIEWS

[Review] [Single] Jay Park – “JOAH”

2013_jay park_joah

written by: drowningn00b
Artist/Album: Jay Park – ‘Joah’
Genre: R&B, Hip-Hop
Release Date: April 03, 2013

Returning to his bread and butter, Jay Park’s ‘Joah‘ is a Korean single with a relaxed approach. After the boisterous ‘FreshA!R:Breath!T‘ of last year, the tatted rapper calms down for this three song set, bringing a new facet to his R&B singing; both good and bad.

As the lead single, “Joah” could not be more perfect. It’s fun, light, appropriate for the season and a bit irresistible. With an old-school R&B vibe, Jay Park is all love here, and his approach is of a man in love.

Where “Abandoned” failed to convince of heartbreak, “Joah” delivers on all fronts, from the jubilant singing to the evolving horns that create the backbone of this composition. Its counterpoint on this single, “Welcome”, also goes for the old-school ring, this time as a baby-maker. Composed mostly of keyboards and bass sounds, “Welcome” sets the mood, and Jay sings aptly for the occasion. In the end, however, the track doesn’t leave much of an impression. He left the macho bravado of “Be With Me 2Night” behind, but didn’t replace it with anything of worth. We know the guy likes to have sex and brag about it, but “Welcome” feels obligatory rather than voluntary.

All the elements of “사실이야 (1HUNNIT)” called out to me: the light and menacing production by LODEF, long time collaborator Dok2 and Jay’s history as a rapper. Combined, these should have made a killer rap track, but “사실이야 (1HUNNIT)” suffers from the main man himself. Jay Park tries a new approach by making his voice smaller and adds punch, but the result is overt emphasis on the words, as if he just learned the language.

Jay’s a good rapper because he can spit effortlessly, but this style is of a rookie than someone who’s been doing this for several years. Jay Park’s “사실이야 (1HUNNIT)” is heavy-handed, to the point of grating, which is unfortunate on such a well-written release.

==

As a single, “Joah” is what Jay Park needed as a comeback. It plays to K-Pop’s fascination with the seasons, features hand clapping, and his light singing, combined with the falsetto, create a superb track. To its detriment, “Welcome” falls off that height in terms of quality. If all you have is the lead, don’t really bother with the rest.

==

Score: 3.5/5

Singles of any kind are not rated with the same rating system used for mini and full albums.

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