Album Review: Junsu’s (Xia) “Incredible”


Another lovely guest review from the always devine Crispy Scallion.

junsu

I have a confession to make.

When it comes to Junsu, I’d buy anything that he puts out – no questions asked. Even if one day he decides to do a remake of Mary Had A Little Lamb, I’d still snap it up without blinking an eye. And he’s not even my bias.

That’s how much I ship this man; or specifically this man’s voice. That’s why I was more than thrilled when he released a second album (except for that brief moment of disappointment at having to wait longer for a JYJ album).

 

1. No Reason

This track is just so-so for me to be honest. Junsu didn’t sound like Junsu for the most part of it. And I felt like the chorus is just repetitive – in a boring manner. I don’t really dig slow R&B, so this kinda makes me want to fast-forward the song. It’s a safe, generic song. Okay for a opening track I guess.

 

2. Rainy Eyes

A truly stunning example of a Jazz/R&B balled. And Junsu just delivered the punch and killed it with his gorgeous voice. One could really appreciate how much of a fantastic vocalist Junsu is. The way he lets loose in the song only to soften it down during the chorus – is just plain sexy. And the arrangement of the song is beautiful and graceful. A real treat for the ears.

 

3. Sorry

This song is as Korean OST-esque (is there such a word?) as it can get. But I absolutely loved it. I mean come on, we all expect Junsu to throw in one or two ballads in his album right? You can’t separate Junsu from ballads. The man is at his best when he sings ballad. And this song is simple, straightforward, safe but still beautiful nonetheless. If Baek Ji Young is the queen of OSTs, then I think maybe, just maybe Junsu could be the King of OSTs (I’m still trying to recover from Innocent Man’s Love Is Like A Snowflake).

 

4. Chocolate Girl

I quite like this fun and cheery song. If I were to pick another word to describe the song – it’ll be cute; just like the singer itself. The feel-good jazzy feel of it is enough to make me want to tap my feet and snap my fingers in unison. And as usual Junsu just hits all the notes effortlessly. He managed to keep the song light and airy, with a touch of playfulness in it. A really fun song that could be listened to over and over again.

 

5. Incredible (feat. Quincy)

I didn’t expect to like this song as much as I did. The first time I heard it, I was already hooked on the chorus and the pulsing beat. It’s like the more I listen to it, the more I like it. It’s such a nice light song for summer. Something that you’d want to dance to.

My only bone with this song? Quincy. Like seriously, the song could do without Quincy. Just stick some generic musical bridge and that’ll be a million times better than Quincy’s cringe-inducing, hand-curling, pathetic excuse of a rap. (Shake your spaceship candy?? WTF is that??) He sounds uninterested and lazy in his rap especially in the MV. Totally forgettable. Sorry Quincy, you may be Diddy’s son but you’ve got a LONG way to go before you can even call yourself a rapper/singer.

 

6. I’m Confessing Now (feat. Gilme)

This is a pretty good filler song. I don’t love it but it’s still a pretty song. I love Gilme’s rap. They pick the right person for it, someone who would add color to the song unlike whatshisname (cough, Quincy, cough).

 

And Junsu calling ‘jagiya’ at the end – simply adorable.

 

7. Don’t Go

Another OST-esque ballad with beautiful gorgeous melodies and arrangements. What can I say? Junsu sounds like his heavenly self in this. There’s nothing to pick on really. He delivered the song flawlessly, keeping the vocal gymnastics to a minimum without making the song draggy or boring.

 

8. Turn It Up (feat. Dok2)

I am so frustrated with this song that I don’t know where to begin with. I had such high hopes for it, but in the end it was a big letdown. Let’s start with the irony of the title and the quality of the song. I guess someone forgot to ‘turn it up’. The song feels flat and muted. I was expecting heavy, booming beats – well, it was there somewhere but it felt like I was listening through layers of blankets.

The song is somewhat with sexy with Junsu’s toned-down vocals but that’s about it. This is what gets to me about this song. I freaking LOVE the arrangement and melody. I seriously do but it feels incomplete and half-baked. Even Dok2 couldn’t save it. Could have been a WHOLE LOT better.

 

9. Fantasy

This song reminds me strongly of songs from the late 90s and early 2000s. It’s a gorgeous song that is straightforward and strong. The arrangement really complements Junsu’s voice well although the lyrics are rather simple. I like it enough to let it play in the background but I don’t think I’d be hitting the raping the repeat button anytime soon.

 

10. This Song is Funny, Right? (feat. Boom)

I’m sorry but I just don’t get this song. I know it’s supposed to be a fun song but to my ears it’s just one huge noisy mess. The song is everywhere without going anywhere (if I’m even making sense here). In the end it’s just annoying to listen to it. I’m guessing that Junsu is just trying to have a little bit of fun. For what reason, I have no idea. I don’t like the song at all, but I can forgive Junsu for this.

 

11. Seems Like Love

Surprisingly I liked this song a lot more than I expected. It sounds like an OST – a cute and thoroughly heart-warming number. There’s nothing really extraordinary or special about the song. Actually it’s pretty forgettable if compared to the other tracks, but there’s a charm to this song that I can’t quite put a finger. It’s just…cute (I really can’t think of a better word).

 

12. 11 A.M

Ahh. This is the song that sums it all up in regards to Junsu’s vocal prowess. It’s hauntingly beautiful in its simplicity and honesty. It’s the kind of song that tugs your heart because of sheer magnificence of it. Might induce some tears too, if you’re the soft at heart kinda person. The piano strings worked very well with the soothing tone of his voice. Junsu can almost lull you into a daze with this song.

I actually liked the Acapella version he pre-released better. Something about the bare, stripped down feel of it, makes the song even more glorious than it already is.

 

Overall

There’s one thing that can be concluded listening to this album: Xia Junsu was born to sing and nothing else. The things this man could do with his voice; makes singing look so effortless. And the joy he feels every time he sings is evident in his song. You can feel that this person truly loves, lives and breathes music.

That said, Incredible is a good follow up album for Junsu. I actually liked this album better than Tarantallegra. I like the fact that Junsu is exploring different sounds and genre. That’s a huge point with me – I don’t like redundancy and repetitiveness. This album differs from his first and in good ways. One thing that is clear though is that it doesn’t matter what genre Junsu sings in, all of it makes him sound good. It showcases his gorgeous voice and abilities as a singer. (Not that he can’t make any song sound good)

Sound quality is still an issue for me with all of C-Jes production. Although Incredible sounds better and tighter, there’s still room for improvement. I feel that C-Jes is still way behind when compared to the sound quality of YG, SM, Cube etc. I’d hate to see a good album being a turn-off because of the less than stellar sound quality. It’s a shame though. With a voice like Junsu, you’d want to experience the full impact of it. Not the rough, watered down version. I hope C-Jes does something about this soon. (Still sore about the disappointing sound quality of Jaejoong’s solo album)

 

Favorite track: 11 AM, Sorry, Rainy Eyes, Incredible (feat. Quincy)

Least Favorite Track: This Song is Funny, Right? (feat. Boom)

Verdict: 4.6/5.0

-TCS

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