TVXQ marks 10th anniversary with ‘Tense’
K-pop legend TVXQ has returned to the music scene, celebrating the 10th anniversary of its debut with its new album, “Tense.” Although the duo has managed to produce an album that explores a wide range of musical genres, it has yet to overcome the void left behind by the three original members who left and formed a separate group, JYJ, in 2010.
The album begins with “10 Years,” which notably fuses lyrics from former hits by TVXQ including “Hug,” “I Believe,” “My Little Princess” and “Rising Sun.” The lyrics ring a bell for anyone who experienced TVXQ’s popularity in the 2000s, but the melody itself is neither particularly original nor colorful in its vocal range.
Other tracks do showcase different musical genres and styles. The background brass sounds of title track, “Something,” is reminiscent of a modern and jazzy swing-dance production. In stark contrast, “Rise…” is a mellow and lyrical ballad that gives a message of encouragement to listeners.
Dal Shabet’s ‘B.B.B.’ catchy, but mediocre
Dal Shabet has released a new mini album, “B.B.B.,” which stands for “Big Baby Baby.” Although Dal Shabet somewhat successfully shed its typical girly and cutesy image through “Big Bad Boy,” the disco-like song is neither original nor exceptional in its sound.
Similar songs using disco and retro melodies that were popular in the ’80s and ’90s have been featured by other K-pop artists in recent years.
Nonetheless, “Big Bad Boy” is catchy, with a repetitive and addictive chorus: “Nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh.” Some other notable parts of the song include the members’ fast rap-like singing that builds up to the chorus.
Dal Shabet’s youngest member Subin’s solo “Just Leave,” is a melodic rock ballad that exposes her vocal range and tones. Unfortunately, however, Subin’s voice sounds weak and incomplete in the lower registers and very muffled and nasally in the higher ones. As a result, “Just Leave” does not seem musically promising
Stryper’s ‘No More Hell to Pay’
“No More Hell to Pay”
For 30 years now, Stryper has been mixing solos and scripture, volume and veneration, headbanging and hallelujahs, and the Christian rockers are at it again on an album that preserves their classic ’80s-metal sound. You don’t have to be a Christian to love the wall-smashing power chords, rapid-fire guitar solos and ground-pounding drums on “No More Hell to Pay.”
Most of this album is pure, distilled Stryper, circa 1986, as a number of tracks would have been as at home on “To Hell With the Devil” as they are here. “Sympathy” is more complex than anything the band has attempted in a while. But Stryper remains true to a sound and substance that made it the darling of MTV during the hair-metal days.
Michael Sweet and lead guitarist Oz Fox play dueling, harmonic riffs to create an instantly recognizable sound that has become their trademark. “Saved by Love” is a full-speed-ahead rocker fueled by tasty solos from Fox, truly one of the most underrated metal guitarists of all time. (AP)