17 novembre 2013

CNBLUE - What turns you on?

© FNC MUSIC JAPAN


CNBLUE ask you What turns you on? with their second Japan major album. Maybe it could be exactly this album? What turns you on? has been released at the end of last summer, quickly after the single Lady that is one of the tracks of the album. Before the release of the album, Japanese people discovered first the title song One More Time through the PV put online on mid-August. A track which meant a return to the rock influences of the band.

Available in three editions, including two limited editions with an exclusive DVD, What turns you on? has got 11 tracks (and one more for the Limited Edition A), mostly written and composed by the two singers and guitarists, Yonghwa and Jonghyun. The band didn't get a rest and since the release of the first Japan major album; Japan tour occurred and singles were released one after other for a year while CNBLUE were also focusing on their activities outside Japan (Korean activities, drama filming, BLUE MOON world tour...). Then, What turns you on? was born, barely a year after CODE NAME BLUE. And unlike the previous album, the packaging is simple. No carton box including bonus like photocards. What turns you on? was published with standard design and only the lyrics booklet are in it. But nevermind, if the quality of the content is good it doesn't matter!

When the album starts, we don't hear an intro sound like in the previous album ThankU and CODE NAME BLUE. The first track is instead Lady. The first impression is the following: does this album be an album with disco music? Refreshing and catching, Lady reveals a new color of CNBLUE's music. But in conclusion, it's not the best song among the Japanese releases. Lady makes you dance but doesn't deliver strong emotions. The mix between disco and pop sound is dull and hide the some guitar riffs. People who are disappointed by this first track will almost stop the CD. No! Please don't go (go, go)! Lady has got negative points, but after having listened to it many times, we start to appreciate it.





The second track, One More Time, is better. To raise the level after Lady, CNBLUE take one more chance and the result is more positive. The melody is influenced by the usual pop-rock sound of the band with an original rhythm and new musical chords. We can also hear clearly the dynamic drums.

CHANGE is the song that brings a strong and forceful atmosphere. The song that could certainly turns us on. Fast and energetic rhythm that speeds up during the chorus, a pop-rock melody with little grunge sound. Yonghwa describes this song very well through the lyrics: one of a kind! Like Have a good night from the album CODE NAME BLUE, this third track is entirely sung in English by Yonghwa. So, like this one, CNBLUE could often perform CHANGE during the next lives (we hope), whether in Korea, Japan or somewhere else.



While CHANGE has been able to carry the listener thanks its power and loudness, the next tracks seems to be more soft and various. We can find songs and their b-sides released previously trough a single. The good choice has been done, with catching and bewitching melodies and lyrics that spill deep and intense feelings. We can't stay apathetic by listening to these compositions.
Blind Love is the song with full of romance, or instead nostalgia and melancholia. The lyrics are about a broken love that we couldn't forget easily. The alliance between the synthesizer and the electric guitar is the main charm of this melody. However, Don't Care expresses a different feeling. Don't care is an acoustic song which spread a sweet and warm wave with honest, comforting and thankful words for the Boices. Starlit Night has got the same theme with its friendly atmosphere. We can hear hands clapping while Jonghyun is singing the chorus that encourage us to sing with him. The author and composer, Jonghyun, said himself during interviews; this song is made to be sung at the end of the concerts. And, there is also Greedy Man. This music that has a jazzy side attracts more attention. Yonghwa realized an extraordinary composition and despite its simplicity, the leader proves his Emotional status once again. The vocal parts are incredibly sweet and sentimental, smooth and sensual. Rap parts, included well in the middle of the song, increase this voluptuous side. We really become greedy of this track by playing it again and again.

But there is a negative point to add: so many songs we have already heard make this album less surprising. In fact, What turns you on? has only five new songs. But we are able to appreciate again each track and the disk passes well until Robot that marks a new increasing of force and vivacity in the rhythm.



So, in the second part of the album, there are all the new songs, which are ballads. They are a little banal, with repetitive verses and lyrics in English. And it's not the first time we note that; their English is sometimes a bit awkward. However, each track has something special, like melancholic piano behind the guitar riffs for Crying Out, the harmony of I can't believe, or the graceful guitar and the romantic vocal during Let Me Know (which reminds a little the ballads of FTISLAND). Some points that made these ballads really smooth and addictive and that spill strong emotions.

The Limited Edition A offers a bonus: like Where you are in CODE NAME BLUE, an English version of Robot is available in What turns you on?. If Where you are in English seemed to show more defects, Robot is better, as though this song was made to be sung in Shakespeare's language. There is less awkwardness than the previous songs. Yonghwa and Jonghyun's vocal skills are more impressive. The alliance of their different voices is one of the best points of this track. Maybe this English version will be included on the tracklist of the next Korean album or EP and will be played during lives and events outside Japan.

To conclude, while One More Time seemed to announce the return of the rock sound of CNBLUE, What turns you on? is in fact less rock than we expected. Too bad when we know how great are their Japanese rock songs. However, What turns you on? is a good album and it's a pleasure to listen to it. It's an exciting album by the frenzy spilled by the energetic compositions and by the sensibility of the ballads. It's softer and more mature, even if the lyrics are sometimes repetitive. Pop and pop-rock are the main colors of the disk, with also the disco sound of Lady, that made this song the UFO of the album (or the intruder for those who don't like it). CNBLUE's color keeps mixing various music style but we have to note, like quoted before, that the rock sound is a bit hidden by pop elements. But maybe the live versions will be more rock and heavy like most of their songs. For the next album in the Land of the Rising Sun, we especially expect more lyrics in Japanese and more unpublished songs yet.



TRACKLIST

1. Lady
Lyrics : Jung Yonghwa, Kosuke Oba
Music : Jung Yonghwa, Park Hyun Woo
Arrangements : VINYL HOUSE

2. One More Time
Lyrics : Jung Yonghwa, Kosuke Oba
Music : Jung Yonghwa, RYO
Arrangements : RYO, VINYL HOUSE

3. CHANGE
Lyrics : Jung Yonghwa
Music : Jung Yonghwa, RYO, VINYL HOUSE
Arrangements : VINYL HOUSE

4. Blind Love
Lyrics : Lee Jonghyun
Music : Lee Jonghyun, VINYL HOUSE
Arrangements : Suzuki "Daichi" Hideyuki, Kosuke Oba, VINYL HOUSE, Lee Jonghyun

5. Don’t Care
Lyrics : Jung Yonghwa
Music : Jung Yonghwa
Arrangements : Jung Yonghwa, RYO

6. Greedy Man
Lyrics : Jung Yonghwa
Music : Jung Yonghwa, Kim Jae Yang
Arrangements : Suzuki "Daichi" Hideyuki, Kim Jae Yang, Jung Yonghwa

7. Robot
Lyrics : Jung Yonghwa
Translation of lyrics in Japanese : Kosuke Oba
Music : Jung Yonghwa, Kosuke Oba
Arrangements : Suzuki "Daichi" Hideyuki

8. Crying Out
Lyrics : Lee Jonghyun
Music : Lee Jonghyun, RYO
Arrangements : RYO

9. I can’t believe
Lyrics : Lee Jonghyun
Music : Lee Jonghyun, Kim Jae Yang
Arrangements : Kim Jae Yang

10. Starlit Night
Lyrics : Lee Jonghyun
Music : Lee Jonghyun
Arrangements : Suzuki "Daichi" Hideyuki

11. Let me know
Lyrics : Jung Yonghwa
Music : Jung Yonghwa, RYO, VINYL HOUSE
Arrangements : VINYL HOUSE

12. Robot (English version)
Lyrics : Jung Yongwha
Music : Jung Yonghwa, Kosuke Oba
Arrangements : Suzuki "Daichi" Hideyuki


Please find the French version of this review by clicking on the image above!

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