This music review is on an artist that you may or may not know, Go-Younha! This is her fourth album, and it is jam packed with talent! The album is much longer than most released in Korea are, so this will be a relatively long post even though I am only going over the music and not the packaging. The music is so diverse and yet so unique to Younha's style. I have been enjoying the album all week, and am very excited to write about it now! This came out a short while ago, but I didn't want to just skip over it. So, let's get started!
Younha's Supersonic, released July 4th 2012!
Like most great talent, Go-Younha was actually rejected several times before she started her career. After being rejected about twenty time in her native country Korea, for not being pretty enough (which I don't see at all, she's gorgeous!), her career launched in Japan when she was Sixteen with one of her demo songs being put in a soundtrack for a Japanese Drama (Destiny of Love). She was later able to release the song as her first single. After that, her songs were featured in the Japanese Anime Bleach. After she achieved success in Japan with records and soundtrack songs, she began to release songs in Korean, including re-releasing songs that were originally in Japanese. She also has had her songs featured in Korean Dramas, such as Personal Preference, and she has collaborated with different artists, such as Epik High! So if she sounds familiar to you, that may be why. Although her career had a rough start, she persevered, and was after BOA to being the second Korean to be on the Oricon Charts top twenty. She now has success in both Japan and Korea, and you can tell the influences of both countries in her music.
(Information found on Wikipedia)
The tone to her voice is one of the most beautiful that I have heard. It is not at all harsh, yet is powerful. When you hear how talented she is, it becomes to surprise that she was already a professional singer when she was sixteen. The sort of sound of her harmonizing with herself on the album give it a lot of depth, while still sounding like herself. There are also some guest singers on the album, such as John Park, Jay Park, and Tiger JK (Drunken Tiger)! The sound of the album leans more towards rock than pop, and has clear influences from Japanese, Korean, and Western music. Not only does she speak Japanese and Korean, but her English is also pretty good. This is a great album for people starting to listen to Korean Pop music, since it's a nice balance between the classic Korean sound and the familiar Western sound. There are some effect sounds used, as well as Guitar, Bass, Drums, and Piano. There is clearly a lot of musical skill behind the music. She also released a really artsy and creative Music Video for the song Run on the album. The overall sound of the album is a upbeat, energetic, peppy kind of rock, and not the harsh, metal, sounding one.
Wow, is this a moving song! This is now a love song or a sad song, it's more of an uplifting and encouraging song. I will admit that when I heard this, and saw the lyrics, I nearly cried. There is so much passion is what she is singing, on top of the profound lyrics. (Look them up once you get the chance!) The sound of the song is also great. The music moves between a softer, mellow, sound, to an intense, rock, sound. This really portrays the ups and downs in life, and fits the song really well. There's even a guitar solo in the song before the bridge, which I really liked! This sounds a lot like "J-Rock" that you would find on an Anime Soundtrack, which makes perfect sense with her background. I think the transitions are done well, the singing is intense yet trained to hold back enough that it's no too harsh, and it makes for a really enjoyable song that you can nod your head to and sing along.
This could be put in the "Sad Song" category, if you need todo that, but not completely. It's more about cheering yourself up, like "Tomorrow" from Annie, when having a bad day. Instead of sulking about a bad day, picking yourself up and looking on the bright side of things. My favorite line (translation) is, "Today is better than yesterday, and tomorrow is brighter than today", which explains half of the song. Another line is, "Today is as boring as yesterday, and tomorrow will be as dull as today. It's waiting for me, tomorrow and today". You can read that however you want, the way that I see it is the back and forth between cheering yourself up, and still feeling "off" that day, that's my opinion. I really like the music for this song, with the building instruments on each line, and that kind of "peppy rock" that was very popular a couple years ago. You know, the one that sounds upbeat and jazz inclined? Anyways, I really like that sound, and her voice suits it very well with her contrasting high and low vocals.
- Rock Like Stars (Ft. Tiger JK )
This song is the most "rock" out of the album so far. I really love the use of the petals and long guitar notes on the song, as well as all of the music put together. Tiger does a great job with his part in the song, his and Younha's voices work really well together. The song is the sort of superstar, club, song that you will hear sometimes. About the glitz and glam of being a celebrity, and they did in in a fun way instead of a purely cocky way, I think. Overall I really like this song, even though it's not really the style of music that I usually go for. I especially like the really long note the Tiger holds after his part, once you notice it you'll see what I mean. It's a really good collaboration of both artists styles.
This song is definitely my favorite off of the album! It has slight electronic influences in it, more than the last few songs, and the song is really addictive. It sounds a lot like the theme for an exciting anime, and I mean that in the sense that it's really awesome! The music replicates the feel of adrenaline as you run towards something. This is a love song, but not a ballad kind of love song. It's about leaving the past behind and running towards the person that you love. The high notes and emotion in the sound really hit me, and I love the harmonization with herself and music breaks. The music video is great as well! Her expression slowly changes to a more and more joyful one as she runs towards the person she loves. Also, the humor behind it, when she jumped and you saw the classic ET bike scene behind her, was phenomenal! I was laughing at it, and not in a bad way, it was really clever! Overall, if you can only have one song on the album, I would choose this one.
- No Limit
The song starts out with skipping music, which is a cool effect that I liked a lot. It really has a classic rock sound to it, and sounds especially good when you use stereo headphones, with the music bouncing back and forth with the faded radio kind of effect. I think it's really about being free to express yourself, and growing up, and sounds like her personal journey. I think that putting her feelings into her lyrics and vocals is one of the best qualities of Younha! I really love the sound of the song, with it's sassy and upbeat music, and powerful vocals. This song also reminds me of an intro to an epic Anime series, and I really do mean that as compliment!
- Rain Shower (소나기 )
This song shows off Younha's softer side, and the restraint that she has in her vocals. I love the pairing of a simple piano and a more acoustic feeling for the song, it really balances out the album. When I hear this song the main thing that comes to mind is, "Wow, she is such an amazing singer!" I really found her voice magical in this song, and the others as well. To think she has such depth to her emotions and songs at a younger age is incredible. She sounds so mature musically, which can be hard for people who are barely in their twenties. This is a really emotional and deep song, that gives you chills and can make you cry, especially if you have a soft spot for sad ballads like I do. The song is about lost love and the regret of losing it and not working harder to keep it, as far as I can tell. It is such a beautiful song and it will make you fall in love with her voice once you hear it.
- Would We Have Changed (우린 달라졌을까) Ft. John Park
As a fan of John Park, I was really excited to see that he was featured on this album! Man, do I ever love this duet! It is just so wonderful! Not only do their voices blend effortlessly, but the song is great as well. The music is very light, to highlight their voices, but also powerful at the points that their voices get more passionate. When it comes to the lyrics, they are also very touching. It's about missing the person that you love, and wishing that they felt the same way so that they will come back to you. They both convey the emotions of the lyrics perfectly, and I think this is the perfect song to make into a duet. John Park and Younha's voices both have low and high ranges, so they can really match each others talent, and both of them stand out equally. This song makes me love both artists even more.
- Set Me Free
The instrumental on this one is my favorite, it has so many instruments to it but they all mesh together well. It's a longer song, over 6 minutes, and that's for the intro and ending of the music. This has a really dream like state feeling to it, and is really soothing. It's still a very powerful song, but it's more relaxing and brings more balance to the overall album. I feel like Younha really got to let loose in this song. Her voice still sounds amazing, but it has more of a "free" and unrestrained feel to it, which matches the song perfectly. She goes between very high and low notes throughout the song, especially the chorus, still showing her talent even when she isn't putting as much "control" into her voice. I would say to listen to this song a few times, and you'll hear the depth that the song has. It's really wonderful, and is the kind of artistic music that I am really drawn to.
- Cream Sauce Pasta (크림소스 파스타 )
The music in this song also has a very intricate sound, though it's "lighter" than the last one. There's a really interesting acoustic sound, mixed with electronic, kind of like Owl City (if I had to compare). It just sounds fun to me! The vocals match it perfectly, with the strong high notes, and the "eh-eh-eh" parts, that you want to hear over and over again. The title does match the lyrics in the end as well. So what about the song? It's just really cute and funny, honestly! It's about what would happen if the person you broke up with cried and wanted you back, what would you think of? Why, the pasta that you ate the day after, how a sunny day it the best time to eat it, and how it sounds good! The whole song seems serious and builds up, but ends with such a funny line! I can't help but smile when I hear this song, it's so peppy and clever!
- Wait For Me (기다려줘)
This song seems to match the duet that she sang with John Park. The person wants you to hold on to your feelings and wait for them, after breaking up, because they are slow and eventually realize how much they miss and love you. Once again, love her harmonies with herself, and the music. It has an orchestral sound, mixed with some acoustic and electric guitar, to make for a lovely and intriguing ballad. It sounds really sweet and mellow, and there is longing in her voice as she sings. At the end it fades out with soft piano and guitar music, which was a really nice touch. I think that it was composed very well, like the other songs on the album.
- Driver Ft. Jay Park 박재범
Yes, it's that Jay Park! This really is a collaboration, because it has the Hip-Hop influences from Jay Park, and the Rock influences from Younha that you have heard throughout the album. This seems to be a mix of the rock star kind of song sang with Tiger, and the "Set me free" song. It's that kind of power song of being free after leaving someone and being able to be yourself and being in charge of your life now, instead of the other person controlling you. "Driver" is a good metaphor, it's about being in the drivers seat for your life instead of the passenger seat. The song has a great sound to it, and the English is very well done, which comes as no surprise with Jay Park being in the song. If you are a fan of Jay Park, you will really like this duet. I don't like Hip-Hop that much, but I still really like this song.
Younha wrote this song to her fans, and it's a great track for the album to end on. The song is very sweet and thankful. You can really tell that she appreciates the support of her fans, which makes me want to support her even more. This is very acoustic and vocal based song, and I love it! The higher octave that she sings in give a certain innocence to the sound, and really matches her style. It also sounds influences by Western Music, but it still holds to her unique style and light Korean rock. There is a really long fade out for the song, which makes it sound as if the album is ending. It's a great way to end a great CD!
So, there you have it! There are no instrumentals on this CD, and it's still 12 tracks! The songs really match each other, and the album has an overall theme of love, freedom, longing, and thankfulness. The cover is also very well done, with the clouds that make you think of flying free, and the sleek "Y" logo for her name. It's very well put together and extremely impressive!
What do I think overall? Buy this amazing album right now! If you love powerful, artist, deep, and intricate music, this is the album for you! After one listen to this album I was in love with Younha's music! The duets are done wonderfully, the music is composed beautifully, and the vocals are incredible. Please, don't overlook this album this summer! I will be keeping track of Younha from this point on, and this album is in my top favorites of the year! You can buy the album online, Here, on other online music stores, or on Amazon, for about $14-$20. It's also available on iTunes for about $10! So give it a listen, and put it on you "to buy" list for CDs to own this year!
See you next time you jump down the Rabbit hole,