Okay, I'm going to get this out of the way. The English in the song has pretty bad grammar. If they added a few more words in their sentences, they would be much better, but to make the words fit the music better it gets choppy. You know what else, who cares? I understand what they are trying to say, and it's actually a really cool and inspirational song, so having broken English really doesn't bother me as much as people think it would! It's about placing your heart on a paper plane and throwing it as far as you can. When you are flying that high no one can hurt you or bring you down, it's about continuing to chase after your dreams! Just fly away from other people, because "no one can stop you when you fly".
- WANNA GO ()
Another remake comes after, with a similar sound. You can tell that they are older songs because they have that same sound as all the songs FT Island has put out. Jae Jin wrote the lyrics, and Seung Hyun and Min Hwan composed the track. Once again, three of the members sing throughout the song, balancing each other out. I can also tell it was originally Japanese, since J-Pop (and J-Rock) have a distinctive sound, that this song shares. It reminds me a bit of GO! by FLOW, which you may know if you watch Naruto (wow, that all rhymed and I did not mean it to...). Not too much, but the style is similar. I can imagine this being the opening to an Anime that's part action, but also romantic, if that makes any sense. This is a great "driving with the windows down" kind of song. It is upbeat and exciting, and is perfect to sing along with at the top of your lungs. I can't help but tap my foot and join in. Jae Jin and Hong Ki have great vocal chemistry in the song, and even though Jae Jin has a great restrained and cool voice he matches the energy of the song well while "keeping his cool", and the parts when Seung Hyun is able to add rap sections throughout the song take it to another level, and you get to hear him in his element as well.
The parts of "Go, go, go, go!" make you want the pump your fist and cheer them on, and the part with the "na-na-nas" at the end is a great way to close the song. Some people said that it is better in Japanese, and I can see that since the style suits Japanese better, but I love this version as well.
While different members were able to shine on their own in the first few songs, the songs from their Japanese album really showcase them all at once, which I enjoy. This song was composed by Jong Hoon, and the lyrics were written by Hong Ki, which shows that all of the members are able to write, sing, and perform at the same level. The song has a slower pace, but is not a ballad at all. It's another inspirational song about finding yourself, and living your life. My favorite part of the song is how it goes up and down between the higher and lower parts, like climbing up and down a hill. The songs wasn't one toned in the least, just in the chorus alone it moved around a lot. It still flowed nicely, while still keeping you listening and entertained with the rises and drops. I probably could have guessed that the song was written by Hong Ki without looking it up, since they really sounds like something he would write. As a person, you can tell he went through a lot to chase his dreams and now he is grateful for what he has and wants to share it with the world. The message of finding your true self, your life, is performed passionately since all of the members can relate to it. It's a great song and I'm really happy that it was put on this album, and remade as a Korean song.
- Compass ()
The next song also has lyrics by Hong Ki, and was composed by Min Hwan and Seung Hyun! The intro for the song is great, with a musical sounding tone from the speakers are the guitars tune in and start. Usually that sounds makes you cringe, but it gave a more artistic and "live" feeling to the song instead. The instrumental for this song is very instracite. Both guitars have their own parts, as usual, but they sound more distinct in this one. There's an acoustic sound, along with an electric, and while the acoustic is strumming along, the electric is playing it's own way and later gets a solo. The bass also adds so much to the song, and it wouldn't be as good without it. The drums are constant and aren't too fancy, but the vocals give room for you to really get a change to listen in on them. Multiple vocals take over the song, and like most of them, Hong Ki gives a powerful feeling to it with his almost strained voice saying "I'm sorry" and "I love you". Instead of it sounding like there is a lead vocalist, it's about the band as a whole. The bridge is great, with that "ahh-ahh" break in it, complete with the usual great harmonies. The song as a whole is great, is really their style, and is a good break in the song between the high intensity tracks.
- Let it Go!
Finally, we get to the final track on the album! The song was fully written by Jong Hoon, Hong Ki, and Min Hwan, and is a great final note to the album. This was released as a Japanese Music Video last year (2011), which you can watch Here. They also performed this song, along with the title track, on M-Countdown which you can watch Here. I didn't see an incredible difference between the Japanese and Korean version of the song, they both sound great and I don't really prefer either of them myself. When it is performed live it has a much more raspy feeling to it, which makes it a lot more fun. I love the parts of "let it go, my baby!" There are a lot of short English phrases throughout the song like "wanna drive you crazy" and "we can go anywhere", plus "make it happy and free"! I cannot resist songs like this and I want to sing along with the English phrases so much and jump around. This is how FT Island is, they can inspire and excite you at the same time. You want to dance around and chase your dreams at the same time. This has the best Rock sounds out of all of the songs. There are some effects adding throughout, but they add and don't take away from the song at all. Overall, it has addictive Engrish, encouraging lyrics, and a really positive sound. What's not to love?
It's great that they started the album with a song that has a Music Video and a new sound, and ended it with a song that has a Music Video and an old sound. Both versions of FT Island are great, and they put their own twist on everything that they do. I really love the band and want to own everything they have put out, but I am especially happy that I own this record! I got to know each member better in the first five songs, and got to know them as a band with the final five. I really feel like it's a gift, especially to Koreans who get to have their songs in Korean now! There are love songs and sad songs in the beginning, which transition into inspirational songs about hope and the future, so the album as a whole takes you on a ride! They started it off with a new song and style, and closed with something all Primadonna's are familiar with.
I really recommend that you pick up this album, or at least listen to it once. You can buy it online from Yes Asia, Kpop Plus, or another website of your preference for about $15-$25 (depending on the poster option and shipping). You can also but it digitally on iTunes for about $9, which is less than a dollar a song. It's a great price for such a well done album, at least I think so. If you want something that's Korean without being overwhelmingly "Poppy" this is a great pick for you! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! So, give it a chance and let me know what you think!
See you next time you jump down the Rabbit hole,