U-Kiss released DoraDora a while ago, and I wish that I could have gotten to reviewing it sooner. They released a new mini album soon after it, as well as a new Music Video "Believe". They have been working very hard on their music for a long time, and they are in full stride now.
Let's get onto the Album!
U-Kiss - DORADORA
DoraDora was one of the albums that I didn't hesitate to buy at all! I was very excited for the release, and I think that U-Kiss doesn't get as much attention as they should. I owned a few tracks from various CD's before (Luckily they are one of the few Korean bands available on iTunes!), but this is the first full album that I have owned by them. I have to say that this album just makes me want to buy more of the albums that they have! It really showed off the group and made me more curious about them.
"Dora Dora" basically means "crazy crazy", like how people say "cray-cray" these days, something that's confusing, crazy and weird (as far as I can tell from looking into it). And the album totally matches that! The album art and design on this one has to be one of my favorites for the entire year! Everything is a little twisted, very creative, and I really love things like that! It's not just about a bunch of good-looking Koreans in pictures for the album, poster, and photo book, it's about creativity.
I bought this from Kpop Plus, like pretty much every album, and was very excited to get it! (There were random socks in their and I didn't picture them this time, not my favorite pair ever, and they are in the wash...) I made sure to take pictures of both sides, because I like the front and the back.
Since the band name is "U-Kiss", and the fan group is "Kiss Me's", it makes perfect sense to me that the logo would be lips. This album focused more on being sleek, yet sturdy, instead of large and chunky. The whole front has a really neat reflective effect, and the dots on the lips shine in the light and change to different shades of red! I love how they added that effect without it looking cheap (it's not "bedazzled or anything), but still being flashy.
The back of it is similar, the white part has the same reflective coating, and there are smaller lips in different colors. There's no track list or anything on the back, just the basic things an album has to have on it (company names, logos, etc.). I liked how it wasn't just white on the back, but they took the time to edit the back side as well.
The layout on the inside is simple and compact. The CD has the same look as the back of the album, and the top of it is like a mini poster. Everything fits nicely into the package and is doesn't look "squished" or anything, like trying to fit too much in a small space. Overall, I like it!
I do wish that the CD holder wasn't the plastic kind, mainly because that's my preference and I really do not like that kind! It was better than most kinds, but still a little frustrating. But I do like the design behind the disc, and I can understand why they would need something strong to hold onto the cd, since the "case" isn't really sealed at all.
In the photo book there are a few group pictures, but mainly individual shoots. The lyrics are in the very back of the book, and, if it isn't obvious, the book is attached to the case. (Though I suppose with brute force you could rip it out...) The group photos and the "mini poster" in the case seem like regular photo shoots. But the rest of the photos are my favorite part of the whole set!
Each member has a few pages in the photo book, and even though it's not very large they packed a lot of creativity into it! The members have really funky and weird clothes on, and lots of drawings and effects were added to their pictures! They each have their name and a word (though the words are in English, they are pretty funny ones) on top of their portraits. The set is simple, to not distract from the other things involved. There's also small, English, magazine clippings around the photos. Now to the poster!
It was really difficult to get a picture of the poster, it's really long! Just like the album, it's a really wide rectangle, instead of a square or a tall rectangle. They each have on their strange outfits, the floor is just a sheet, and the background is the same simple one. They have magazine clippings framing the edges, and none of them are non-sense either! I really love the outfits in this shoot! It seems to be inspired by a punk-type Alice in Wonderland! From the huge rabbit necklace, to the strips and ties, and the multicolored paper hats, I love it all! I saw the poster somewhere else before I got mine and could not wait until I could put it up! (One of the creases got pretty bad in the shipping, but it still looks okay for being folded.)
In my last review on EXO's Mama I complained about their poster being awkward. You may think, "isn't this one just as awkward?" But the problem with that one was that it was supposed to be a fashionable, "normal", photo shoot. So making people just stand awkwardly with no energy just didn't fit it and looked bad to me. In the U-Kiss shoot, the whole concept is weird and awkward! So standing in a line, stiff-legged, makes sense to me. This seemed more like purposeful, artistic, stiffness, instead of just bad choreography for a shoot.
Let's move on to the record now!
The album is a shorter one, with only six tracks, but I still really like it. There are a lot of "styles" in in, but they all sound distinctly like the band. I liked the art of the album more than the CD itself, but that's mainly because I liked the art aspect of it so much. They released a Music Video for DoraDora, where the camera work and the set were the strange elements! The album and music reflected a bit of this as well.
This is the title track, obviously, and my favorite off the album! The lyrics are about going crazy from a relationship that just confused you, when you go back and forth between loving and hating a person. I think that the background of the track really suits the lyrics, there are a lot of different sounds mixed together with an electronic feel, and the changes between the verse, chorus, and bridge are obvious but blend well. I really liked the opening as well, it doesn't really sound like the rest of the song but works well. The first note sounds like a Michael Jackson song (that kind of space-like sound), and the arrangement reminds my of Super Juniors songs like Mr. Simple. So, of course I would like this song!
The vocals are also on point, and there are a lot of effects and background vocals that you notice more if you listen for it. They take advantage of multiple members with harmonies and I think that really adds depth to the song.
- 4U (For You)
This is a more upbeat and happy song than the last one for sure! After a song about confusion and hurt, it's really refreshing! The openings and verses are my favorite parts of this song, not that I dislike the chorus but I just like them better. I really like the high vocals in the track, and that this one seems to focus a bit more on the singing, though the background music is pretty complex as well. Also, who can resist the line, "Thanks to you I'm jumping like a Kangaroo"? That's pretty creative English for a K-Pop song if you ask me. This song really shows the spirit of "K-Pop" to me. It has a fun beat, the singing is really bright, and there is English scattered throughout it that makes just enough sense, but still makes you laugh a little.
- When Love Stops
This one I still am not so sure about if I really like it or not. It reminds me of a Korean Drama track so much. I love Korean Dramas, but it was just a little unexpected from them. A ballad that you can totally see on a soundtrack for a Romantic Comedy, right after such strong electronic songs, is just surprising to me. I do like the song, but it seems a little out of place to me. The lyrics are sweet and I do like the song, but just not as much as the others on the album.
This is definitely the main dance song out of the others! The whole song, from the heave electronic base and beat, to the random voice alterations, make it a fun song to dance to or bob your head with the windows down on the freeway! The English is a little funny, but I still can't help but sing along with it! It's one of those addictive songs that the more you listen to it, the more you want to hear it! I really love the use of all the members vocals, and all of the voice technology we have today. I usually don't like Autotune, when it's used for regular songs, but just to add an effect to a club kind of song is entertaining to me.
- Tick Tock (Out of Time)
This song was super exciting for me! They had released it in Japanese a while ago, and so for people who are U-Kiss fans to get the song in Korean is wonderful! I really like the consistant beat, with the band singing "tick tock", like a ticking clock a lot! I already loved this song before, but I especially do in Korean. From the beat, to the English used, the effects, and the vocals, this is a great song! Abrupt stops in the music is something that I really enjoy when done right, and this song does that for me. The fade in and out with the clock makes me want to start the song over again, this is a highly addictive song.
Though I noticed something off about the song, they changed the lyrics a bit. I know it's a different language, but the English parts are different in this version. I think because it's Korea, which is more strict than Japan, so they had to switch the lyrics a bit. It did make me kind of sad, because I really liked the English parts of the other version, but I like the rest of it in Korean better... So, yea, it's a pretty tough call. But I still am excited for the Korea version, it will just take some time to get used to.
- Doradora (Instrumental)
There's not too much to say about this one, since it's the first song with only music. But I do like it and think it is fun background music. If you listen to this version before the full one it really makes the other song sound better, because you have listened to just the music and can hear it better afterwards.
Overall, this is a great record and I recommend that you listen to it yourself to see! The first time you hear it you may not love it, but the more you listen to it the more it grows on you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! You can buy the CD for about $12 plus shipping Here, but I think they are out of posters now so feel free to check Ebay and Amazon as well!
See you next time you jump down the Rabbit hole,