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[Review] Kim Kyu Jong – “Turn Me On” **1/2

26 Sep

Another day, another SS501 member with a new album. Kim Kyu Jong is the last of the members to release a new album this year, with each other member having released an album with varying degrees of success artistically and financially.

Kim Kyu Jong’s album is a tad

The first track from the album is No More Yes, a mundane and unoriginal piece of pop music. Kyu Jong’s voice is drowned in all the autotune and digitalization of his voice. He doesn’t register a single emotion in his voice throughout this track. Even the instrumental doesn’t register any originality. Instead, we get multiple beats oddly chopped up and mixed together. It’s a strange beat and it doesn’t work well as a dance-song or as a chill-song.

Already, there’s a big problem with this album. It seems like the instrumental is overpowering Kyu Jong’s voice. Kyu Jong has a very narrow range and his voice isn’t quite loud. He reminds me of Seungri from Big Bang. However, unlike Kyu Jong, Seungri’s voice was the focus in his album and he let the music take background to that. Here, Kyu Jong is putting the music in front of his voice.

Yesterday vastly improves from the first track. We start with a few bars of a piano playing loudly. Kim Kyu Jong’s voice then comes out with little to no digitalization done. It’s a breath of fresh air but I think his voice is too thin. There’s nothing really distinctive about his voice here from K-pop singers and he tries hard to sing through it. As the music proceeds, we get some hints of Europop synths which livens up the track. The biggest problem is the lack of a climax. Once the beat starts to liven up from the opening chords, it never stops until the last seconds of the song. It robs the listener of an emotional arc and any sort of connection is lost or faulty.

We get another upbeat dance track here, although it’s far more entertaining than the previous songs. My Love is the best track from the album. Here, we hear Kim Kyu Jong’s voice quite well and he doesn’t let the music overpower him. There’s a harmony going on with his voice and the song. There are some pop-rock, similar to Maroon Five vibe going on here and his voice is unaltered throughout. In addition, this is the best he sounds throughout.

Get Ya Luv is the most cuddly song in this album with a dreamy feel to its music and even Kyu Jong’s voice is quite endearing here. Again, the music is background only with his voice taking center stage. There are even some falsetto parts that really made the song sound even more relaxing and sweet. If anything, he sounds darn sexy in this and the acoustic version of this song.

Overall, the album improves the further it gets into the album. I wouldn’t touch the first two songs because they do not show how good Kim Kyu Jong can sound when he sings the right song. The latter two are definitely worth listening to. This may not be the best SS501 album but it definitely shows he can stand outside of the group.

Ratings: 2.5 stars/5

–Clarence

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