Music Review: ChAOS "Racer"

It is so easy to get caught up in all of the popular bands that have been out for a while and miss the great new bands that are debuting. BIGBANG, 2NE1, Super Junior, SHINee, Wonder Girls, SNSD, Jay Park, 2PM, 2AM, and all of the other big names out it the K-Pop scene had to start somewhere before they became as famous as they are now. They were all new, debut bands at one point, so I think that it's important to keep track of upcoming bands that may, one day, take over the top spots in the music world. Many bands have come out recently, including B.A.P, EXO, NU'EST, and C-Clown, and all of them are doing well and have songs that I am addicted to. ChAOS had already put out a single this year in January, but this is their first album. I don't think they got very much coverage with their single, as many music companies were releasing talent during that time, but I wanted to write an article on the band, and their new album, to let them shine a bit. I think they deserve it.

ChAOS' 1st Mini Album Racer, released July 28th 2012! 

ChAOS debuted with their first Single Album January 6th 2012, which had a Music Video and two songs on the album, both of which are on their Mini Album. While their debut was the typical peppy, cutie boy-type image, which may be a reason they were overlooked at first (sorry, just saying what others did. To make it big in the K-pop scene, with so much competition, you need something new and fresh to really stand out and get noticed. Most groups will go from cutie to edgy between their newer albums, as they mature, and they did the same.), the new album has them with a completely new image, which drew me to watch their new MV and learn about the band. ChAOS is under LOEN Entertainment, and I believe that this rookie is going to do pretty well if they continue in their career. 

The band consists of five members, which I don't know if it's planned but the name has five letters, and gives the music a rounded feel. From youngest to oldest is Lee DuHwan (Main Vocalist) 1993, Kim DongMin (Vocals) 1992, Kim HeeJae (Vocals) 1990, Jang HyunSun (Rapper) 1988, and Park TaeYang (Leader/Vocalist) 1988, who has been on TV shows as well. They have a website for fans you can visit as well Here, and you can find their Facebook page Here.The music is a combination of Synth, Rock, and Pop with their powerful vocals as well as rap sequences. ChAOS' mini album has a blend of many music genres, all mixed together, making it really interesting to listen to. The album cover shows off their new, edgier style well, not being afraid of looking "Ugly" or "Beaten" for their look, which give them a really powerful feel that's far from their last album. Even with them covered in dirt and bruises with the dark lighting, I'm still able to make out their faces to recognize in the future, showing that they invested in a good camera man and stylist. The new album only has a few tracks on it, but it is still really well done, and has a really cool MV to go with it for their title song "Racer". 

Let's move on to the songs! 

- Racer

The music video for this song is great, it's what got me into the band in the first place. I think that I have watched it about once or twice a day since it released and I'm still not tired of watching it. The dancing is slick, the outfits are extremely edgy while still being fashionable, constantly changing camera angles, and the use of paint in this video made it really creative and got me sucked into their world. When it ends, you see what all of the paint left on the floor, in a type of modern work of art. I loved the concept as much as I love the song. You can find it live Here, as well as other places, and the official Music Video Here
One of the things that people complained about the song was that it was really meshed up and chaotic sounding, which I think is ironic since their name is ChAOS. I think that the song was supposed to sound chaotic, and I personally love it. I think that it will grow on you the more you listen to it, if you don't like it the first time that is. The song starts of with the sound of machinery and dialog, and moves into building music and vocals from rap to singing. Once the rising music reaches its peak it gets faster and higher, and moves into a dubstep sound. After that the piano kicks in the into quick singing and harmonizing. Next comes the staccato "Ohs" that will get stuck in your head forever, and you will sing it aloud before you notice what you are doing (like me!). All of that happens before the 1 minute mark. Yes, it sounds crazy and confusing, but they blend into each other well. After all of that, it moves into the main chorus which sounds slightly different as well. The chorus repeats the same line at first, then changes, and goes into a very short rap. After that the music is slower, like it's being stretched, with slightly building longer notes, that have a haunting breathless tone to them. The structure of the song pretty much repeats after that. (It's a bit like Suju's Mr. Simple how they had many parts of the songs together, but with more parts that blended together a bit better.) There are also verses and a longer rap sequence for the bridge, and the song ends on more long high notes and dubstep synth sounds. 
Whew! That was a lot to write! It's hard to really write out the changes in this song, so I hope I didn't confuse you too much with that paragraph! There are so many sounds, effects, and instruments in this song that it takes a while to pick them all up with your ears. I think the main reason I don't get sick of this song is its complexity. The English is also well done in this song, which is a nice bonus. If you understand the lyrics to the song the music makes a lot more sense. The song is named Racer, which is really appropriate. It's a passionate love song, of when a man is chasing after the girl and wants to capture her heart. It's an adrenaline rush and a competition like a race, but he's determined to win, and the finish line is the girl that he loves. The machine sounds, the builds, and the intensity of the song mixed with the softer parts really show off a persons heart in this situation. I really love this song and I think that the lyrics and music match each other perfectly and the song is both intense and beautiful. There is so much to it that I think this is the most I have ever written about a single song before, so it should be easy to tell that this is one of my top favorites songs of the year! For a new group this is a extremely well done song, and I can't get enough of it! 

- Quickly Go 

This next song is a bit more mellow compared to the last one, yet still is fairly fast paced. There are a lot of people who prefer this song to their title one, and I'm still undecided, but I think that racer it still my top for now. The intro for this one is really nice, it's a mix of piano and synth, and it runs throughout the rest of the song. I liked being able to hear the voices of the individual members better in this one. They do a good job with the English in this song as well, the accent is very light and I understand what they are trying to say. The chorus in this song is also addictive, with the repeating "I don't know", that matches the background beat well. They have more high notes and harmonies in this one, as well as rap secqunces. The bridge is done well, with the melancholy toned rap, gliding into the other members parts. There are effects used on their vocals throughout the song, but you still get to hear what they sounds like, it's not too overwhelming. This really is a pop ballad that's done really well, it's not too slow but still conveys emotion and could even be danced to. The song fades out similarly to how it begins, and moves on to the next song. 

- Ice Lady

This is the most "Dance/Club" song on the album, it's really upbeat and fun! Although the way they say "Ice Lady" is a bit funny, it's kind of endearing and addictive (similar to the Engrish in B1A4 songs that you can't get enough of)! It has a bit of an Old School vibe to it, reminding me a bit of late '90s and early '2000s music, in a good way. It's not too Old School that it's cheesy, there's a fresh kind of spin to it as well. Like most club songs there are tons of different effects, sounds, and instruments strung throughout the song. The bridge has a Dubstep breakdown to it, and I can picture an intense hip-hip dance going along with it, (like in Nu'est's Action). I don't want to compare them to different bands, but it's the best way to describe it. Overall, it's a driving with your windows down, crazy dancing with some friends, toe tapping song that you want to sing along to and hear on a rainy day to cheer you up. I think that you get more of a crazy fun side of the band through this song, as opposed to emotional or edgy. The vocal talent in this isn't overshadowed by the myriad of sounds, they have distinct voices that also harmonize well with each other. There are many parts where their voices skip and overlap each other, giving the song a "full" sound and funky effect. 

- Last Night

This is one of the songs from their earlier albums, and while it is good, you get to see the growth of the group since then. The song is a melancholy one, about not being with the one you love, longing for them, regretting the break up, and all the other sad stuff that comes with it. The band does a great job of having the emotions come through their vocals, adding more depth to the song. When their voices have a bit of strain, as if about to cry, it really hits me. I think that putting so much emotion into a song that you understand it, even if you don't speak the language, and it touches your heart is what great music is all about. This song is a great example of how people who listen to K-Pop, without knowing a lick of Korean, still "understand" the music, and that's why they love it! The music is their style, sounding similar to the other tracks with the instruments and effects used. The piano adds depth to the song, instead of it being all beat and synth, it sounds remorseful and dejected yet beautiful. THey convey their feelings so well with the overall composition, and their voices show the emotion while still sounding on point. 

- She's Coming

The album ends where they began, with their first single. It's about a pretty girl, pretty obvious right? This is by far their peppiest song, it's extremely playful with a brass section and "talk singing" with some effects. The MV also shows this, with crazy costume, funny poses, and even some furry hats and beanies with glasses. Compared to the edgy, intense song that the album started with, it's like a polar opposite. They don't have the young/child-like faces of cutie boys, so it's more playful than "Aegyo". It's a fun song to end the album on and I like the ending a lot. Besides that, I really don't have too much to say about this one. I still like it, I enjoy listening to it, but it's still not my favorite song off of the album. It's good to hear all of their songs on one CD, to see the growth and diversity, so I'm glad it's on here.

There you have it! The first "official" album of ChAOS! I still can't get enough of this one, especially the first three songs. This took me forever to write up even though it's such a short CD, so I won't drag out the ending too much. It's definitely worth a listen, the videos are worth a watch, and the band is worth keeping an eye on for the future. There are so many groups out right now, so one more seems like it can be too much, but trust me when I say that this one deserves some of your time. Their music isn't for everyone, but I really love it! It is available on iTunes, but it can be difficult to find, so I'll put a link to it Here, it's about $5! You can also buy the physical CD with the poster Here, at Kpop Plus! 
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! 

See you next time you jump down the Rabbit hole,