Monday, January 31, 2011

MBALQ'S Blaq Stlye Album Review Revealed!

The Music Boys Live in Absolute Quality – or – MBLAQ recently released their first full album, “BLAQ Style.”  It took the boys a while, but they’re finally here, ripped and ready for your enjoyment.
For what it is, “BLAQ Style” is MBLAQ’s cleanest work yet.  They debuted in 2009 with “Just BLAQ,” the mini-album chock-full of gimmicks, followed by a more diverse approach with “Y” in 2010.  “BLAQ Style” is like a sandwich of both EPs.
As a boy band in K-pop, MBLAQ has had a hard time standing out on their own, especially when they were introduced to us as the guys under the watchful eye of Rain.  Style-wise, MBLAQ possess a sound that can be appropriately characterized as Rain-esque, which is something that has worked both for them and against them as a unit in K-pop.
Rain’s firm emphasis on sexual appeal seems to radiate from MBLAQ.  Aesthetically, it’s a win, but up until this release, MBLAQ has been one of the weakest boy band vocalists in K-pop.  To put it another way, they haven’t really proven (through their promos) that they’re more than just sexy hunks in makeup.
The general idea is that it requires at least a genuine talent to make music, so does “BLAQ Style” finally provide us with a sufficient amount of content to prove that theory with MBLAQ?  Better yet, have they detached themselves from Rain’s grubby little fingers and found a sound of their own?
Well let’s find out, shall we?
Through a series of electro-pop tunes and cheeky mid tempos, one could say they find themselves giving this album a good, “Oh, yeah.“  Listening to this album, there were times when I got into some of the songs, and completely snored through others.  It’s evident during those high moments though, that MBLAQ have really given enough of an effort to hold their own.

1. Sad Memories
2. Stay
3. Cry
4. Darling
5.Throw Away
6. Rust
7. Tonight
8. Wish You Hadn’t
9. You’re My +
10. Rolling U
11. Oh Yeah (C-Luv & Blue Magic Remix)
12. Y (GR GROOVE Remix)
13. Different Beginning
“BLAQ Style” opens with “Sad Memories"

 a short piano intro played by MBLAQ’s leader, Seung Ho, that becomes a distant blur as the album progresses under a far more ‘trendy’ style.  The piano line reappears in a couple other tracks, so its existence isn’t entirely questionable.
The lead single – “Stay” – does a better job at encompassing the overall effects and quirks of “BLAQ Style” than the intro track;  It’s dramatic, and unlike the lead single for their second mini album,”Y,” we’re treated to a serving of less auto-tune and way more umpf.  For a title single, “Stay” is paced very well.   The way the verses pick up then drop off at the pre-chorus is a really nice touch.
As far as vocalists go, because I love singling them out, G.O. is MBLAQ’s pride and joy.  Have you heard his rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Lately?  The boy knows his voice, so it’s awesome to hear him let those smooth pipes soar left and right as the song builds up.  It happens throughout this album, and actually, and while we’re at it,  Seung Ho doesn’t sound half-bad either, which begs the question:  Why are we still drowning singers in unnecessary processing?  Love it or hate it, the effect has long tired the majority of us, but thankfully, the reign of auto-tune seems to be letting up and global pop seems to be well on its way to recovery.  Lucky us.

It’s clear that MBLAQ have had a case of bad-processing in the past, the one thing that is probably held accountable for most of their turn-away listeners, but another thing that I find more distressing is the blatant resemblance to Rain.  Even if MBLAQ have announced that they were more hands-on with this album (kudos!), there are still moments when I get a little bit of Rain-ish arrangements shoved into my face.  Take “Cry“, for example.  There’s really nothing wrong with it, but it feels like a recycled Rain song.
Once upon a time, I referred to MBLAQ as “five mini-Rains“, because that’s all I kept thinking when I listened and watched them, but truth be told, they have managed to carve away at that perception with this album.  And that’s a good thing.  The similarities aren’t gone, but at least they have begun constructing an individuality for the group

As an album, “BLAQ Style” feels complete and well thought out, but I would be lying if I said I was sold on it.  The production is very clean and MBLAQ are sounding better than ever.  The thing is that a handful of the songs are forgettable and lack a complete vocal delivery.  It’s weird, but it’s the up/mid tempo songs that go right over my head.
Hear me out.  Songs like “Darling” and 

Throw Away

have great instrumentals, but there’s something lacking in MBLAQ’s vocal delivery as a unit.  There’s no conviction to give these songs that extra kick to actually stick like a pop song is meant to do.  “Darling” and “Throw Away” are catchy, but not memorable.
Granted, MBLAQ are only a year into their careers, so I understand that there’s plenty of untapped potential there, but most of the time it sounds like they’re giving the bare minimum on their recordings.  A worrying vice because we don’t always have a constant visual in our faces as we listen to music.  It really comes down to whether the song grabs hold of your attention without the listener having to force themselves to pay attention.
Surprisingly, it’s the slower tempo songs that stand out over their up tempo counterparts.  Exhibit A: “Rust“.

While MBLAQ are far from taking on five-piece harmonies, “Rust” functions as direct evidence that, when tamed and controlled, they can sound pretty freaking awesome.
Exhibit B: “Tonight“, the melodic, R&B number.  The production on this song reminds me of Teddy’s style (YG Entertainment producer).  There’s not a lot going, but it’s that exact subtlety that gives MBLAQ a splash of charm.

Aside from new songs, there’s an interesting addition of remixed versions of MBLAQ’s older hits, “Oh Yeah” and “Y“.   These reinvented, and chiefly provocative,  versions blow the roof off of the originals.  I’m not a fan of the chorus from “Oh Yeah”, but even I have to admit that the way they flipped the entire feel on the song was awesome.  It gives purpose to all of the “oh yeah” mentions, and it would have been a risky, but probably brilliant, move if they gave the rest of the up tempo songs on “BLAQ Style” the same treatment.
Clap your hands everybody, everybody clap your hands!

As “Different Beginnings” 

closes the album with another piano line, this time with Seung Ho sharing a few words of gratitude with their fans, I can’t help but slightly appreciate MBLAQ’s effort to produce and deliver a well rounded first album.  MBLAQ offer the styles that work best for them, even those borrowed by the holy Rain of Korea, and pull it off pretty well.  As always, I do have to nitpick at the fact that a lot of these songs start off the same way (Thunder talking over an overused electro beat happens, oh I don’t know, five times!), and most lack a a good hook.  But even if the content is a little lackluster, there’s still a good flow and it contains several glowing moments of awe.
Overall Rating:  3.8/5 – With the right material, I’m sure MBLAQ will absolutely nail it next time.
The ratings are not gone, but I have to urge you to pay more attention to the words than to the numbers.  As with most ratings, they tend to draw far too much attention in the articles, and they end up dominating the entirety of the review itself.
I fully realize that if I don’t give a 5 out of 5 to your favorite idol, then there’s likely going to be backlash, but the amount of people who seemingly scroll through the numerical ratings and rush to the comments to berate me is somewhat disconcerting.
Additionally, questions have crawled out of the woodwork asking what the heck I am doing reviewing music to begin with.  Well, I really don’t like talking about myself, so shame on you for making me!
But seriously, here you go: I am currently an audio production major, and within that field of study, I have had the opportunity to work and learn about recording, producing, and all that fun stuff.  However, my main inspiration to talk about music comes from my own music background as a cellist.  Even though it’s not singing, I’ve been playing for eight years, so I think my ears are trained ones all the same.  While I was never a big fan of lessons, I did study under the principal cellist of the Austin Symphony Orchestra for a while, as well as other local geniuses.  Should I keep going?  Nah, I hate this.  It feels…self-indulgent.
Anyway, as I stated before, reviews are solely opinion based, and their main role isn’t to degrade your favorite artists, but rather to put into writing what I feel is going on with their material and how well it’s being executed.  Because I have set high standards for the music I listen to, it’s only fair to me and you that I remain as honest as possible.  It’s our own opinions that make the world go round, so that’s why I ask for yours at the end of every review.  And no, that question is not an open invitation to bash me mindlessly, but rather to open discussion as to why you like or dislike something, why you think it’s exciting or boring, etc.
So with that said…
What are your thoughts on the album?

[ my thoughts: the best of MBLAQ so far their songs aren't boring and they are amazing it's better than i have expected!!! ]


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Which MBLAQ members did Jung Juri choose when she has a bad drinking habit?

Gag woman Jung Juri revealed a bad drinking habit that could possibly anger idol fans.
Recently on MBC’s special program, ‘Dating Alimony Case,’ Jung Juri confessed, “Whenever I become drunk, I let male idols into my house.”

She then continued, “I had to put curtains in my house, so 
I asked MBLAQ’s G.O to come,” causing the guests of the show, as well as the audience members, to stare intently at her. Furthermore, the comedian also stated that every time she drinks, she calls a male idol and asks him to play at her house. 

Meanwhile, the love court variety program, ‘Dating Alimony Case’, consists of real young-aged couples who discuss the problems and ideas of dating. Be sure to catch this interesting show on February 2nd.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Andrea Bucaram responds to the MBLAQ plagiarism controversy

Ecuadorian singer Andrea Bucaram has been under fire from A-Plus‘ around the world for her copy of MBLAQ’s song, “Oh Yeah.  She’s devoted the better part of her tweets from the past 24 hours responding to fan criticisms, though much of it seems to have been edited.
Andrea’s defended herself by saying that “I never said that the song was mine – just the adaption, yes. If you knew english, you would notice that its not the same, only the chorus.
She also wrote, “I haven’t sold any albums, .I didnt insult anyone, i didnt plagiarize , i didnt steal. Before being mean to me, look it up. Blessings from my heart – singing a cover isnt a crime.”
On her personal Facebook page, she posted “I love Koreans and I am also a fan of MBLAQ and want them to come to Ecuador.”
Shortly after, she posted that, “You only get one life, enjoy it.  Chinese Ecuadorians are throwing bombs at me.  I love the world, my friends, and those who want to hurt me, I wish you the best, my happiness is mine.”
The issue has gained so much attention that a media outlet covered the controversy and interviewed the singer.  Bucaram spoke out on the issue, saying that she was a fan of MBLAQ. But MBLAQ fans were quick to point out that they felt her fan admission was false after they saw her make a grave error in an interview.
The singer said that she didn’t know “MBLAQ had existed for 6 years and that Korean people spoke English as their first language.”
Fans have uploaded a video of the interview below, and although the quality is lacking, if you can understand Spanish you should be able to make out what’s being said in the interview.



MBLAQ’s G.O performs on “Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook”

Idol stars G.O of MBLAQ recently stood on the stage of KBS’s ‘Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook’, where they sang solo covers of various veteran artist tracks.
With Yoo Hee Yeol himself directly being their piano accompanist, G.O performed Kim Gun Mo’s “Lingering Affection” 
Check out G.O's performance down below!:


Thursday, January 27, 2011

MBLAQ’s Oh Yeah plagiarized by Ecuadorian artist: Andrea Bucaram

A performance video from Ecuadorian artist Andrea Bucaramhas recently become a hot issue, due to the striking similarities between her song, “Oh Yeah“, and MBLAQ’s debut song (of the same name).
The repetition of the words “Oh yeah” in the chorus, the tweaked melody, and the familiar beats all point to the conclusion that this artist plagiarized the song from MBLAQ. If those points weren’t enough for skeptics, she also titled the song, “Oh Yeah”.

MBLAQ’s manager June tweeted a link to the video while stating “…this isn’t even plagiarism….they straight up copied the song. We will deal with this after we are sure about the situation. If anyone knows information about the singer in the video, give us a mention/message.”
Member G.O retweeted the link, and couldn’t conceal how flabbergasted the video made him. “wow….she copied the song really well.”
Watch Andrea Bucaram – “Oh Yeah” Below:


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

110126 MBLAQ on ELLE GIRL & Vogue Korea!!!


110125 After School's Gahee & MBLAQ's Lee Joon's sexy couple dance!!!

After School's Gahee and MBLAQ's Lee Joon showed off a sexy couple dance.

Gahee and Lee Joon recently recorded the SBS New Year Special 'Star Couple Battle'. All attention was focused on their giddy and sexy couple dance. Both representatives of After School and MBLAQ's couple dance was kept in tune. The two's first couple dance together attracted great interest right from the start.

Gahee and Lee Joon performed Madonna's '4 minute' during the recording. The both of them left a strong impression that night with their brilliant dance performance.

Furthermore, Gahee's unusual 'illusion costume' also striked a lot of attention. A pair of fishnet stockings coupled with leather shorts showed off her provocative charm. On the other hand, Lee Joon revealed his controlled sex appeal in a neat black suit.

Other performances for 'Star Couple Battle' include magician Choi Hyun Woo and f(x)'s Victoria's teleport magic, Lim Yo Hwan and Kim Ga Yeon couple's shocking kiss performance, SHINee's Minho and football player Yeo Min Ji's couple dance, Moon Hee Jun, Kim Dong Wan and 2AM's Changmin's version of SNSD's 'leg dance'. The show airs on February 3 at 6pm.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

MBLAQ’s Lee Joon bought himself a home???

The members of MBLAQ made an appearance on Mnet’s “Beatles Code“, and shared personal stories about their recent purchases and their siblings.

MBLAQ’s Lee Joon opened up their segment by confessing he had bought a home in Jamshil. Born in 1988, the singer turns 24 this year, and he’s demonstrated that he’s pretty mature for his age.

He reasoned that since the promotion period for an idol singer isn’t that long, he could buy himself a home.

“It’s not anything extravagant,” he shyly revealed. “One day, I just thought that I wanted to move into a home I bought with my own money and began saving up little by little since then. I’ve never once bought my own clothes since my debut. I made a promise to myself recently, and it was to never spend money on anyone else for the next 10 years.”

His fellow members confirmed, “He’s never bought us food since our debut. He’s the one who’s had the most CFs, but he’s really never bought us anything.”

The topic then moved onto 2NE1′s Dara, after Thunder revealed that he thinks so preciously of her, he won’t even let her visit their rehearsal room.

MC Yoon Jong Shin asked, “If your sister had to meet one member from MBLAQ, which member would it be?“ Thunder replied, “I’m going to tell my mom!”

Mir, who has an actress sister named Go Eun Ah, was asked the same question, to which he replied, “I’d just be really thankful.”

Their full segment can be seen at 12 AM KST on January 20th.


MBLAQ’s Thunder audition tape for JYP Entertainment???

MBLAQ’s Thunder JYP Entertainment audition tape was recently revealed, capturing the attention among fans.
In the video that was revealed on various online communities, Thunder is seeing dancing to Se7en’s “Passion" and "Chris Brown's Gimme That", exhibiting a fresh appearance.
After seeing the video, the fans commented, ‘Very cute’, and ‘Even before MBLAQ you were very charming.

Clip 1 Se7en : Passion

Clip 2 Chris Brown : Gimme That



Hello there. 
I'm a MBLAQ fan. (A Plus)
From onwards I will be updating everything about MBLAQ.
So it's going to be MBLAQ STYLE!!!