[ALBUM REVIEW] CNBLUE: BLUEMING
CNBLUE is back! Well, it didn't feel like they were gone for a long time... for me. Haha! It seemed like it was only yesterday when I was writing about them and listening to their "2gether" album, which, I know, was SO LAST YEAR.
Anyway, I was quite anticipating this mini album, mainly because I'm still a bit hyped from listening to "2gether" for 2 consecutive days. I needed my daily fix of anything CNBLUE. Although, yes, I did say in my previous blog that I was not completely satisfied or super stoked about "2gether". I only liked about 60% of the songs.
I've been reading a lot about "Blueming" over the past few weeks. I didn't exactly jump up and down when I found out that CNBLUE was returning with a mini album (their sixth mini album ever since they debuted). First of all, I think mini albums are a complete waste of time, effort and money. Why make a mini album when they can make a FULL LENGTH album with more than 10 songs? That's what I hate about K-POP. It's all about marketing and other devious ways to earn more money and rip the fans off.
MOVING ON... According to SOOMPI, "The mini album which includes five tracks features the title track "You're So Fine," which was written and composed by leader, Jung Yong Hwa. Jung Yong Hwa also wrote and composed "Young Forever," as well as composed and co-wrote "Stay Sober." Lee Jong Hyun co-wrote and co-composed the track "The Seasons," while Lee Jung Shin co-wrote and co-composed "Without You.""
So, yeah, I must "review" the mini album and share my thoughts about it, right? I might not be the most articulate and eloquent "album reviewer" or critic, but everything I say in here comes from the deepest and darkest recesses of my heart. I might be biased towards them, but if I don't like something, I say it like it is. I don't and I won't sugarcoat anything, so if you're a hardcore CNBLUE fan, I apologize in advance if I offend you or your idol.
YOU'RE SO FINE - This song is so damn fine! And I say that with every biased bone and muscle in my body. There's still a hint of jazz here, but it's the good and upbeat kind - not the boring kind that I hate. These boys definitely learned a lot from their previous album, "2gether", and took the electro-pop element down a notch. Composed and written by vocalist Jung Yong Hwa, this song has that vibrant and lively feel. It makes you want to get on your feet and dance… or at least sway your body from side to side.
THE SEASONS - I'm not biased towards Lee Jong Hyun, but you got to admit that he is the BETTER songwriter and composer. This song is just perfect from start to finish. In all fairness to CNBLUE, all the songs in this mini album were fun to listen to, but THIS is the most fun. The clapping sound accompanied by the strumming of the acoustic guitar - that just hit all the right notes. I can imagine them singing this song in a picnic, as they sat on a mat amidst the sea of grass and the beautiful, blooming flowers. This is also the perfect campfire song! I could totally see Jong Hyun strumming his guitar as Yong Hwa belting it out happily, while they are sitting around a campfire at the beach.
YOUNG FOREVER - A very teenage-anthem-ish song. There's an alternative-rock feel to it. It's very close to CNBLUE's music style, back during the "Voice" and "Now Or Never" days. I love the part where bassist Jung Shin (I assume it's him) starts singing "Can we go back, but there's no way back" as Yong Hwa repeatedly belts out the chorus. It's the kind of song that tugs at your heartstrings. I couldn't help myself so I looked up the lyrics and I was wrong about one part. Yong Hwa was singing "Thanks to myself" when I thought he was singing "Dance to myself". LOL. In all fairness to him, the lyrics were well-written and very profound. It sends a strong and powerful message to the younger generation.
WITHOUT YOU - This is probably the BEST ballad that I've heard from CNBLUE. Although, "Teardrops In The Rain" is still my favorite ballad from them, but this one is a strong contender. The incredible guitar solo, the lovely melody, the harmony of Yong Hwa and Jong Hyun's voices - everything was just spot on. It’s not necessary to make a lengthy and wordy rave about this song. All I can say is, LISTEN TO IT and prepare your heart for all those “feels”.
STAY SOBER - WARNING! This is a full English song. Not a drop of Korean line here. And it was written by Jung Yong Hwa! But, I gotta admit... I'm impressed. Although Yong Hwa's songwriting and composing skills are, no doubt, remarkable, English is not his strongest suit. He does have that distinct twang and accent when he pronounces English words, but most of the time I have to wonder what he was singing about. I KNOW. Music breaks the language barrier so I don't really need to know what exactly he's singing about. BUT... I'm an English teacher so I nitpick about these kinds of things. #sorrynotsorry
Lyrics aside, it actually had some great guitar riffs and catchy rhythm. I'm just wondering what Yong Hwa meant by "I just wanna see the purple in your eyes". Is the woman he's talking about wearing contact lenses or something? Kidding aside, I'm guessing the song is about being "drunk in love" or something like that.
All in all, this spring-inspired album is SO MUCH BETTER and tolerable than "2gether". It's a feel good album with the right amount of ballad, alternative-rock, pop and jazz. It didn't exactly exceed my expectation (nor did it fall short). However, it was closer to the CNBLUE that I used to "fangirl" over, particularly in the musicality and genre. We don't have "spring" here in my country, but this album definitely gave me some serious "spring feels". And like the album's title, the guys of CNBLUE are definitely BLUEMING and growing as musicians.