With music, just like anything in pop culture, either I like it or I don’t. But if you ask me why I like a song, much more start talking about the technical aspect, like the guitar riff here or the bass curl there, I’d be lost. Music is straightforward for me, I like it because of the beat or the message. It’s never about the genre nor the technical aspects.
Having said that, this is not a review but just ramblings on CNBLUE’s latest Japanese album, Wave.
I gotta say I like the Korean band’s Japanese releases more. They’re just grittier and bolder. And the same is true for Wave, the album cover notwithstanding. It looked like lazy Photoshop work for me, fans do better PS work. Not to mention that it does not seem to fit the concept.
But what really is the concept of Wave, if there is at all? I was just discussing with a friend who thinks the album lacks coherence when it hit me and I told her, well maybe it lacks coherence because it’s a wave. Okay, I know I’m stretching it too far but I also wonder why they settled for such a title that at best is ambiguous and at worst, uncreative.
All that aside though, the album offers a wave (sorry, can’t resist it) of different styles and the more I listen to it, the more I like it.
This is one of my favorite tracks though I feel that the MV was unimaginative. And it really has a catchy chorus that would be great for rousing the crowd at lives. It is also befitting of being the lead track.
Go Your Way
It sounds like their earlier songs though I know there are those who disapprove fans from comparing their current music to their early days. But I see nothing wrong with keeping up with the old sound because that only shows that the band has a distinctive style that they can call their own. At the same time, that’s not to say they haven’t been pushing the envelope when it comes to their music experimentations because, to refer to this song, they’ve been going their way indeed.
To tell you the truth, Yonghwa’s vocals is so sexy and powerful. It comes out beautifully here. Oh and the enunciation in “you are a beautiful liaarrrr” is purrfect.
This song has a playful beat to it and the chorus is really catchy. “I”m stuck on you, baby, stuck on you baby…” It’s easy to get stuck with this song.
This is a very curious song that could be mistaken as composed for a lover but a friend pointed out what seems to be a hidden message in the lyrics. When I heard her explanation, it figured why I couldn’t understand the message at first. I thought it was just me and my poor comprehension of Yonglish. I have to say, this is an angsty song and the way it builds up to a climax only fits the mood. I bet it sounds great live.
I love how Yonghwa composes the lines, they’re so poetic especially in Nihongo. He also proves that he can write angst well. This is also one of the songs in the album that I feel would sound awesome when performed live.
The opening notes remind me of Can’t Stop though it also shows the stark difference in the composing styles between Jonghyun and Yonghwa. Love the song, love the melody. It would be great in an OST too but I wish Jonghyun would not eat his words when he sings in English.
In the midst of songs that are meant to rock your socks off comes this love song that many described as uberly saccharine sweet it may cause tooth decay. I have to say that when I first listened to it, I couldn’t help being amused with the Yonglish and Yongaccent. But hey, the beat is not sappy and if this is what a pop rock ode is, then lucky angel.
I can’t decide which among Truth, Still or this is my favorite next to Radio in the album. For some reason, it gives me a visual of a Tokyo club with all the strobe lights beating to “beyond the pain, beyond the pain; beyond the dark, beyond the dark; beyond the game, beyond the game; speeeeraling down.”
I love the country feel to the opening notes. It’s such a chill song and obviously this album’s ode to the band’s fans. I’m just wondering if this is where the album got its name: ” I promise I’ll be with all of you… Even when a huge wave falls on us”. Okay, I rest my case.
It still remains a mystery for me why the album is called Wave. But who cares? It’s nice to see CNBLUE keep on moving forward with their music. Little quibbles aside, as long as the music is great, that’s all that matters.
However, I find that there are really no memorable songs on the track list that would stay with you after you listen to the album. Except, as a personal preference, Angel; but the song is not a representation of the band’s sound and perhaps would have been better suited in Yonghwa’s solo album.
Or perhaps there is a need to watch CNBLUE on their Wave tour to be able to truly appreciate what their new music is all about just as a friend previously said that they compose songs as they are meant to be heard and appreciated live.
The album debuted at #1 on the Oricon daily charts and #3 on the weekly charts (first week of release). Not bad. And I am still hoping that CNBLUE will one day appear on TV Asahi’s MUSIC STATION. This album could have been a great opportunity considering that they also have a Japan tour. Someday, soon, I hope.
Lyrics and details of the songs here.
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