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[Album Review] Leessang-Unplugged Part 1

29 May

After ten years of producing of great music, the hip hop legend, Leessang, is back with their brandy-new studio album, Unplugged!

I’ve been following the duo for a while now, and they have never failed to produce amazing music that always diverges from your everyday mainstream Kpop. After ten years in the industry, it’s pretty incredible that Leessang has been able to stay true to their hip-hop roots while successfully experimenting in other genres. As can be expected with any Leessang album, Unplugged has been topping charts within Korea.

*Also, since the album contains a whopping 13 tracks, I’m going to do the review in two parts. Look out for Part 2 by the end of this week!*

Alrighty, that’s enough blabber, on to the review!

Tracklist

1. My Love/I Learn From You (Intro)

2.My Love/I Learn From You

3. Someday (featuring: Yoon Do Hyun of YB)

4. Hard To Be Humble

5. HOLA (featuring. Jung In)

6. The Pursuit of Happiness (Intro)

7. The Pursuit of Happiness (Feat. Jo Hyun Ah of Urban Zakapa)

8. I Guess Everyone Changes (Feat. Jung In, Simon D & Bobby Kim)

9. Follow the star … (Voice: jyubi)

10. Casanova (featuring. Jyubi of Buga Kingz)

11. Gary and Gil… The Third Story

12. I Want To Cry

13. Bururi (featuring. Jung In)

My Love (Intro)

We start out with the cinematic sounds of crickets, car horns and water dropping, which then leads us into a pretty solo piece played on a piano. Though it’s not long, the jazz/classical fusion tone of the song has a strong, sort of nostalgic effect on the track. An interesting start to the album.

My Love

Being the first full song on the album My Love is a mellow piece. It has that minimalist vibe so commonly associated with Leessang. It is a beautiful piece, but I felt as though it was lacking something; Leessang has produced songs very similar to My Love so I guess I am just a little disappointed with the lack of creativity. I did perk up to hear Jung In’s voice faintly in the background, and I must admit that the jazz band instrumentals were great (especially the bass line). Though the minute and a half of instrumentals at the end was spectacular, overall, I’m not too impressed.

Someday (featuring: Yoon of YB)

Someday is such a great song; it completely makes up for the lackluster My Love. I don’t know who had the idea of featuring one of the greatest Korean bands alive, but whoever did is a genius. (For those who don’t know, YB or Yoon Do Hyun Band is a one of the most famous and legendary bands in Korea. They’ve been around since 1994 and have been impacting the Korean rock scene ever since)

As I’ve said before, the combination of rock and rap is the epitome of musical epicness. Yoon Do Hyun completely rocks this song, to the point where he even outshadows Gil and Gary (which is really something). I loved the grunge-factor in the song coupled with the simple backing vocals and steady drumline. The MV was also a piece of art, capturing the live recording in an extremely theatrical way.

Hard To Be Humble

I heard that Hard To Be Humble was pre-released, but I didn’t have the time to listen to it before.  The track is a thumping rock track that completely diverges from what Leessang has done in the past. Gil takes a lead role in this track while Gary only raps for a bit before each chorus. I’m not sure if I’m liking this song in particular, but it was definitely well-executed. (Also, the bass line was crazy awesome).

And T=the MV was SO CUTE. The kid versions of Gary and Gil were so hilarious. This is definitely one of the more creative MV’s I’ve seen in KPop this far.

HOLA (featuring. Jung In)

Okay, Gil. All of the dialogue in this song is so not necessary, but yay Jung In! That aside, HOLA is a fun calypso piece that somehow fuses with clips of smooth jazz. Not the best track on the album, but Jung In and Gil singing together is always fun to listen to because they both have extremely unique voices both in the Western and the KPop sense. Jung In had some amazing adlibs, but to be honest, the random pieces of dialogue throughout really killed the song for me and interrupted the whole vibe.

The Pursuit of Happiness (Intro)

We get some “Fiction”-esque pen-scratches followed by a lovely piano and cello duet that seems to cut off right in the middle. It’s a welcome break from the fun and excitement in the first half of the album.

The Pursuit of Happiness (Feat. Jo Hyun Ah of Urban Zakapa)

Another great MV and another great song. Although The Pursuit of Happiness follows the same path as My Love, it is a little more upbeat and captivating. It is vaguely R&B based and features the amazing vocals of Urban Zakapa’s Jo Hyun Ah. I loved the vaguely eerie and forlorn tone of the song, it added so much depth and meaning to the album. Although I am yet to look up the meaning of the lyrics, I’m sure it’s something awesomely profound.

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Look Out for Part 2 of the Review Coming Soon!!

 

Temi

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2 Responses to “[Album Review] Leessang-Unplugged Part 1”

  1. EngBad May 30, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    It looks like you forgot to write about Hard To Humble…

    • dramapop May 30, 2012 at 10:51 am #

      Hi! Thanks for noticing 🙂
      I somehow forgot to close a bracket when writing so the entire paragraph disappeared. Clarence fixed it for me so it’s good now!

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