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Eyelike: ’VOODOO‘ catchy but average

Eyelike: ’VOODOO‘ catchy but average

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Published : 2013-12-06 19:57
Updated : 2013-12-06 19:58

’VOODOO‘ catchy but average

(CJ E&M)

One year after their debut, rookie boy band VIXX has come out with the release of their first full-length studio album, “VOODOO.” Although with 15 tracks there are many to pick and choose from, much of the album sounds like catchy but average K-pop affair.

The album begins with a short horror movie-esque instrumental piece titled “VOODOO.” Albeit short, the introductory track is actually very well made with a haunting piano melody that transitions into a melancholy violin tune.

Title track “Voodoo Doll” is catchy enough, with heavy use of electronic sounds and beats, but the song itself is not unique enough to stand out in the ever-growing pool of K-pop tunes.

“Beautiful Killer” and “B.O.D.Y” are average upbeat R&B dance-themed numbers. “Someday” and “Say U Say Me” are pleasant to listen to, but would have been much more memorable if the excessive electronic sounds were toned down and the members had a chance to have their vocals really shine through.

“Rock Ur Body” is one of the more unique tracks on the album, beginning with a short Super Mario-inspired video game tune, although the vocals are once again drowned out by too many layers of sound.

By Cha Yo-rim (yorimcha@heraldcorp.com)

Owen struggles to define self

Jake Owen
“Days Of Gold”

Since his first album in 2006, Jake Owens has struggled to separate himself from the deluge of good-time male rockers to emerge in country music in recent years. His fourth album, “Days Of Gold,” continues his streak of inconsistency, blending effective slice-of-life songs with generic tunes about partying and drinking.

As a vocalist, Owen displays more nuance and power than in the past. The problem is that some of his best performances come on songs steeped in contemporary Nashville clicheuros.

The high alcohol content “Tall Glass Of Something” makes rhymes out of names of popular cocktails and sugary shooters -- wasting a distinctively fun arrangement by producer Joey Moi. Similarly, “1972” fills its lyrics with names of classic rock acts and hit songs from 40 years ago.

Owen shows he can find songs that occasionally step away from the bar: He instills desperation and tension into “One Little Kiss (Never Killed Nobody)” and “Drivin’ All Night.” Unlike the party tunes, these songs include consequences to his actions -- and suggest Owen might distinguish himself by going in a different direction than most of his peers. (AP)

Spears fails on new album

Britney Spears
“Britney Jean”
(RCA Records)

Britney Spears’ latest release, “Britney Jean,” is a total letdown. It‘s not that we expect Adele-styled songs from Spears -- or even Rihanna-like ones -- but Spears was once a pop powerhouse who made music considered a must-listen, from “Toxic” to “I’m a Slave 4 U.” Listening to this album makes you nostalgic for those days -- nothing on “Britney Jean” would be contenders for any future greatest hits package.

The 10-track set lacks so many things: oomph, swag, sexy appeal, as well as addictive, memorable hooks. Tracks like “It Should Be Easy” and “Till It‘s Gone” are techno misses -- and messes -- even though David Guetta helmed both songs.

While “Britney Jean” has its upbeat moments, the album is one of Spears’ slowest. The singer said some songs draw from her recent breakup, but she doesn‘t capture emotion that will make you a believer with this batch of tracks. The album follows in the robotic fashion of 2011’s “Femme Fatale,” though that set had more flavor and standout tracks. Aside from the sexually charged, T.I.-assisted “Tik Tik Boom” and the lead single, “Work B----,” Spears isn‘t putting in any real work. (AP)

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